This is a random order. Here’s Reason No. 18 that Ole Miss will be improved in 2011.
The need to improve the defense weighed against the lack of depth at linebacker means you can expect to see safeties playing in a hybrid linebacker role many times this year.
One of those will be Damien Jackson. Experimentation began early with sophomore Brishen Mathews, and Mathews will be on the field.
But a number of others are being groomed to make plays at the line of scrimmage as well.
Jackson and Mathews have many similar characteristics. They were both good tacklers last year on a unit that had far too few. Both bring the wood at the point of impact.
Jackson at 6-2, 210 is bigger than Mathews (5-11, 200) and a little faster as well.
Jackson will help the Rebels improve this season, because he himself will be better.
He was in the lineup quickly after transferring from Gulf Coast CC with Wayne Dorsey last year. Sometimes, though, Jackson was out of position in the secondary.
He adjusted and finished the year strong, finishing with 68 tackles, 4 1-2 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a recovered fumble and four passes defended.