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An Emotional Farewell to Elijah Moore and Kenny Yeboah

A tip of the hat and a big thanks to No. 8 and 84.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss lost two of its most productive pass catchers on Thursday when Elijah Moore and Kenny Yeboah announced that they would be opting out of the remainder of the Rebels’ season to focus on the upcoming NFL Draft.

Moore and Yeboah announced their decisions on Twitter Thursday night.

With the departure of Moore, who Ole Miss fans watched grow before our very eyes, and Yeboah who was a late addition to the Rebel roster in an exciting first season under Lane Kiffin, let’s bid these two pass catchers an emotional farewell and best wishes as they head to the pros.

Elijah Moore is special and always will be in the hearts of Rebel fans.

Moore finishes his 2020 campaign with 86 receptions for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns, including a 91-yard strike from Matt Corral that went viral in a win over South Carolina.

Of course, Moore was also the Rebel player who infamously (or famously?) lifted his leg in celebration in the 2019 Egg Bowl that ultimately led to a wave of coaching changes in college football, but 2020 was all business for 8 Ball. He handled himself well through the adversity of last season and showed up ready to ball out in 2020 and did just that.

Lane Kiffin has coached some talented wide receivers in his career, and Elijah Moore is close to the top of that list. As the most recent in a line of elite Rebel receivers like A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf, both of whom are now in the league, Moore broke records in only eight games played this season and set himself apart as a potential first round draft pick come April, and Ole Miss was the beneficiary of that.

Moore is a really, really good story. He’s not as big as Brown or Metcalf and had a temporary lapse of judgement that eventually cost his coach and others their job last season, but he overcame all of those obstacles and put on one of the best receiving seasons in Ole Miss and SEC history. Moore went from a national story about a hiked leg to a national story about unbelievable talent and an uncanny ability to run routes and get open. Now, he’s off to make bank.

Ole Miss fans should feel grateful that they have been able to witness this greatness for three years. Godspeed, Elijah, and thank you.

Kenny Yeboah wasn’t here long, but he was fun.

The grad transfer from Temple is second among SEC tight ends in receiving yards this season with 524 and has hauled in six touchdowns including the opening TD against Alabama.

Yeboah stepped in this season as another viable passing option in Lane Kiffin and Jeff Lebby’s offense and proved to be a valuable commodity in year one. Although he is a one-and-done in a Rebel uniform, he provided a nice bridge to the following seasons as the Rebels recently signed Hudson Wolfe, the No. 7 tight end in the 2021 class.

Yeboah is also a fun story. It can’t be easy transferring as a graduate student from Temple to the SEC West, but Yeboah did just that and pulled it off immaculately. Once he’s in the league, Ole Miss fans can rightly claim him as one of their own. Thanks for choosing us and Oxford, Kenny. Go get that money.

An emotional farewell.

I’ve loved watching these two play, and I’m sure you have too. Their stories are inspirational not just to football players but to all of us when it comes to overcoming adversity. Here’s to hoping they continue their success in the NFL. Let’s close with a word from Elijah himself.

Kenny and Elijah did just that. From Ole Miss fans everywhere and us at Red Cup, thank you.