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 the Top 50 Most Impactful Players will be for the Rebels this season. This series is a way for Ole Miss fans to learn more about players to keep an eye on this fall.
With 48 days before kickoff, coming in at No. 48…
No. 48 – Chandler Tuitt
Chandler Tuitt is a 6-foot-four, 325-pound offensive lineman out of Sandy Creek High School in Georgia. Ranked a 4-star prospect and the No. 12-ranked offensive guard in the country according to ESPN, Tuitt was a class of 2016 signee who redshirted his first season.
He was used situationally last year due to all the depth in front of him; however, this spring the junior began taking first and second team reps at left guard, sharing the spot with Royce Newman for much of spring camp. In the post spring depth chart released by Ole Miss, Tuitt is listed as second team right guard.
It’s no secret the Ole Miss O-line took a huge hit after the 2018 season, losing Greg Little, Javon Patterson, Sean Rawlings and Jordan Sims to graduation and the NFL. With that many experienced linemen gone, the Rebels will look to the returnees like Tuitt, and possibly some incoming freshmen, to fill the gaps left with their departure.
Ole Miss signed seven OL in the class of 2019, and the coaches hope a couple will be able to make an immediate impact and provide some additional depth this fall. “Of those seven freshmen, a couple of them have to be ready to play just for depth reasons, if not challenging to be a starter,” offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez said this spring of the newcomers. “We have a couple of young linemen that I think are going to be pretty good players.”
Without a doubt, Tuitt will be relied upon heavily in 2019 to provide rotational minutes, and fall camp is going to be huge for him. Because he has been in the system for three years, he brings a veteran presence to the team, and his size could be quite useful for running the ball between the tackles. It remains to be seen whether he will continue to cement himself within the two-deep at right guard, or be asked to move to another spot on the line.
Head coach Matt Luke and offensive line coach Jack Bicknell, Jr. have indicated their plan is to get every lineman comfortable with playing multiple positions as that versatility will give the coaches greater flexibility with their lineups. Tuitt, along with other players such as Eli Johnson and Ben Brown, has played both guard and center. Likewise, Alex Givens, Royce Newman and Bryce Matthews received reps at guard and tackle in the spring. (Matthews was apparently so versatile, he got reps at all five spots.)
The bottom line is look for the Rebs to have multiple combinations—at least until they find which is most cohesive. Tuitt is on this Top 50 list because of his talent and solid potential to play a lot of important minutes this fall.
Top 50 Most Impactful Rebels:
48. Chandler Tuitt