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2024 Ole Miss Football Spring Outlook

2024 Ole Miss Football Spring Outlook

OXFORD, Miss. — (Release) Lane Kiffin and the Ole Miss Rebels enter the 2024 season ranked as high as No. 5 by Pro Football Focus and CBS Sports in some of their Way Too Early preseason rankings. The Rebels were projected No. 6 by 247Sports and No. 7 by ESPN and On3.

Here’s info on the team as we enter spring practices.

2024 OLE MISS SPRING FOOTBALL – TEAM INFORMATION

Basic Offense: Spread
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 62/35
Offensive Lettermen Returning/Lost: 30/15
Defensive Lettermen Returning/Lost: 27/18
Specialists Lettermen Returning/Lost: 5/2
Basic Defense: Multiple
Starters Returning/Lost: 15/10
Offensive Starters Returning/Lost: 7/4
Defensive Starters Returning/Lost: 6/5
Specialists Starters Returning/Lost: 2/1

Ole Miss recently added a new infusion of talent to the 2024 roster, welcoming 31 mid-year enrollees to campus. The list of new Rebels joining the team for spring practice features 17 Division I transfers that 247Sports currently ranks as the No. 1 class in the team transfer rankings. Ole Miss claimed four of the top 50 available transfers, according to Rivals.

Ole Miss returns 62 letterwinners from last year’s squad that finished the season with an 11-2 mark, including a 38-25 win over No. 10 Penn State in the 2023 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. It was the first 11-win campaign in the 129-season history of Rebel football. The Rebels finished the 2023 season ranked No. 9, their highest final AP poll ranking since 1969 when they finished eighth.

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl appearance was the fourth consecutive bowl bid under head coach Lane Kiffin and the Rebels second New Year’s Six bowl in the last three years. The Rebels once again ranked amongst the top of the nation in multiple offensive statistics in 2023. Ole Miss was No. 12 nationally in scoring offense (35.1) and No. 13 in total offense (461.9). The Rebels also led the nation with the fewest turnovers (7).

The Rebels will once again be under the leadership of two-year starting quarterback Jaxson Dart, who is closing in on several all-time school records after orchestrating two of the best offensive seasons in Ole Miss history. Dart went 233-for-358 (65.1 percent) for 3,364 yards, 23 touchdowns and a school-record low five interceptions in 13 starts in 2023, and he ranked as one of the more deadly QB’s through the air nationally, ending up No. 8 in yards per attempt (9.4), No. 10 in yards per completion (14.4), No. 11 in passing efficiency (162.4) and No. 16 in total offense (288.7 ypg) thanks to his increased presence in the running game.

Dart will continue to have impressive offensive targets at his disposal in 2024, such as wideout Tre Harris, tight end and Peach Bowl offensive MVP Caden Prieskorn, and blazing running back Ulysses Bentley IV. Harris enters 2024 as one of the top receivers in the nation with 2,502 yards and 22 touchdowns across his career — including a line of 985 yards and eight scores for the Rebels in 2023.

Prieskorn turned heads in his superb Peach Bowl performance, where he hauled in an Ole Miss bowl record 10 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Bentley enters 2024 as Ole Miss’ top returning rusher from a year ago, and in two years with the Rebels he has tallied 613 yards and eight scores on the ground.

The Ole Miss offensive line again looks to be another area of strength for the Rebels in 2024, with three key returning starters in guard Jeremy James, tackle Micah Pettus and center Caleb Warren. Among them, that trio holds 111 career starts at Ole Miss.

Defensively, the Rebels look to build off a 2023 unit that ranked as one of the best in backfield disruption and helped Ole Miss to its SEC-leading season turnover margin of +11.

Defensive end and Peach Bowl defensive MVP Jared Ivey returns to anchor a deep and talented Rebel front-seven that also includes veteran returners JJ Pegues and Zxavian Harris on the line. In two years at Ole Miss, Ivey has 16.0 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks in addition to four fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in 26 games played.

Oxford’s own Pegues enters his third season with the Rebels not only as a versatile threat on the football field, but also is coming off a career-year defensively, ranking second on the team in both TFL (8.0) and sacks (3.5). Harris saw his most playing time yet as a Rebel, starting seven games at defensive tackle and notching 30 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.0 sacks and three crucial blocked kicks.

Adding to that front-seven depth is a linebacker group that includes returning starter Khari Coleman, as well as sophomore Suntarine Perkins after a strong freshman campaign in 2023. In two years with the Rebels, Coleman owns 90 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks and two forced fumbles, while last year Perkins tallied 38 tackles, 5.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks in key playing time for the Rebel defense.

Ole Miss will have to replace several key figures in the secondary from 2023 that picked off 13 passes — the most by a Rebel defense since 2015. That said, two stalwart returners in All-SEC safties John Saunders Jr. and Trey Washington return for more in 2024. Washington was Ole Miss’ leading tackler in 2023 at 83 total stops along with three picks, 2.0 tackles for loss and a forced fumble and fumble recovery apiece, while Saunders was third on the team at 65 tackles along with three INTs, five pass breakups and 2.0 TFL.

In the specialist ranks, Ole Miss returns both its starting kicker in Caden Davis and its starting punter in Fraser Masin. Davis, who only went 1-of-4 in field goals in three seasons at Texas A&M, was 18-of-23 for the Rebels in 2023 — including a crucial 56-yarder at No. 22 Tulane, the fourth-longest in Ole Miss history.

Quarterbacks

• All-SEC: Jaxson Dart (Honorable Mention: CFN)
• Returning Starters: Jaxson Dart
• Other Notable Returnees: Walker HowardAustin Simmons
• Signee: AJ Maddox

Running backs

• Notable Returnees: Ulysses Bentley IVMatt JonesKedrick Reescano
• Transfers: Logan Diggs (LSU)

Wide Receivers

• All-SEC: Tre Harris (Second Team: Athlon, CFN), Jordan Watkins (Honorable Mention: CFN)
• Returning Starters: Tre HarrisJordan Watkins
• Other Notable Returnees: Cayden LeeAyden Williams
• Transfers: Antwane Wells Jr. (South Carolina)
• Signee: Noreel White

Tight Ends

• All-SEC: Caden Prieskorn (Second Team: Coaches; Third Team: CFN)
• Returning Starters: Caden Prieskorn
• Other Notable Returnees: Jayvontary Conner, Hudson Wolfe
• Transfers: Dae’Quan Wright (Virginia Tech)
• Signee: Dillon Hipp

Offensive Line

• Returning Starters: Jeremy JamesMicah PettusCaleb Warren 
• Other Notable Returnees:
Eli AckerPreston CushmanCam EastEthan FieldsReece McIntyre, Brycen Sanders, Mana TaimaniJayden Williams
• Transfers: 
Julius Buelow (Washington), Nate Kalepo (Washington), Diego Pounds (North Carolina), Gerquan Scott (Southern Miss)
• Signee: 
Jude Foster

Defensive Tackles

• Returning Starters: Zxavian HarrisJJ Pegues
• Other Notable Returnees: Jamarious BrownJoshua HarrisDemarcus SmithAkelo Stone
• Transfers: Walter Nolen (Texas A&M)
• Signee: Jeffery Rush

Defensive Ends

• All-SEC: Jared Ivey (First Team: CFN)
• Returning Starters: Jared Ivey
• Other Notable Returnees: Chamberlain CampbellJaden Dicks, Deejay Holmes
• Transfers: Princely Umanmielen (Florida)
• Signees: Cam ClarkKam Franklin

Linebackers

• All-SEC: Khari Coleman (Honorable Mention: CFN), Suntarine Perkins (Freshman: Coaches)
• Returning Starters: Khari Coleman
• Other Notable Returnees: Tyler BanksTJ DudleySkielar MannSuntarine PerkinsTrip White
• Transfers: Raymond Collins (Jones College), Chris Paul Jr. (Arkansas)

Cornerbacks

• Notable Returnees: AJ BrownChris GravesJarell Stinson
• Transfers: Trey Amos (Alabama), Cedrick Beavers (Jones College), Brandon Turnage (Tennessee), Amorion Walker (Michigan)

Safeties

• All-SEC: John Saunders Jr. (Second Team: CFN), Trey Washington (Third Team: CFN)
• Returning Starters: John Saunders Jr.Trey Washington
• Notable Returnees: Jadon CanadyNick CullDaniel Demery
• Transfers: Yam Banks (South Alabama), Key Lawrence (Oklahoma), Louis Moore (Indiana)
• Signees: Travaris BanksAndy JaffeAnthony Robinson III

Specialists

• All-SEC: Caden Davis (Second Team: CFN)
• Returning Starters: Caden Davis (K), Fraser Masin (P)
• Other Notable Returnees: Charlie Pollock (P), Christian Schanefelt (K), Carter Short (LS)
• Transfers: Kortlen Wilfawn (LS; Northeast Mississippi CC)

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn Van Pelt

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.

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

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.

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