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Nine Rebels Named to Preseason All-SEC Teams by Phil Steele

Michael Chang

Phil Steele released his preseason all-conference lists. You can find the All-SEC team in its entirety here.

It's not common for Ole Miss to have as many first and second team players as there are on this list. Generally, there have been two or three in TOTAL. Steele obviously sees a lot of talented players in Oxford.

Five Defenders

The four Rebel defenders on the top two teams are Cody Prewitt, Robert Nkemdiche, Serderius Bryant, and Tony Conner. Those players certainly deserve recognition, but it's interesting to see Nkemdiche as a first team selection. If he plays the way he did against Georgia Tech, he should obliterate a lot of lines he faces this year, but he can't regress to what Rebel fans saw early in the year: an inconsistent though extremely talented player.

Tony Conner being included as a second-team safety is also interesting since he plays the hybrid "Husky" position. He's a fantastic player, and I assume safety is his position on the professional level in a few years, but projecting him so high at a position he doesn't exactly play had to be tough.

Cody Prewitt was obvious at safety since he's a first-team All-American, and Serderius Bryant has been a fixture of the depths of All-SEC teams. He's a sure tackler who is fast and doesn't lose much due to his size (which could have been a major weakness). CJ Johnson is listed as a fourth-team defensive end. He just has to prove he's over the injury and is once again a major pass rushing force.

Four on Offense

Bo Wallace, Laquon Treadwell, and Laremy Tunsil all ended up on the second team as well. I think Bo's ranking is probably correct. One could argue that Treadwell should have been first team, but that's mostly based on potential. Fans and media members alike will have to see how he transitions to the role of outside receiver.

Laremy Tunsil earning second-team distinction is an interesting point to me. I don't pretend to know all there is to know about offensive linemen, and I can't speak to whether La'El Collins or Cedric Ogbuehi is better than Tunsil. One point I'll make though is: what could Tunsil have done differently to earn first team? He allowed one sack all season. I guess he could have not given up a single sack as a true freshman starting thirteen games at left tackle. That is, of course, asking a lot though.

Evan Engram earned fourth-team honors. He's likely better than that, but again-- he was hurt. Let's see what he can do over an entire season.

It's just reassuring to see that other people seem to think this team could be special. And yes, if you have this many players listed, and your quarterback is the second best in the conference, people expect big things. Of course, a lot can change. There's potential though for very, very good things.