By Sam Phelts
Senior offensive lineman Sean Rawlings has been a cornerstone of the Ole Miss football team over the course of a tumultuous five seasons. His teammates agree he defines what it means to be an Ole Miss Rebel, for his love for the school was instilled in him by his family at a young age and has been on display during his football career.
However, Rawlings nearly found himself 92 miles southeast in the town of Starkville.
“I was planning on attending, and then right before signing day Ole Miss offered,” he said. “Ole Miss was my dream school and who I grew up being a fan for so it was an easy decision for me.”
Rawlings said he developed a love for brotherhood and community while becoming a stalwart in the program.
A major theme that head coach Matt Luke has preached to the team and fans alike is the idea of family. The Ole Miss community is a tight knit group, and the specialness of that group is similar to that of a family. As for Rawlings and his family, they have been able to share a unique experience through Sean’s time as the Ole Miss starting center.
“One of the coolest things is seeing how proud my family is because they are all Ole Miss people as well, but it has definitely lived up to everything I’ve ever dreamed of and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.
Rawlings is well respected among his teammates and coaches, for his dedication and commitment to the program has been steadfast during difficult times. As a redshirt freshman in 2015, Rawlings made his second career start in a daunting Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Sept. 19, 2015 was a memorable night for Rebels fans everywhere, but more so exciting for Rawlings when his career was starting off on a high note. The Rebels defeated Alabama 43-37. They continued on to a Sugar Bowl victory over Oklahoma State 48-20.
“The games are always fun and there are special memories, like the Sugar Bowl. I’ll remember that for the rest of my life,” Rawlings said. “But the thing that stands out more to me from a memory standpoint is just the time that you get to spend with your guys in the O-Line room, just the teammate aspect of it. I think that’s what I’ll remember most about my tenure.”
Rawlings garnered several accolades during his tenure with the program. He was named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy in 2018, which is awarded to the best football student-athlete in the country. Rawlings will end his Ole Miss journey after competing in and representing the university in the East/West Shrine game Jan. 19 in St. Petersburg, Florida. However, he said his sights are set on competing in the big leagues.
“I will be training next spring and giving the NFL a shot, and if it works out then it works out. If it doesn’t then I will have a backup plan,” he said.
As Rawlings prepares for his next journey, he will be leaving The University of Mississippi with a degree in business marketing and management degree.