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 7 days before kickoff, coming in at No. 7…
Alex Givens was rated a four-star offensive tackle, according to 247Sports, when he signed with Ole Miss in the Class of 2015. As a senior, the Nashville, Tennessee native helped Nashville Christian to a 12-1 record and was a member of The Tennesseean’s Dandy Dozen before enrolling at Ole Miss.
As a redshirt freshman in 2016, the 6-foot-6, 308-pound Givens was named Second Team Freshman All-SEC per Athlon after playing in every game at right tackle, including five starts. As a sophomore, he played in ten games, starting seven at right guard. He missed games against Louisiana and Mississippi State due to concussions late in the season.
In 2018, the junior right tackle started all twelve games for the Rebels. Givens graded out as the best offensive lineman on the team against LSU and Arkansas and did so on an offensive line that featured future NFL signees Greg Little (2nd round to the Panthers) and Javon Patterson (7th round to the Colts).
Yasir Durant and Alex Givens led the way in the SEC by allowing the lowest percent of pressure on their pass-blocking snaps. pic.twitter.com/MtzptEVNsD
— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 7, 2019
Heading into this season, Givens has been named to the 2019 Preseason All-SEC Third Team per Lindy’s and Phil Steele as well as to Athlon’s Preseason All-SEC Fourth Team.
In addition to his athletic prowess, Givens is also successful in the classroom, earning the following honors for his academic work: 2015 UMAA Fall Honor Roll, 2015 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll, 2016 UMAA Spring Honor Roll, 2017 NFFF Scholar-Athlete, and the 2019 Athletic Director’s Spring Honor Roll.
As one of the leaders on the team, Alex was one of three Rebels selected by the coaches to represent Ole Miss at SEC Media Days in July.
Givens addressed his goals for the season. “Go out there and do the best I can every game,” he said.
“Focus. Study film harder than I ever have this season. Step up and be a leader for the team. We’ve had a lot of great offensive lineman leaders in the past. This year is going to be a big year for me.”
OL Alex Givens on his goals for the season
With 41% of the 2019 Rebels consisting of freshmen, Givens was asked a lot of questions about the youth of this year’s team. “I think it doesn’t really matter what year you are as long as you step up,” Givens said.
“We’ve got a lot of athletic people, and we have a lot of depth now. We have all of our scholarships back. They’ve done a really good job recruiting so we’re really excited about everyone.”
OL Alex Givens
Before fall camp started, we learned Givens had back surgery on July 18th. Although he has remained optimistic about returning to practice before Memphis and participating in the season opener, he has yet to participate in drills during fall camp. However, head coach Matt Luke said this past week that a final word on Givens’ status will be offered this coming Monday.
Luke said conditioning will be the biggest challenge for Givens should he be able to play against Memphis.
“He’s doing more football-specific stuff. Just trying to build that base so when he does come back and start contact he’s not starting from zero, Luke said.
“He’s working his legs more, and he’s looked pretty good. We’re all anxious to get him back out there, and he’s moving closer. We just have to be smart and progress him, but I think he’s on track.“
Coach Matt Luke on Givens’ status
Givens is easily the most experienced offensive lineman on the roster for the Rebels. Whether or not he returns in time for Memphis is up in the air, but his presence on this football team is going to be a huge factor moving forward against SEC competition.
With another strong performance this fall, we expect to hear Alex’s name called during the NFL Draft this coming April, 2020.
Most Impactful Rebels for 2019
7. Alex Givens
8. Josiah Coatney
9. Ben Brown
10. Lakia Henry
11. Sam Williams
12. Qaadir Sheppard
13. Jacquez Jones
14. Miles Battle
15. Jerrion Ealy
16. Braylon Sanders
17. Eli Johnson
18. Myles Hartsfield
19. Dontario Drummond
20. Jon Haynes
21. Montrell Custis
22. Demarcus Gregory
23. Bryce Mathews
24. Royce Newman
25. Tylan Knight
26. Tariqious Tisdale
27. Octavious Cooley
28. Jalen Julius
29. Luke Logan
30. Nick Broeker
31. Austrian Robinson
32. Quentin Bivens
33. Willie Hibbler
34. Isaiah Woullard
35. Jadon Jackson
36. Grant Tisdale, Kinkead Dent, John Rhys Plumlee
37. Keidron Smith
38. Snoop Conner
39. Michael Howard
40. Vernon Dasher
41. Ryder Anderson
42. D’Vaughn Pennamon
43. C.J. Miller
44. Charles Wiley
45. Sincere David
46. Mac Brown
47. Jason Pellerin
48. Chandler Tuitt
49. Dannis Jackson
50. Jonathan Mingo