I have called Quincy Adeboyejo and Denzel Nkemdiche the Wild Cards for Ole Miss because both of them, for different reasons, began the season in somewhat diminished roles.
A junior linebacker, Nkemdiche’s situation had to do with choices and an off-field issues. A sophomore wide receiver, Adeboyejo’s situation was about wanting desperately to meet the expectations placed on him and fill a larger role on the team.
He says he was trying too hard, pressing, in camp and that created to the inconsistency he had in catching passes, which is a fairly significant skill for a wide receiver.
More on Adeboyejo here:
From the Mother Ship, more on Adeboyejo.
As he mentions in the video he’s gotten off to a fast start. Watching him in two games you wouldn’t have thought he struggled with drops in camp.
Because of the surprising play of Cody Core and now as it appears that Adeboyejo has turned a page we’re not hearing too much about the lack of depth at wide receiver. That was a big talking point for Hugh Freeze in the off-season, and it usually included the need for the freshmen to play well and help provide that depth.
The only true freshman in the mix right now is Markell Pack, and he’s not getting many opportunities because Core and Adeboyejo are playing so well.
Another Wild Card type to watch here is Derrick Jones. A sophomore, he’s been in the program, and Freeze has always been impressed with Jones’ athleticism. Jones wasn’t able to make the transition to cornerback and is now back at receiver, his primary position at Eupora High School.
The fact that his move only came just last week in practice and that he was in the game in the first half at Vanderbilt — in the red zone — points to the belief they have in Jones’ skill level.
If he can catch up in the playbook, or if he can just firmly grasp a limited role for a while, he can be another important player in the quest for depth at wide receiver.