Marquis Haynes set an Ole Miss freshman record last year with 7 1-2 sacks en route to a Freshman All-America season.
That’s what the Rebels’ young defensive end accomplished on raw ability.
“He has all the potential in the world. We need to get back to work this fall camp and teach him how to rush the passer. He had 7 1-2 sacks strictly on athleticism and speed without understanding the position, a true freshman being thrown in and learning the scheme and all that,” defensive line coach Chris Kiffin said.
Haynes’ stated goal after the 2014 season was to become a more complete defensive end, to improve his run-stopping game and not simply be known as a pass-rush specialist.
Not that rushing the passer is a bad thing.
“He has a very high ceiling. We couldn’t ask for a better guy to work with pass rushing. I think double-digit sacks is a very realistic goal for him. It’s just going to be a process of putting in the work to get there,” Kiffin said.
Originally a North Carolina signee, Haynes spent a year at prep school before signing with Ole Miss.
He appeared in all 13 games last year, starting four, and finished with 31 tackles and nine tackles for loss.
Athlon, CFB Matrix and Phil Steele mentioned Haynes as a part of their lower-tier preseason All-SEC teams.
“All the experience of spring ball, more and more reps, all that helps,” Kiffin said. “Building a final product that’s a long way a way, reading the OL sets, figuring out how to take what he gives me, instead of this is what I’m going to do every time. When he takes away your speed it’s a game of chess. You’ve got to have a counter offer. We just need for him to continue to learn.”