Ole Miss offensive lineman Micah Pettus excels in first start, a testament to hard work and determination
In his first-ever start, Pettus named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week
OXFORD, Miss. – In the past two weeks, two Ole Miss offensive linemen have been recognized as the best of the week by the Southeastern Conference.
One was easily predictable as after the Tulsa game, preseason All-SEC guard Nick Broeker received the honor. But after Ole Miss knocked off No. 7 Kentucky last week 22-19 in Oxford, another player got the accolades.
Redshirt freshman Micah Pettus was named Monday as the SEC’s Offensive Lineman of the Week.
“Micah was the offensive lineman of the week which, I don’t know how they come up with that, but they got that right as far as he did play great for a first start,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said at his Monday press conference.
“He played great whether it was his first start or not. Really physical I mean the way we talk about stringing to finish, finishing people with a violent attitude and that was awesome to see.”
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin on Micah Pettus
Ole Miss rolled up 399 total yards against the Wildcats to propel itself to a 5-0 record and a ranking of ninth in the country.
Yet unlike Broeker, Pettus was a surprising choice as the lineman-of-the-week because he came out of almost nowhere to start the Kentucky game. The Madison, Ala., native went from not starting to becoming a key piece of the Rebels’ offensive line due to his hard work.
Coach Kiffin compliments Micah Pettus on his play and on being SEC O-Lineman of the Week: "This is how you're supposed to do in this program. You work hard, you wait for your turn and you don't complain. His turn came up and he made the most of it."
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) October 3, 2022
“Probably as big of a development as we’ve been around over a year. From a guy who came here, redshirted, looked a long way away from playing a year ago. I asked him this summer when he was doing so much better early in camp, he looked so much better. He said, like a lot of these kids, it was the first time in his life not playing and not traveling. He just reflected on all of his habits and his work ethic and just completely changed himself mentally and physically. It’s awesome to see.”
Coach Kiffin on Pettus
Pettus looks at his transformation as a combination of work and listening to his teammates on the offensive line who had experience in the college game. “I took some advice from guys like Caleb Warren and Broeker and Jeremy James on how they got on the field early,” Pettus explained.
They brought in (new) guys, and I decided that what I was doing wasn’t enough. So I started working out more, eating better, and doing extra stuff outside of what is required of us.“
Micah Pettus on how he improved
And that work and advice has paid off for the 6-foot-7, 320 pounder. But he realizes he must keep improving to keep up his performance. A few aspects in particular are on his mind.
“Just finishing every play,” Pettus said. “Being more violent, staying square in the passes and just little technique, you know there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
Ole Miss looks to continue improving improve this Saturday when the Rebs take on Vanderbilt.
The game is set for 3 p.m. and will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)
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.