1. Chad Kelly
2. Shea Patterson
Note: Chad Kelly called himself ‘the best quarterback in the nation” during SEC Media Days. On Monday, he will showcase that talent against a top tier defense and the number four team in the country, Florida State.
1. Akeem Judd 2. Eric Swinney
Note: Akeem Judd will be the full-time starter now without Jordan Wilkins while Eric Swinney, returning from season ending injury, will slide up to the top backup running back for the Rebel run game.
1. Damore’ea Stringfellow 2. Van Jefferson
Note: Damore’ea Stringfellow will be a member of the committee to try and equal the production that Laquon Treadwell gave las year. The big bodied target should have a big year for the Rebels.
1. Quincy Adeboyejo 2. D.K. Metcalf
Note: Quincy Adeboyejo is believed to be the statement player that is going to help the most in trying to replace Treadwell as he ended last season with seven receiving touchdowns. The freshman from Oxford, D.K. Metcalf will be the backup behind Adeboyejo.
1. DaMarkus Lodge 2. Markell Pack
Note: The 6’2 frame of DaMarkus Lodge should get the start at the slot receiver because of the possible mismatches that you get in the slot. Freeze said that he was ‘really pleased’ with the camp performance of Lodge. Lodge being tall and quick can easily free himself up and possibly have a big year.
1. Evan Engram 2. Taz Zettergren
Note: Evan Engram did everyone a huge favor by opting to return to Oxford for his senior season and he is destined to have a big year. I think we could see him in the slot a little bit trying to get mismatches as well.
1. Rod Taylor 2. Greg Little
Note: Hugh Freeze said that left tackle is new for Rod Taylor, but called him just an athletic guy. Expect both Taylor and 5-star freshman Greg Little to get plenty of reps at left tackle come Monday night.
1. Javon Patterson 2. Tyler Putman
Note: Without Aaron Morris and Justin Bell, Javon Patterson will get that starting spot back at the left guard position. Patterson has said that the playing time last year “helped a lot”.
1. Robert Conyers 2. Jacob Feeley
Note: Robert Conyers will be the leader of the offensive line as he will be calling the protections from the center position. Conyers will look to come back stronger than ever after his torn ACL at Memphis last season.
1. Jordan Sims
2. Daronte Bouldin
Note: Jordan Sims played in every game last season with four starts at right guard. The sophomore will get his fifth start at right guard against the Seminoles.
1. Sean Rawlings 2. Alex Givens
Note: Sean Rawlings played all over the offensive line last season and this season he looks pretty locked in to that starting position at right tackle. Redshirt freshman Alex Givens has been rapping at the left tackle as well so we could see him subbing in at either tackle position.
1. John Youngblood
2. Fadol Brown
Note: John Youngblood will be representing the number 38 this year being awarded the Chucky Mullins Courage Award. As far as Fadol Brown, Freeze has said that the surgery on Brown’s fractured foot may be a matter of pain tolerance for the season.
1. Breeland Speaks 2. Benito Jones
Note: Hugh Freeze is loving what he has seen from Breeland Speaks since overcoming his issues during the offseason. Speaks should get the start here, but do not be surprised to see him getting reps at defensive end so Issac Gross and D.J. Jones can be in the interior of the defensive line.
1. D.J. Jones 2. Isaac Gross
Note: Hugh Freeze and all Rebel fans are extremely excited to these two in action this season. D.J. Jones is looking like he could be the most improved player over the offseason and Isaac Gross is coming back from his disc fusion surgery. The fifth-year senior should still see plenty of playing time despite being the backup.
1. Marquis Haynes 2. Victor Evans
Note: The Rebel sack leader from the past two seasons will be back in the red and blue again as a junior. A respected NFL Media draft analyst, Lance Zierlein, says that Haynes will continue to reach the quarterback again in his junior season. Haynes finished with sack totals of 7.5 and 10 in his last two seasons.
1. Terry Caldwell 2. Taylor Polk
Note: Terry Caldwell looks to be the guy who will start at outside linebacker to open up the season. Taylor Polk has been complimented by Freeze and staff this fall for his work ethic. He earns that backup spot and should see plenty of action.
1. DeMarquis Gates 2. Rommel Mageo
Note: DeMarquis Gates was big for the Ole Miss defense a season ago as he totaled for 76 tackles. He moves to the middle of the defense where he will be directing the Landshark Defense. Sources are saying that Rommel Mageo, transfer from Oregon State, is running with the second team at middle linebacker, trying to learn the defense. If he were to learn it during the middle of the season, we could see Mageo in the middle with Gates at outside linebacker.
1. Tony Connor 2. A.J. Moore
Note: Tony Connor opted to stay for his senior year as he was nagged with some injuries last season. In the past, Connor has said that he will be ready to go against Florida State on Monday.
1. Tony Bridges 2. Jalen Julius
Note: Tony Bridges ended the season last year with three interceptions. Watch for Tony Bridges to come up big if Florida State wants to throw the ball with their backup quarterback.
1. Ken Webster 2. Carlos Davis
Note: Cornerbacks coach Jason Jones said that Ken Webster has had ‘an incredible offseason.’ Last season, wide receivers really took advantage of a smaller Webster, but during the offseason, Webster has put on 10 to 15 pounds of muscle, trying to matchup with the bigger receivers of the league.
1. C.J. Hampton 2. Zedrick Woods
Note: Zedrick Woods has been taking the snaps with the first-team during preseason camp, but he and C.J. Hampton have been competing for the free safety position all offseason. I do go with C.J. Hampton starting in this one because of potential match ups. Woods stands at 5’11 while Hampton is 6’1. The top three receivers for the Seminoles are Travis Rudolph (6’1), Ja’Vonn Harrison (6’2), and Auden Tate (6’5).
1. Myles Hartsfield
2. Deontay Anderson
Note: Hugh Freeze says that Hartsfield has stood out to him as the Rebels are in effort to rebuild the secondary. Deontay Anderson fractured a bone in his hand last week during a scrimmage. He could have to wear a cast, but Freeze said he should not miss time.
1. Gary Wunderlich 2. Nathan Noble
Note: Gary Wunderlich went 19/25 on field goals last year and this game has the feel of coming down to a field goal with Florida State being favored by four points.
1. Gary Wunderlich 2. Will Gleeson
Note: It looks as if the Rebels are going to do away with the rugby style punts of Will Gleeson and Gary Wunderlich looks to be doing both the kicking and punting duties.
1. Nathan Noble
2. Gary Wunderlich
Note: Nathan Noble will need to keep it out of the hands of the senior return men, Jesus Wilson and Kermit Whitfield.
Grant Daniels, a student at Oxford High School, is a sports correspondent for HottyToddy.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org