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Ole Miss wide receiver Dayton Wade is the latest talented Rebel from Western Kentucky pipeline

Ole Miss wide receiver Dayton Wade is the latest talented Rebel from Western Kentucky pipeline

OXFORD, Miss. – Bowling Green, Ken., is 328 miles from the Ole Miss campus, but in recent times, it appears to have a direct pipeline of players leaving Western Kentucky heading to Ole Miss — and the latest of those is wide receiver Dayton Wade. 

Last year, wide receiver Jahcour Pearson left the Hilltoppers to join the Ole Miss receiving corps and just after last season, former WKU offensive lineman Mason Brooks traded in the hills of western Kentucky for the hills of north Mississippi.

Just after that, Wade followed to Ole Miss. He was also happy to see another familiar face. Maurice Crum is now in Oxford as the Rebels’ co-defensive coordinator and linebacker coach after serving as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky for five seasons.

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin sees similarities between Pearson and Wade, former Hilltoppers turned Rebels.

“(Wade is) really good,” Kiffin said.

Much like Pearson last year…kind of like a surprise, a walk-on kid who has come here and done really well and earned the right to play, so those are always added bonuses because they’re not things you’re counting on and all of a sudden you know they create depth which is great.

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin on Dayton Wade

Still, leaving a group of five school to join an SEC team that is deep at wide receiver is taking a leap of faith.

It definitely was a gamble so when I entered the portal I was getting looks, I had a few offers and whatnot. But one of my old teammates that was at my old school with me, Jahcour Pearson, he called me and this was around the time they were going to the Sugar Bowl, prepping for the Sugar Bowl and whatnot, he was like, ‘Look, whatever you got going on, forget about it, come to Ole Miss.’ Here’s the blueprint and all you have to do is execute.”

Dayton Wade on his conversation with Jahcour Pearson

Jahcour, who caught 26 passes for 392 yards for the Rebels a season ago, was instrumental in Wade’s final decision because of his influence at WKU.

“Definitely because when I came in at our old school, he was like my mentor. He was teaching me the ropes and whatnot, he really taught me football, taught me coverages, how to run routes versus certain things, what to look for like pre-snap.”

That also has Wade open to moving to different positions. The Atlanta native has been playing multiple spots in preseason camp.

The more you know, the more of a complete receiver you want to be. And I, that’s what I see myself as a complete receiver.”

Dayton Wade

Moving around will take some adjustments for Wade, but he has been making adjustments already as the Western Kentucky and Ole Miss offenses are both familiar and different to him.

“It’s similarities but it’s different, like here, we’re moreso a big play, like, ‘Let’s go make the big play,’” Wade said, “But at my old school we were like picking everybody apart, so it was fast paced so that’s the same, the tempo was the same but as far as play calling, we are trying to score from far.”

The first chance for the Rebels to score from far is less than two weeks away as Troy visits Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Sept. 3.

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)

Steve Barnes
Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.

He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.

A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.

Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.

He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.

Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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