Five Burning Ole Miss Rebels Questions Midway Through Spring Camp

The Ole Miss Rebels are about halfway through their spring drills for 2024, but there are still plenty of questions that remain for this team before the Grove Bowl.

On paper, this Rebels team looks to be one of the best in school history, and coming off an 11-2 campaign in 2023 has pushed the hype through the roof in Oxford. Still, there’s always work to be done, and there are a few areas worth focusing on as drills continue in April.

Here are five burning questions for the Ole Miss Rebels as spring practice continues.

1. A New Running Back On The Way?

The Ole Miss offense appears to be deep once again entering 2024, but one question that remains for that side of the ball revolves around the running back position.

Sure, Ulysses Bentley IV and Kedrick Reescano return, but until Logan Diggs returns from injury, Lane Kiffin himself has stated that running back may be a position of emphasis in this transfer portal cycle…and it could lead the Rebels back to an old friend in the process.

“I do; You’re going to have another free agency window coming up,” Kiffin said. “If you guys look out there and look at our running back position, just like you would in the NFL, you’re going to attack free agency at that spot. It is what it is.”

Oct 16, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Mississippi Rebels running back Henry Parrish Jr. (25)

Crystal ball predictions have landed that project former Ole Miss running back Henry Parrish Jr. to return to Oxford from the Miami Hurricanes, so is it just a matter of time before that becomes a reality?

2. Just How Good Is This Front Seven?

Early returns on the Rebels’ front seven have been ragingly-positive. Whether it be offensive linemen or defensive backs, other positions on the field are taking notice of what this revamped unit has been able to accomplish during spring drills, and transfers Princely Umanmielen and Walter Nolen are the headliners in that room.

“When we get in this one personnel group, I was like ‘Man, this looks like a created team in the front,'” defensive back John Saunders said. “That front seven really looks phenomenal. D-line looks beautiful, man. I’m excited to see how it plays out.”

Princely Umanmielen

Florida Gators defensive end Princely Umanmielen (1)

A dominant pass rush paired with an elite offense? That’s a recipe for a special 2024 campaign for Ole Miss.

3. Growth at Wide Receiver Emphasized?

Ayden Williams could be a candidate for a breakout role in this Ole Miss offense, despite a lot of veteran talent in front of him. If Juice Wells (plagued by injury at times during his career) can remain healthy, that’s another great piece in that room, but Williams can still be called upon to make an impact this season.

Ayden Williams

Ole Miss wide receiver Ayden Williams (1) catches a pass during football practice in Oxford, Miss.

It appears that he has been a focal point in practice so far this spring, so even with such a veteran group of pass catchers, the sophomore out of Ridgeland, Mississippi, could have a bigger role this season than he had in 2023. The same can be said for the young Cayden Lee who has been a focus of some social media hype from Ole Miss.

4. Trey Amos vs. Tre Harris: Power on Power?

Ole Miss’ social media team has had a field day hyping up the matchups between defensive back transfer Trey Amos and wide receiver Tre Harris this spring, and for good reason.

Trey Amos

Trey Amos (9)

As it stands, these two names look to be the biggest in their respective position groups, and controlling the skies of the pass game is a key part of success within the Southeastern Conference. While Harris will look to rack up yardage and Amos will look to limit it, these two will be hard-pressed to find better talents to go up against during the regular season, so what a time this is to sharpen their already-elite skillsets.

If these two keep battling it out during the spring, that could pay dividends beginning in late August.

5. How Will New Secondary Faces Fit In?

All the talk focused on the front seven is warranted, but Ole Miss’ secondary will look very different in 2024 as well. Amorion Walker, Yam Banks, Key Lawrence, Brandon Turnage and others are highlighting a new-look defensive side of the ball for coordinator Pete Golding, but who will gain the leg up in what spot?

Key Lawrence

Key Lawrence

The front seven (if healthy) should be able to get to the quarterback, but when the pass is in the air, who will be the biggest-named playmakers for the Rebels this season? That’s a journey that begins in the spring.

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