The 2018 Ole Miss football season is almost upon us and while we expect the Rebels to be good we know there will be juniors who have huge years.
With Ole Miss football less than two weeks away the excitement is building among fans anxious to finally see the Rebels in action. The Rebels are now square in the middle of fall camp and the news out of Oxford has been good so far. The competition over specific positions is ramping up heading into the final two weeks before the season opener with Texas Tech.
The Rebels have now been in full contact for over a week and in relatively good condition as far as injures go. That is very good news. We also been getting news out of Oxford about some of the veteran players who are already stepping up in fall camp. So far there have been no major issues and the attitude of the team as a whole is as good as could be imagined. The players, coaches and fans are all in the mood for college football.
Ole Hotty Toddy has certainly also been in the mood for some Ole Miss football and we’ve been noting some key players from each class. So far we’ve looked at the five new faces , red-shirt freshmen and sophomores we want to see have good seasons. Now we look at the five juniors we can be sure will have huge seasons for the Rebels in 2018. We’ll begin on the defensive side of the ball since we want to see the most improvement there.
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There is no doubt Ole Miss fans are ready to see the return of the Landshark Defense in 2018. If in fact we do see a better defense it will hinge greatly on the play-making ability of some experienced veterans. There are a number of vets on the defense we all hope have great seasons and then there are those Rebels who we know will.
Myles Hartsfield is just one junior who is now primed to have a breakout season and Ole Miss can believe it will be in 2018. Hartsfield has now been a starter in the defensive backfield for two seasons and has shown flashes of greatness. In 2017 Hartsfield totaled 42 tackles with 29 solo, 2 TFL and 2 INTs while also getting 3 pass deflections. So far Myles has been having a great fall camp and has been practicing at both the corner-back and STAR positions.
Another player we can expect to have a huge junior season is 6’4 and 302 lb defensive tackle Josiah Coatney. Coatney is set to pick up where he left off in 2017 and will certainly have a huge season when he does. Coatney finished the 2017 season with 65 tackles while also recording 8 TFL, 3.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Josiah has been selected as 2018 Preseason Fourth Team All-SEC and is another defensive Rebel having a great fall camp.
Ole Miss has long been known for producing players in specific positions. Tight-end is another position where great players get highlighted as Rebels. At 6’4 and 250 lbs Dawson Knox has shown he can be the next great TE from Ole Miss and is expected to have a huge junior campaign. In 2017 Knox was in the mix and finished the season with 24 receptions for 321 yards. Knox can be expected to be targeted much more in 2018. Knox has been selected as 2018 Preseason Third Team All-SEC and has been named to the 2018 Mackey Award Watch List.
Greg Little is another junior Rebels fans can expect to have a huge season and 2018 will likely be the last season we see him on the field as a Rebel. Selected as a 2018 Preseason First Team All-American, the 6’6 and 325 lb Little is looking to have a huge season to build his stock for the 2019 NFL Draft. Expected to be a 1st round NFL draft pick Little has also been named 2018 Preseason First Team All-SEC and been selected to both the 2018 Outland Trophy and 2018 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List.
Rounding out the five Rebels in junior wide receiver AJ Brown. We all know AJ is the top-rated WR in the entire nation and now the rest of the nation knows too. Brown was already an All-American in the record-setting 2017 season but in 2018 AJ has been named as a Preseason First Team All-American. AJ has also been named as 2018 Preseason First Team All-SEC as well as being named to the 2018 Maxwell, Walter Camp and Biltenikoff Awards Watch List. Brown finished the 2017 Ole Miss football season with 75 receptions for 1,262 yards and 11 TDs. We can expect AJ Brown to be lights out in 2018.
Well there you have the five Rebels we all can expect to have huge junior seasons. Of course, we hope every Rebels player has a great season and the Rebels find success on the field in 2018. It’s getting closer Rebels. The season opener for the 2018 Ole Miss football team is set for September 1 against Texas Tech in Houston, Texas. Hotty Toddy!