Heading into the 2018 football season, A.J. Brown and Greg Little were recognized as preseason All-Americans by Athlon Sports. Brown and Little, who made the first and second teams, respectively, highlight a talented Ole Miss offense that is expected to put up big numbers this fall.
A.J. Brown had a record-setting sophomore season in Oxford. He broke numerous Ole Miss records, including the record for single-season receiving yards (1,252), which was set by Laquon Treadwell in 2015, and the record for most receiving yards in one game (233). He also led the SEC in receiving yards and touchdowns, caught the third-most passes in a single season in Ole Miss history and was only the third Rebel to obtain more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
“He goes out and works every day,” wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge said. “His role on this team as a leader is very vocal. Seeing him come in and be that way from the start has been amazing to see.”
In addition to earning preseason All-American honors, Brown was named to the Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award and Biletnikoff Award watch lists. Fellow receiver D.K. Metcalf hopes that Brown can continue to build on what he accomplished during the 2017 season.
“He doesn’t talk about any of that,” Metcalf said. “A.J. is a humble kid that works everyday like nobody is talking about him. He really pushes everybody around him and makes everybody around him better.”
Greg Little is another significant part of the Ole Miss offense. He ended the 2017 season ranked as the No. 31 player in college football, according to the NFL, and earned a spot on the 2017 All-SEC Second Team. Moreover, he was named to the 2018 Outland Trophy and the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award watch lists.
“I love respect from my peers and other people, but I (have to) take it one snap at a time,” Little said. “If I don’t take care of this season, then next season doesn’t really matter.”
Little comes in at six-feet, six-inches tall and weighs 330 pounds but is fast and agile for his size. His quickness will be a key factor to protecting Jordan Ta’amu as well as for creating holes for the Rebels’ running game. During the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Little played in every game, and he started every game of the latter.
Many other players also earned preseason distinctions. Sean Rawlings appeared on the Rimington Trophy watch list. Dawson Knox and Javon Patterson, respectively, were on the Mackey Award and Wuerffel Trophy watch lists. Finally, Ta’amu was named on the Polynesian Player of the Year and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch lists.
“I’m really excited to get started with another season of football,” head coach Matt Luke said. “I feel like we’re coming in with a lot of positive momentum.”