Increasing pass rush

We visited with Dave Wommack earlier this week. The Ole Miss defensive coordinator is one of those guys with whom less is more. He doesn’t gush about his players, so when he hands out praise it carries a lot of weight.

Wommack is clearly excited about the potential of this defense.

As with any team, Ole Miss needs to stay healthy. I think the Rebels have reached the limit of the injuries they can easily absorb. Even without Tee Shepard Wommack likes the ability of his corners.

Seems to me that depth at linebacker provides options too. We’ve talked a lot about the back-up to Tony Conner at Huskie. Mike Hilton’s gotten a lot of work there in addition to his work at cornerback. He’ll be the No. 2 because he’s a proven playmaker, a junior with experience.

As impressed as Wommack has been with freshman A.J. Moore, Moore is still a freshman. There’s an unknown when the lights come on. Coaches are not always quick to jump into that unknown.

It wouldn’t be shocking to see Denzel Nkemdiche. I haven’t heard that mentioned, but there are a lot of bodies at linebacker with DT Shackelford and Christian Russell in the middle, Serderius Bryant and Keith Lewis on the outside. Plus the freshman DeMarquis Gates has been getting a lot of praise.

I’ve called the older Nkemdiche the wild card, a guy who could really make an impact on this defense if his head is on straight after the Boise game suspension. If Denzel is fortunate enough to maintain the health he didn’t have last year and ¬†finds the hunger he had as a redshirt freshman he could be really good again.

Right now we’re only hearing about Conner, Hilton and Moore at Huskie. It will be interesting to see how Denzel Nkemdiche fits in the picture when he gets back.

This much is certain about this defense: Wommack thinks he has options he didn’t have his first two years and that, he says, will lead to different looks and more pressure packages.

From the Mother Ship, Increasing the Pressure

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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