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Entering sophomore season, DaMarkus Lodge hopes to be more involved with Ole Miss offense

Entering sophomore season, DaMarkus Lodge hopes to be more involved with Ole Miss offense

OXFORD, MS. – Coming in rated as a four-star wide receiver out of Cedar Hill, Texas, DaMarkus Lodge hoped to play an integral role in the Ole Miss offense last season. However, instead of finding himself on the playing field, Lodge found himself in a sit-down with Rebels’ head coach Hugh Freeze discussing what scenario would work best for the wide receiver.

Chad Kelly and DaMarkus Lodge celebrate Lodge's TD reception against UT-Martin. (Photo credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)

Chad Kelly and DaMarkus Lodge celebrate Lodge’s TD reception against UT-Martin. (Photo credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)

So, if you were Lodge and your head coach had a one-on-one conversation with you about whether or not you would like to redshirt in your freshman season at the conclusion of fall camp, what would your answer be? Would you play it safe and keep your first year of eligibility, or would you risk it for the shot at playing time?

Lodge made the decision he felt was best for himself at the time, and, instead of taking the redshirt option, he told Freeze he would like to compete for playing time against the likes of wide receivers Laquon Treadwell, Markell Pack, Quincy Adeboyejo and Damore’ea Stringfellow. Lodge didn’t get to see the field as much as the guys in front of him, but the lack of playing time did not send him to another Division I program.

The 6-foot-2 Lodge played in eight games last season, seeing action as a reserve wide receiver and on special teams. In his collegiate football debut, Lodge caught a 12-yard touchdown pass against UT-Martin. Though he did not see a lot of game time, Lodge appreciates what he learned.

It was what I made of it. I knew we had guys playing at a high level. I knew I probably wouldn’t see the field a lot, if any. And throughout that whole year, it was definitely a learning experience playing behind those guys.

DaMarkus Lodge

DaMarkus Lodge speaks with The Rebel Walk's Courtney Smith at Monday's Media Day. (Photo credit: Evelyn Vanpelt, The Rebel Walk)

DaMarkus Lodge speaks with The Rebel Walk’s Courtney Smith at Monday’s Media Day. (Photo credit: Evelyn Vanpelt, The Rebel Walk)

Lodge did not point fingers at anyone for his lack of playing time—especially since it was his decision to forgo the redshirt route—nor did he sit around and complain about what wasn’t going his way. Instead, Lodge was a team player who worked hard in order to contribute when called upon.

Learning from Treadwell’s work ethic

And when he wasn’t on the field, Lodge says he listened closely to Treadwell, who, Lodge explained, taught him the true meaning of a strong work ethic.

Now a year later, Lodge puts Treadwell’s words into action in hopes of duplicating the success his former teammate had in his three seasons in Oxford, Mississippi.

“He stayed out there after every practice. Every off day we had, he was in here doing something,” Lodge said about Treadwell.

And at night, he would watch film for like three or four hours. He would be up here until like 2 or 3 a.m. in the morning, learning different stuff day in and day out.

DaMarkus Lodge on Treadwell’s work ethic

Entering his sophomore season, Lodge feels stronger and more confident about where he stands with the offense. During day two of fall camp on Monday, Lodge was getting second team reps with quarterbacks Shea Patterson and Jason Pellerin.

No decision has been made amongst the coaching staff on which receivers will see the field, and Lodge isn’t sure what his role will be on offense. He is  just preparing himself to play:

Of course I’m looking to be a starter. That’s my main drive when I go out there. I have to bring it every day and be consistent day in and day out. I’m praying and hoping I stay consistent this fall camp and earn that job.

DaMarkus Lodge

About The Author

Courtney Smith

Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men's basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.

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