Roles unclear right now for talented freshmen receivers

In many years freshman recruits rated as highly as wide receivers DaMarkus Lodge and Van Jefferson would be needed to play big roles early for Ole Miss.

It’s not that way this season, and it’s unclear what roles that talented duo will play.

Houston Nutt signed some talented players in 2011. Nick Brassell was a deep threat in his first college game and almost pulled in a long touchdown pass that could have been a game winner in the Rebels’ 14-13 loss.

Brassell and Tobias Singleton didn’t last long in the program. Donte Moncrief did. All three played as freshmen.

Moncrief was the team’s leading receiver with 31 catches, followed by Brassell with 24.

Lodge and Jefferson were both rated among the top 15 receivers in the country last year. Rivals placed Lodge and No. 7 and Jefferson at No. 13.

Receivers coach Grant Heard didn’t have much to say about them late last week. When asked how the freshmen were looking he said, “Like freshmen.” Heard said it was possible they could be in the playing rotation, “but I don’t know right now. We haven’t even talked about it.”

Listening to Hugh Freeze last night it sounds like Jefferson is a little ahead of Lodge.

“Van Jefferson is going to be really, really good. It remains to be seen this year whether we play him or not,” Freeze said. “He’s good enough to play. So is Lodge, but Van stands out the way he runs routes.”

That was the book on Jefferson during his recruiting, that he was a good route runner, a technician. That’s not surprising given he’s the son of an NFL wide receivers coach, Shawn Jefferson.

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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