OXFORD, MISS. — As we count down the days until the Ole Miss season opener against Memphis in the Liberty Bowl, we are releasing who we think will be the Top 50 Most Impactful Players for the Rebels in 2019. This series is a way for Rebel fans to learn more about players to keep an eye on this fall.
With 47 days before kickoff, coming in at No. 47 on our list…
As a 6-foot-4, 234 pound quarterback out of New Iberia Catholic High School in New Iberia, Louisiana, Jason Pellerin was named a four-star recruit in the class of 2015 by 247Sports and ESPN. He was rated the 10th-best dual-threat quarterback in the country by 247Sports and led his high school to its first ever undefeated regular season and a berth in the 2014 LHSAA Division III title game his senior year.
At Ole Miss, Pellerin redshirted in 2015 and was the back-up quarterback for the Rebels during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In 2018, he competed with Octavius Cooley for the tight end role behind Dawson Knox. Knox, who was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, had 15 receptions for 284 yards in 2018.
None of the Ole Miss tight ends saw extended periods of action during the 2018 season due to the limited use of the position by former offensive coordinator Phil Longo during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. However, things are different in new offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez’ scheme as he uses tight ends a great deal in his offensive playbook.
In January of 2019, the Rebels hired Calvin Magee as tight ends coach. Earlier this spring, Magee, who has spent twelve seasons coaching with Rodriguez at West Virginia, Michigan, and Arizona, emphasized how often they’ll use tight ends in this offense. “Eighty percent of the time we’ll have a tight end in the game,” he said. “At Arizona, it was eighty percent.”
Pellerin earned plenty of reps this spring before having to go into the concussion protocol, but he will be fine for fall. Ole Miss will use a lot of one and two-tight-end sets throughout the games, so it would not surprise us at all to see both Pellerin and Cooley on the field much more this fall compared to the last few seasons.
During spring camp, Coach Luke discussed Pellerin and the tight ends.
“With Dawson leaving that leaves an opening,” Luke said. “He and Cooley are both good at different things. Jason is a good athlete. He’s 6-4 and 240 pounds. He’s just got to continue to improve at the blocking part, no different than Evan (Engram) and Dawson (Knox).” Luke added.
“He makes plays in space and does a good job blocking on the perimeter. As long as he continues to work on the blocking, he’ll be a weapon for us.“
Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke on Pellerin
Pellerin, a fifth-year senior, will definitely have an opportunity to leave his mark on the Ole Miss football program before his career comes to an end.
Top 50 Most Impactful Rebels:
(Click on the links below to see the profiles of the other Most Impactful Rebels in our 2019 countdown.)
47. Jason Pellerin
48. Chandler Tuitt
49. Dannis Jackson
50. Jonathan Mingo