This is a random order. Here’s Reason No. 20 that Ole Miss will be improved in 2011.
The very name “junior college” implies a degree of readiness higher than you receiver with a freshman out of hight school. That isn’t always the case.
Still, junior college players are signed with the expectation of quick results. That, too, isn’t always the case.
Wayne Dorsey is the example from last year that I’ve documented here before.
The Rebels have seven junior college transfer signees, four of which arrived in time to go through spring drills.
At the very least all seven will provide depth. Four of them could be in big roles – safety Aaron Garbutt DT Uriah Grant, CB Wesley Pendleton and TE Jamal Mosley.
Thought Garbutt didn’t make it to campus for spring drills, Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt raved about his conditioning when he did arrive. He’s had a good camp and brings a physical presence to the game.
Mosley has really stood out in camp, not so much because he’s made big plays. He’s made some, but he stands out more for the athleticism that is so visible when he runs routes. There will be more of an effort to involve the tight end in the passing game than in recent seasons, and Mosley (6-4, 250) will do big things when he gets the ball.
Grant quickly rose to the first team at tackle, and the Rebels need big things from him at a position where only senior Justin Smith has any game experience. He has strength and quickness to off-set his lack of great size.
Pendleton has held a starting job and has played at a faster level than he showed in the spring when he was learning his way.
Mosley got some D1 snaps while at Oklahoma State, but the other three will be seeing D1 for the first time on Sept. 3. They need to acclimate quickly. Their performance in camp suggests they’re capable of that, but how newcomers respond on game day is always the wild card, a question that simply can’t be answered in advance.
The Rebels need contributions from all these guys if they’re going to be the best they can be in 2011.