We are at the mid way stage of the 2023 college football season, with Ole Miss surprising a number of the media and fans. The team sit at 5-1, looking at an outside chance of an SEC West title. After 6 games, who has scooped awards at the mis-season point.
Offensive Player – Jordan Watkins
A few players were in contention, with WR Tre Harris in the hunt, while only featuring in 4 and bit games. However, Jordan Watkins has been the key in the passing game, especially when the offense has had a bunch of guys missing with injury.
Watkins leads the team in receiving yards with 536 yards from 36 receptions. He only has 2 TDs, but he has been Jaxson Dart’s go to guy in important situations. Watkins has already surpassed his previous best season, with the hope he could break 1,000 receiving yards.
Defensive Player – John Saunders Jr.
Miami (OH) transfer John Saunders Jr has settled into the Pete Golding defense as well as anybody. Saunders Jr has made a real impact in the secondary, with 4 pass break-ups, 32 tackles and an interception. His lone takeaway came in last weeks Arkansas game, in a important time of the game.
Despite being new to the team, Saunders Jr has been a leader in the secondary. He has also allowed the fewest yards against opposition receivers on the team. With some tough opponents in the second half of the season, it will be huge if Saunders Jr can keep up his form.
Freshman Player – Suntarine Perkins
Choosing awards for freshman half way through a season can be tricky. However, Linebacker Suntarine Perkins has been exceptional in the 5 games he has featured in. Perkins already has high level game intelligence at such a young age.
Perkins has recorded 24 total tackles and 3.5 sacks. He was a focal part of reducing the dangerous Alabama QB Jalen Milroe in the week 4 game. Exciting times for the Rebels, with even more to come from the true freshman.
Most Improved – Ulysses Bentley IV
Despite a slow start to the run game, it has really picked up over the last few games. Sophomore Quinshon Judkins will receive plenty of awards, but another guy in the room needs to be praised. RB2 on the depth chart, Ulysses Bentley IV has ticked along nicely in support of Judkins.
Bentley IV transferred before the 2022 season. However, he struggled to make an impact, with Judkins and Zach Evans taking the lead, also suffering an injury plagued season. This year, he has stepped up for the Rebels, carrying the ball 37 times for 275 rushing yards and 3 TDs. Tag on a receiving TD and Bentley IV has been a big part of the Ole Miss offense. Much improved on last season showing.