A position by position look at the Rebels after signing day …
Donte Moncrief’s early exit creates more turnover at this position than fans would like to see.
You can debate Moncrief’s decision, whether returning for his senior year and improving his own numbers, would in fact have improved his draft standing for 2015 as opposed to this spring when a number of other underclassmen have also declared.
The bottom line is some guys fashion themselves as next-level players regardless of what’s been accomplished at the college level. Moncrief has great natural ability and work ethic and hopefully will do well in the NFL.
His departure leaves the Rebels with only one returning starting wide receiver – Laquon Treadwell – but not without an interesting mix of experience and potential.
Among the freshman signees, Markell Pack will have a chance to get on the field early. There may be enough numbers for Dayall Harris to redshirt. Sammie Epps is a tight end in name, but he wasn’t so heavily pursued because of his fine blocking skills.
Ja-Mes Logan and Jordan Holder will be missed, but Treadwell is a big talent to return. He caught 72 balls last year, tops on the team and 13 more than Moncrief.
He caught five touchdowns, second to Moncrief, but only averaged 8.4 yards per catch, an indication of how he was used. I suspect he’ll be targeted downfield more. Treadwell started 12 games but really improved as the season moved along. He’s a very physical runner after the catch, and it will be interesting to see if that physicality translates to being the winner in 1-on-1 fights for the ball with defensive backs.
The broken collar bone early last August really threw Vince Sanders’ season for a loop. He was starting then and came back to appear in only nine games. He’s got dependable hands and had some nice grabs among his 15 catches.
The wild card in the group is rising sophomore Quincy Adeboyejo. Praised as one who could be “special” by Hugh Freeze at the beginning of practice last summer, he was clearly someone they wanted to get on the field. He had seven catches on the year, one of them a 24-yard touchdown against Troy that was somewhat lost amid all the other scoring that took place that day.
Treadwell and Adeboyejo are both 6-3, as is Cody Core, who had four catches last year, one of them a 50-yard gain.
Sanders is 6-1. Collins Moore is a 6-1 rising senior, a possession-type guy who was in line to compete for a starting job as a sophomore, but shoulder injuries changed that. He played most only special teams last year.
Trey Bledsoe, a three-star signee out of Grenada last year, is a redshirt freshman name to remember.
Pack, a four-star from Purvis, was pursued by many, including Florida State and Clemson. ESPN and 247 rate him a top 100 recruit, and Rivals credits him with 4.4 speed.
Epps (6-5, 215) was already a long-time Ole Miss commit when he caught seven passes for 125 yards and a touchdown in the Mississippi-Alabama all-star game and briefly entertained the idea of signing elsewhere.
Harris was rated the eighth-best player in Mississippi by ESPN, the 17th-best player by the Clarion-Ledger. He is also a member of Callaway’s two-time defending state champion basketball team.