Ole Miss has brought in many highly-rated receivers in the past few seasons, and with that talent has come a new nickname: Wide Receiver U.
Ole Miss has earned the moniker, with Shay Hodge breaking records for the Rebels while Mike Wallace and Donte Moncrief turned productive Rebel careers into impressive pro careers before star wideout Laquon Treadwell and Cody Core became the most recent Rebels to take their talents to the NFL.
While it’s very unlikely any single player can match the impact Treadwell had for the Rebels last year, the team will have a plethora of young talent at the wide receiver position next season.
A.J. Brown has a chance to be an instant impact performer for Ole Miss, as the Starkville native already has the size to compete at the college level and was the No. 38-ranked player in the country by 247 Sports composite rankings.
Oxford High School receiver D.K. Metcalf also comes to the University highly ranked, coming in at No. 113 in the composite rankings. Metcalf is listed as taller than 6-foot-3 and has the speed to present major matchup problems for SEC secondaries.
Four-star Tre Nixon also has a chance to compete as a freshman. He might be a redshirt candidate, as he could stand to add some weight, but his speed in the slot and in the return game could make him see some time as a freshman.
In addition to this, the Rebels return senior Quincy Adeboyejo and junior Damore’ea Stringfellow, who should provide a good veteran presence and help the team adjust to the loss of Treadwell and Core. Junior Markell Pack also provides some experience for the Rebels.
Sophomore Damarkus Lodge and redshirt freshman Van Jefferson also have a big chance to assert themselves into the offense, with Jefferson primed for a role in the slot and Lodge showing a lot of promise on the outside. Both players were highly touted in high school and look like they will have a big impact in the new Rebel offense.
So while the receiver position is replacing its two biggest contributors, it has plenty of young talent and looks to be the deepest position on the team.
The Rebels have also seen a big jump in production from the tight end position, as rising senior Evan Engram has been key for the Rebels’ passing attack in his first three years. Engram has caught 97 passes for 1,394 yards and seven touchdowns in his Ole Miss career.
In this year’s recruiting class, Ole Miss made sure it was ready for Engram to move on next year, as it added three four-star tight ends to its roster. Octavious Cooley hails from Laurel and is rated the No. 6 tight end in the nation. Meanwhile, Gabe Angel and Jacob Mathis are rated the No. 12 and No. 13 tight ends in the nation, respectively. At least one of those freshmen should see playing time next season, and they should make up a formidable committee at the tight end position in the seasons that follow.