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 30 days before kickoff, coming in at No. 30…
Nick Broeker, a four-star prospect according to ESPN, was ranked the No. 31 offensive tackle in the country as a senior at Sacred Heart-Griffin in Springfield, Illinois. He was also named The State Journal-Register’s 2019 Male Athlete of the Year.
The 6-foot-6 Broeker signed with Ole Miss in the class of 2019, choosing the Rebels over Ohio State, Kentucky, Missouri, and Michigan State, as well as fourteen others.
Heading into the early signing period in December, 2018, Broeker received heavy interest from the Buckeyes while he was committed to Ole Miss. His unwavering commitment to the Rebels, however, represents a very important piece of the depth puzzle on the offensive line.
Broeker was already going to be relied upon this fall to provide depth at one of the tackle positions, but with Alex Givens’ recent lower back injury and Darius Thomas being sidelined — at least through September — due to a heart condition, this is one true freshman who will be expected to hit the ground ready compete in SEC play.
Playing both football and basketball in high school, Broeker is a very athletic player who feels his basketball background has complemented his football play. “It definitely helped me a lot,” he said. It’s kind of similar just like the way you shuffle to move—it’s kind of like pass pro in a sense.”
Broeker’s football film is very impressive and showcases how easy it is for him to move around, something that will help him both on the edge in pass protection and in getting to the second and third level in run blocking. At the high school level, his lower body strength allowed him to move defenders around with ease. He told us today he’s put on some good weight, gaining 12 pounds to 305 from when he arrived at 293.
When fall camp starts Friday, there is no doubt everyone will want to catch a glimpse of the incoming freshmen who could make an impact early on. In addition to five-star running back Jerrion Ealy, Broeker will be the most-talked about freshman recruit of his class due to how important he is to the offensive line this upcoming season.
“I am feel like I’m pretty ready,” Broeker said of playing at the collegiate level.
“We’ve got a great staff here and a great group of older guys who’ve really helped me. And Coach Bicknell does a great job so I feel like I am prepared, but obviously going into fall camp we’ll see how it all goes. I feel like overall over summer I really improved a lot…”
One thing is certain; Broeker knows the absence of Alex Givens in spring camp means the team will count on the freshman to contribute.
“I feel like it puts a lot more on me, just kind of being ready,” he said.
“You never know, obviously, when Alex will come back. We’re not really for sure yet. So I’ve got to make sure I’m definitely getting better each and every day to be able to provide that depth for the older guys.”
Broeker says Givens has aided him in his transition to the collegiate level. “Alex has helped me a lot,” he explained. “He’s got a lot of tricks, you know, because he’s a veteran. He’s been able to help me with some of the little things.
Stay tuned for big things from No. 64!
Top 50 Most Impactful Rebels:
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