If there is one part of football that is consistently overlooked, it’s the defense. There are rarely huge headlines for sacks or forced fumbles, but the official addition of Canadian transfer Tavius Robinson to Ole Miss Football’s defense has potential to change that this season.
The SEC has never been accused of being an easy conference, and this year will be even more difficult. With a full season of only SEC conference games, the depth in training and health of players will be vital to the overall success of this team.
In a press conference on Sept. 1, head coach Lane Kiffin stressed the importance of making sure that all players are ready to play and confirmed that the team has had multiple players test positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks . .
“We’ve got competition all over the place, and it’s like picking out of a hat every day. You don’t know who is going to be there,” Kiffin said. . “I get texts in the morning, these 3 people failed their COVID-19 tests. Here are some more in close contact. So it’s hard to even figure out who our first and second units are because it is changing so much.”
Kiffin did not disclose the total number of positive cases within the team.
The frustration of losing players isn’t limited to COVID-19 either. With the recent loss of expected NFL draft prospect Sam Williams, who was arrested on sexual battery charges in late July, there was a large spot to fill in the outside linebacker position. Thankfully for Kiffin and his defense, Tavius Robinson is able to fill those shoes. Over the weekend, the NCAA announced that Tavius Robinson, the six-eight, Canadian transfer would be granted immediate eligibility to play for the Rebels this fall.
“Oh man, we feel great,” defensive end Ryder Anderson said about newly added Robinson. “We’re going to go off this year. He already knows the playbook, so we’re off to the races.”
Out of all the positions on defense, the linebackers are by far the most experienced. With Jacquez Jones, Lakia Henry, Momo Sanogo and now Tavius Robinson leading the team, there is a lot of room for growth.
“This defense leans heavily on the linebackers. It needs to be a sound position, with a sound knowledge of the defense,” linebacker Mono Sanogo said about the depth of those veteran linebackers.
There are only a few weeks left until kickoff against a very solid Florida offense on Sept. 26. The ability Florida wide receivers have at making plays once they have the ball will definitely put the Rebels to work.