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Countdown to Ole Miss football: The 50s and road trips are here

We mark off the time this week with the help of the Interstate Highway System.

University of Mississippi vs Texas Christian University, 1956 Cotton Bowl Set Number: X3419

With the dawning of July, we are officially inside two months from the launch of Ole Miss Football 2K23™ and the physical and emotional wear and tear it will bring.

After a July 4th on which no municipality set off 7,000 fireworks at once (BOOOOOOOOO) and reduced a 17-minute planned fireworks display to a show that lasted less than a minute, it feels like this summer trudge is all downhill now.


Before you know it, we’ll be in August, and you’ll get to see elite bottom of the barrel content. Like say this post about sprucing up Vaught-Hemingway Stadium by hanging a giant chandelier above the field*. That’s the good stuff.

*Of note, a recruit who received an offer from Ole Miss somehow found my photoshop of this scenario and used it in his announcement of said offer. Elite image search terms, friends.

Last week, we paid tribute to the 60s and said six nice things about all six of Ole Miss’ SEC West opponents. If you didn’t read last week, most of them were not nice.

This week, as the official days remaining count reaches 57 on this Friday, we’re recognizing the birth of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s under Dwight Eisenhower. On June 29, 1956, Eisenhower signed the Federal-Highway Aid Act of 1956, which marked the beginning of a project that wasn’t officially completed until 1992, though construction on I-35 and I-40 has been ongoing since 1847.

Eisenhower’s vision was that the Interstate Highways wouldn’t run through cities, destroy neighborhoods, and create physical barriers between white and minority populations. He wanted them to stop short of going into cities. As we know now, it didn’t work out that way, and that led to some not great stuff!

According to the Library of Wikipedia Congress, there are 70 primary Interstate Highways in the lower 48 states. That number does not include auxiliary roads such as delights like I-285 and I-459.

Of those 70 Interstate Highways, 31 were formed in the 1950s, which brings us to our purpose here today. We’re going to take those 31 numbers and list five Ole Miss players who wore that number during their time in Oxford.

The list of players will be heavily based on “what pops up in my head” rather than any sort of ranking. That makes this exercise part Let’s Remember Some Guys™ and part we love our lists, don’t we.

So, starting with I-4 in Florida, we shall count our way up. An important note here is jersey number archival is pretty awful, meaning it’s difficult to find jersey numbers of players from years ago.

As you will see below, there are blanks that need filling in, if you can recall specific players with those numbers. Feel free to drop your knowledge about these numbers in the comments.

And once again, we are only covering Interstate Highways formed in the 1950s. Sorry, I-22.

As the for the direction description of each, we’ll go west to east (like reading left to right) and south to north.

I-4 (Tampa, Florida to Daytona Beach, Florida)

  • Quinshon Judkins
  • Denzel Nkemdiche
  • Armegis Spearman
  • John Darnell
  • Jevan Snead

I-5 (San Diego, California to Blaine, Washington)

  • Von Hutchins
  • Ronald McClendon (GOLDIE)
  • Robert Nkemdiche
  • Ken Webster
  • DaMarkus Lodge

I-10 (Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida)

  • Eli Manning
  • C.J. Johnson
  • Jordan Ta’amu
  • SWAG Kelly
  • Ta’Boris Fisher

I-15 (San Diego, California to Sweet Grass, Montana)

  • Robert Lane
  • David Morris
  • Octavius Cooley
  • Andre Harrison
  • Jeremy Liggins

I-20 (Scroggins Draw, Texas to Florence, South Carolina)

  • John Avery
  • Shea Patterson
  • Keidron Smith
  • Johnny Brown
  • Christian Russell

I-25 (Las Cruces, New Mexico to Buffalo, Wyoming)

  • Travis Johnson
  • Henry Parrish, Jr.
  • Trey Washington
  • Cordera Eason
  • Cody Prewitt

I-29 (Kansas City, Missouri to Pembina, North Dakota)

  • Armani Linton
  • Demarko Williams
  • Matt Jones
  • Devin Thomas
  • Walker Jones

Of note, an expansion of I-29 absorbed I-31, which was also formed in the 1950s. Out of respect for I-31, I give you DeMarquis Gates (before he switched to number 3).

Here is number 31 DeMarquis Gates hitting Dak Prescott in the 2015 Egg Bowl in Starkville on Senior Night, leading to a pick six, a 21-0 score, and a pooping of the pants.

I-30 (Aledo, Texas to Little Rock, Arkansas)

  • A.J. Moore
  • Trip White
  • Zikkerion Baker
  • Cory Philpot
  • Gary Thigpen

I-35 (Laredo, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota)

  • Mark Robinson
  • Cassius Vaughn
  • Reginald Hughes
  • Donta Evans
  • Robert Williams

I-37 (Corpus Christi, Texas to San Antonio, Texas)

  • Justin Blake
  • AJ Brown
  • (insert your favorite #37)
  • (insert your favorite #37)
  • (insert your favorite #37)

I-44 (Wichita Falls, Texas to St. Louis, Missouri)

  • Chance Campbell
  • John Porchivina
  • Chad Cook
  • Matt Grier
  • Jason Cook

I-65 (Mobile, Alabama to Gary, Indiana)

  • Peyton Cox
  • Alec Grijalva
  • (insert your favorite #65)
  • (insert your favorite #65)
  • (insert your favorite #65)

I-69 (Rosenberg, Texas to Port Huron, Michigan)

  • (nice)
  • (nice)
  • (nice)
  • (nice)
  • (nice)

I couldn’t find a player who wore number 69. As previously mentioned, number records are not great, so I feel confident it has happened. Please update in the comments as needed.

I-70 (Cove Fort, Utah to Baltimore, Maryland)

  • Jordan Sims
  • Carter Colquitt
  • (insert your favorite #70)
  • (insert your favorite #70)
  • (insert your favorite #70)

I-71 (Louisville, Kentucky to Cleveland, Ohio)

  • Todd Wade
  • Bryce Matthews
  • Jayden Williams
  • Christian Morris
  • Pierce Burton

As an aside, I-71 is responsible for one of the great sports rivalry game names. In MLS, which I know you all follow closely, FC Cincinnati and the Columbus Crew are separated by 110 miles on I-71 in Ohio.

When those two teams get together, it’s known as Hell Is Real, which is based on a sign on the side of I-71 between the two cities.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at FC Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We need more rivalry games named after signs on the side of the road.

I-75 (Miami, Florida to Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan)

  • Bryce Ramsey
  • Mason Brooks
  • Robert Conyers
  • Park Stevens (RIP)
  • (insert your favorite #75)

I-77 (Cayce, South Carolina to Cleveland, Ohio)

  • Patrick Junen
  • John Jerry
  • Jayme Mitchell
  • Hamilton Hall
  • Talbot Buys

I-78 (Union Township, Pennsylvania to New York, New York)

  • Laremy Tunsil
  • Jeremy James
  • Bradley Sowell
  • Boyd Kitchen
  • (insert your favorite #78)

I-80 (San Francisco, California to Teaneck, New Jersey)

  • Al Rice
  • Wesley Walls
  • Gerald Harris
  • Eric Rice
  • Jonathan Hess

I-82 (Ellensburg, Washington to Hermiston, Oregon)

  • Larry Simmons
  • Kris Mangum
  • (insert your favorite #82)
  • (insert your favorite #82)
  • (insert your favorite #82)

I-83 (Baltimore, Maryland to Progress, Pennsylvania)

  • Chase Rogers
  • Ferbia Allen
  • (insert your favorite #83)
  • (insert your favorite #83)
  • (insert your favorite #83)

I-85 (Montgomery, Alabama to Petersburg, Virginia)

  • Ja-Mes Logan
  • Alex Weber
  • Cory Peterson
  • Charlie Anderson
  • (insert your favorite #85)

I-87 (New York, New York to Champlain, New York)

  • Mario Hill
  • Hudson Wolfe
  • Kahlil Nash*
  • (insert your favorite #87)
  • (insert your favorite #87)

*Later played for Mississippi State after being unable to handle the academic rigors of Ole Miss.

I-90 (Seattle, Washington to Boston, Massachusetts)

  • Norman Hand
  • Tywone Malone
  • Stephon Wynn, Jr.
  • Brandon Jenkins
  • Gerald Rivers

I-91 (New Haven, Connecticut to Derby Line, Vermont)

  • Hal Northern
  • Nathan Noble
  • (insert your favorite #91)
  • (insert your favorite #91)
  • (insert your favorite #91)

I-93 (Canton, Massachusetts to Waterford, Vermont)

  • Tim Bowens
  • Sincere David
  • Lee Rogers
  • D.J. Jones
  • Uriah Grant

I-94 (Lockwood, Montana to Port Huron, Michigan)

  • Issac Gross
  • Quentin Bivens
  • Lamark Armour
  • (insert your favorite #94)
  • (insert your favorite #94)

I-95 (Miami, Florida to Houlton, Maine)

  • Tavius Robinson
  • Jesse Mitchell
  • Morris Scott
  • Emmanuel Stephens
  • Benito Jones

I-96 (Norton Shores, Michigan to Detroit, Michigan)

  • Kendrick Clancy
  • Mac Brown
  • Andrew Ritter
  • Isaiah Iton
  • Lawon Scott


  1. I-35
  2. I-40
  3. I-10/I-12 merging in Baton Rouge going west before you get to the river
  4. I-75/I-85 merging in Atlanta
  5. I-12 from Hammond to Slidell (the Deep South Hell Is Real)