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Cuppy Awards: Offensive Player of the Year

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The third Cuppy goes to the Offensive Player of the Year. The Cuppies awarded so far have gone to Cody Core (Most Improved) and Marquis Haynes (Best Newcomer).

It was a strong year for the offense. Several of Eli Manning's passing records were broken, and the Rebels moved the ball relatively well through the air. The running game, of course, was another story. I think you'll see that reflected in the players who are up for today's vote.

TE Evan Engram

This season, Evan Engram proved to be the matchup nightmare many Rebel fans hoped for. Engram finished the season second in receiving (behind Vince Sanders) and was a key cog in the Rebels winning the Egg Bowl without Laquon Treadwell or Vince Sanders.

Engram is a dominant flex tight end, and I think his best play is ahead of him. He's likely to take a step back statistically next season (solely because of the weapons Ole Miss will have at its disposal), but he's playing great football. I can't imagine the trouble he gives to defensive coordinators who can't guess at personnel groupings as easily. He could line up in the slot, next to the offensive tackle, or even out wide I guess.

WR Laquon Treadwell

Laquon Treadwell began his strong season in the second half of the season opener against Boise State, catching 7 balls for 105 yards and a touchdown, willing his team to what would eventually become a rout. Treadwell never really had a tremendous game until what would ultimately be his last of the season against Auburn. That day, he had ten catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. Of course there's the rest of the story, but now's not the time for that.

Looking forward to next season, I think Laquon could benefit from the presence of Damore'ea Stringfellow next season. Defenses schemed around Treadwell this season by double teaming him almost always. This led to opportunities for players like Vince Sanders and Cody Core, which is great, but I think every Ole Miss fan would love to see Treadwell get a chance to produce a ton of yards and touchdowns, leading him to be a high first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Next year could be that year, as Stringfellow will likely be a load for any single corner (assuming reports out of practice are true, of course).

LT Laremy Tunsil

Laremy Tunsil gave up one sack all season. I hate when players don't improve.

But seriously, Tunsil is an All-World pass blocker. He still has some work to do in run blocking, but he got a lot better there this season as well, pulling out to help on screens to Treadwell in the middle of the season.

Here's the deal with Tunsil: Unless he just absolutely love Oxford and wants to stay, he will go pro after next season and will be drafted in the top ten of the NFL draft. His pass blocking skills are just exceptional, and that's what the NFL is looking for in a left tackle. I'm just glad Ole Miss has him for one season as it breaks in its new quarterback.

QB Bo Wallace

And that quarterback will have some big shoes to fill. I was thinking about this the other day. A year and two weeks ago, some Ole Miss fans (a vocal minority I hope) were clamoring for Devante Kincade to start ahead of Bo Wallace. Now, the thought of that is just ridiculous.

Bo Wallace is the second best quarterback Ole Miss has put under center (proverbially) in a long, long, long time. I'll admit that my die-hard following of the Rebels is really limited to Eli Manning and beyond, though I did watch games with my dad sometimes growing up. All that being said, it's tough to argue with the statistics Bo put up in his three year career, facing some of the most complex defenses in college football history.