One product of two good defensive seasons and back-to-back Cotton Bowl wins was the Land Shark.
A group of Ole Miss defensive players, most often the line and linebackers, took to celebrating big plays among themselves – not taunting opponents – by flashing the Land Shark symbol, the hand to the top of the head to represent the shark fin. With fewer big plays to celebrate last year you didn't see as much about the Land Shark.
“You don't know where it stands any more,” said defensive end Kentrell Lockett, who was granted a sixth season last spring by the NCAA. Lockett is eager for a successful comeback from an ACL tear and wants to see the Land Shark make a comeback too. “The two previous years, when we were using, it was hot. We had great defensive players, great execution. The more the (great) plays, the more the opportunity to throw it up. Then people see it. That's all it has to be. Once we execute and make plays, the Land Shark will be hot again.”
Lockett was a big part of the big plays in 2009 with 13 pressures, 10 tackles for loss and five sacks.
“The Land Shark is a respect thing. When the Land Shark was started, it had weight to it. It had respect. It turned eyes. It was like, 'Land Shark?' OK I know what that means.' Now it's like Land Shark is just a name with no weight and no meaning, no substance. If we can get the Land Shark name back to a level of respects, then it means we're going to gain our respect and win games. Everything else will come along with it.”