They Never Quit: Ole Miss to Honor Players on Senior Day
OXFORD, Miss. — Today is the day we celebrate the Rebel football players who have given their heart and soul to Ole Miss, along with their blood, sweat and tears. It seems like just yesterday these starry-eyed kids pledged their devotion to the Red and Blue, and now we honor them for a job well done.
There are 35 seniors on the roster, and that ties Ole Miss for the most in the Southeastern Conference. Fifteen of those 35 are what the players like to call “old heads” — meaning they are fifth-year, or even sixth-year, seniors who chose to return for one final year of eligibility.
There are also some key juniors who are draft eligible who could be playing their last home game as well. Quarterback Matt Corral has already announced he will be playing his final game in the Vaught. It’s possible running back Jerrion Ealy and left tackle Nick Broeker could be joining him.
Nineteen of the Rebels’ 35 seniors have elected to participate in Senior Day activities.
Players Participating in Senior Day Ceremony
OL Ben Brown (*has one year remaining, but will participate in Senior Day)
P Mac Brown
OL Peyton Cox
LB Chance Campbell (*has one year remaining, but will participate in Senior Day)
WR Dontario Drummond
LB Lakia Henry
DB Jaylon Jones
DB Deane Leonard
DL Hal Northern
WR Jahcour Pearson
QB Tyrell Pigrome
LB Mark Robinson
WR Braylon Sanders
LB MoMo Sanogo (*has one year remaining, but will participate in Senior Day)
DB Keidron Smith (*has one year remaining, but will participate in Senior Day)
DB Jake Springer
DB CJ Terrell
DL Tariqious Tisdale
OL Orlando Umana
DL Sam Williams
Seniors with an additional year of eligibility remaining:
DB Otis Reese
DB Tylan Knight
LB Daylen Gill
RB Isaiah Woullard
WR Jalen Knox
LB Zikerrion Baker
RB Urriah Shephard
DB CJ Terrell
TE Payton Rogers
DL Amani Johnson
OL Peyton Cox
OL Jordan Rhodes
TE Chase Rogers
DL Sincere David
DL Tavius Robinson
“It’s going to get emotional Saturday because this is my last home game with them boys. Some, hopefully, I’ll play with them again on Sundays. But for some, this is our last time playing with each other. We came a long way from my first year.“
A Chance for Unprecedented Success
Ole Miss sits at 8-2 going into Senior Day against Vanderbilt. Should the Rebels win this evening and defeat Mississippi State in next week’s Egg Bowl, they would have the opportunity, if they win their bowl game, to finish with 11 wins — something no other football team in Ole Miss school history has ever done.
While we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves — or worse, jinx the team — it is important to know this group of players is on the cusp of something historic, and they owe much of that success to the leaders, many of whom are seniors.
The seniors on this team have been through so much — coaching changes, coordinator changes, and position coach changes. They’ve enjoyed the highs of wins and the lows of losses. They lost spring training last year, much less all fans in the stands, as a global pandemic changed the face of their 2020 season.
Jaylon Jones, a freshman in 2016, played for a head coach (Hugh Freeze) three times removed and has had four different defensive coordinators. MoMo Sanogo was recruited by Freeze and has now played for two different head coaches and three different defensive coordinators. Some seniors transferred in from far away places, like Canadians Deane Leonard and Tavius Robinson.
But regardless of the different routes they have taken to get to today, their Senior Day at Ole Miss, every single one of those honored shares a common trait: they never quit.
Today is the last day these young men will ever run out of the tunnel at Vaught-Hemingway. Today is the final chapter of their home football careers.
These players fight. They are warriors. They do not quit. They have faced disappointment; they have faced adversity. How did they respond? They responded like CHAMPIONS.
And for their efforts, they are rewarded with so much more yet to play for in 2021.
Thank you to our seniors!
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.