Braylon Sanders, Jeremy James focused on working hard, preparing for Bama
OXFORD, Miss. — Coming into the season, many felt Braylon Sanders would be the heir apparent to the passes that went to Elijah Moore last year.
Ole Miss opponents must have felt that way because they have shown a tendency to provide two defenders to cover the Hogansville, Ga., native. What those defenses did not count on is Sanders’ unselfishness.
On Monday, quarterback Matt Corral was asked about Sanders’ mindset.
“He’s not worried about who is getting all the attention. We all know the kind of ability he has. It could be this week, it could be next week.“
Matt Corral on Braylon Sanders
“When the ball is in the air, we just try to make a play,” Sanders said. “Me, Drummond, Mingo and all the other guys who play, anytime Matt (Corral) throws the ball to us, we’re trying to make a play.”
The receivers have made plenty of plays for the 12th ranked Rebels. Drummond is leading the way with 20 catches for 339 yards and four touchdowns, Mingo is right behind him with 15 receptions for 290 and three scores.
Sanders has eight catches for 133 yards and a pair of touchdowns, one of them a 45-yard catch against Tulane.
That success more than makes up for any negative feelings that may creep into Sanders’ head when he constantly sees more than one defensive back lined up against him.
“You get frustrated a little bit,” Sanders admitted.
“But then when you see it open up for other guys like Drummond, Mingo and those other guys are making plays, you just love to see it. I’m happy for those guys. Whenever my opportunity is there I’m going to take full advantage of it.”
Braylon Sanders on the coverage he draws
Sanders hopes to get many opportunities this week against top-ranked Alabama. The Tide whipped Southern Miss Saturday while Ole Miss was idle.
Sanders and the Rebels likely would have preferred to have their bye week later in the season, but they still planned to take advantage of the extra time. “We are just going to keep our heads down and keep working and get a head start on Bama,” he said last week.
Tackle Jeremy James agreed with Sanders the bye week came early, but he knew just how to spend the time.
“Just working hard and practicing,” James said. “We have to get better this week. It’s not an off week as in us not doing anything so we have to keep progressing and making strides.”
James was selected as the SEC’s Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week after the Tulane game and although he thinks he played well, he knows there is room for improvement. He also knows what he and his fellow linemen have in store for them in Tuscaloosa.
“They (Alabama) are just a physical, athletic group. Every one of them are good players, so we just have to go in there with the right mindset to get ready to play.”
Jeremy James on Alabama
Kickoff Saturday is set for 2:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be broadcast by CBS.
(Feature images: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss; Graphic: Nick Filipich, Rebel Walk)
Nick Filipich was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. He is an Ole Miss senior majoring in Sports and Recreation Administration. A sports junkie with a great passion for all things Ole Miss, Nick played baseball and football in high school — which is where he discovered his love for sports. He is an avid Braves and Saints fan, and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, friends and his black lab, Dixie.