The modern day WRU also known as Ole Miss has more unknowns in the receiving department than they have had in quite some time.
The days of Donte Moncrief, Laquon Treadwell, AJ Brown, DK Metcalf, Elijah Moore, Braylon Sanders or even Dontario Drummond are in the past. Left are unproven upperclassmen or guys looking for fresh starts.
Everyone knows Jonathan Mingo. At 6’2” and 225 pounds, he’s the next in line at Ole Miss as the big body receiver a quarterback can throw it up to. The senior will likely be relied upon early and often if Luke Altmyer wins the job. He’s wearing No. 1 on his jersey like AJ and Laquon in the past, so it’s a hefty burden to take on carrying the legacy of that number.
Dannis Jackson is still hanging around Oxford in case you forgot. Last season he had 12 catches for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns in the 11 games he played. The bad news? The receiving core was looking for anyone to go out there and catch a ball and the rising senior never stepped up. Here’s to Dannis figuring it out.
Qua Davis is a veteran by age and simply being a returning player. He is not a veteran by time on the field. He did receive a bomb of a touchdown from Jaxson Dart in Saturday’s open practice, possibly a sign of things to come.
The transfer class at receiver will truly determine how the Ole Miss season goes. With one proven returning receiver, Coach Lane Kiffin needs a couple of the new faces to step up in a big way.
Malik Heath is a senior transfer from Mississippi State. Heath made the decision to transfer to the big brother school that actually has a chance of winning more than six games this season. If Heath lives up to previous hype, could prove to be a lethal 1-2 punch opposite of Mingo.
Jaylon Robinson is a senior transfer from UCF who will have a shot to be the all important slot guy. He will be competing with junior transfer Dayton Wade from Western Kentucky. Both come in at 5’9”, making the slot a natural position for them both. Expect both to have an impact this season.
Both Jordan Watkins (Louisville) and Jalen Knox (Missouri) are also expected to have huge roles for the offense this season. Either guy could line up on the outside or the slot, giving Kiffin plenty of options.
Maybe Deion Smith gets the academics figured out on his end and he opts for Oxford. If so, and eligible, Smith is an immediate big impact guy for whoever is under center for the Rebels.
The Young Guys
Bralon Brown is the name to watch amongst all the receiver on the roster. Perhaps the most talented player in that position group, Brown just needs to put it together for what could be a breakout season for the sophomore.
Larry Simmons was the No. 2 WR in Mississippi last season in high school. If the transfers perform, he will likely be redshirted and ready for a big season next year, but if most of them flame out, he could get his chance to earn time on the field.
JJ Henry is another young player that could insert his name into the conversation for the slot position. He has a year under his belt in Kiffin’s offense, which could provide him early opportunities. Henry was on the receiving end of a Dart pass for a TD in the Aug 13 open practice.
True freshman Jeremiah Dillon could also push for snaps on the outside if guys like Heath don’t cut it. He has the height, but not the big body like Heath or Mingo that Ole Miss has seen lately on the outside.