The Natural

Getting on the road to Nashville in a bit. I’ll have some basketball video and notes from the presser in the afternoon.

In the meantime, here’s our Jeremy Liggins piece from The Mother Ship. Liggins is hopeful he’s found at home at offensive tackle.

  • PA


By Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Jeremy Liggins has long been described as a natural athlete.

Now he’s hopeful to sharpen that focus to one position, and it’s not quarterback.

Liggins’ ball-handling skills for his massive size made him unique at quarterback when he led Lafayette County High School to back-to-back Class 4A championships in 2011 and 2012.

For the second consecutive spring he’s working primarily with the Ole Miss offensive line, at tackle, a position in which he sees a future for himself.

“I feel like I belong there. I’ve been waiting on it, man, my opportunity to showcase my talent at this position,” he said. “I look at it as best.”

Liggins played defensive end and quarterback in one season at Northeast Community College and has played primarily tight end at Ole Miss.

It’s been an awkward fit. Listed at 6-foot-3, 302 pounds he doesn’t have the speed to stretch the field in the way Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze often uses his tight ends.

Liggins says his actual weight presently is 315 pounds, “perfect for tackle.”

He has been used as a short-yardage quarterback, but that was more as a sophomore in 2014 when he carried the ball 22 times. He carried just four times last year.

The offensive line experiment for Liggins began last spring, but he was moved back to tight end in the summer.

Then he began taking reps on the line again during bowl practice.

“He played a very small percentage of snaps last year,” Freeze said. “He’s too athletic to not have on the field. We’ve got to find a way to get him out there. This is a good move for him and a good move for us.”

Ole Miss has several key offensive linemen out for spring drills. Robert Conyers and Rod Taylor are recovering from off-season surgeries, and five-star signee Greg Little – considered a leading candidate to replace Laremy Tunsil at left tackle — won’t report until the summer.

Liggins is working at both left and right tackle.

He’s been able to retain most of the assignments and responsibilities he learned last spring and in bowl practice.

“The biggest thing is he just looks more comfortable,” offensive line coach Matt Luke said. “He doesn’t look out of place, even with his stance. He doesn’t feel like it’s foreign. He’s one of the guys, and he’s embracing that role.”

Foot work and shoulder placement are the biggest challenges right now, Liggins said. He’s wearing No. 78, Tunsil’s number for three years, and has been in contact with Tunsil.

“I’ve talked to him a lot about left tackle. He thinks I’m going to be good at it. I’ve been working,” Liggins said. “Hopefully I can fill his shoes.”

Twitter: @parrishalford



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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