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Ole Miss returns most-experienced offensive line in the nation entering 2024

Ole Miss returns most-experienced offensive line in the nation entering 2024

OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss returns the most experience on the offensive line of any team in the nation. Yes, you read that right. In. The. Nation.

According to Phil Steele, the Rebels’ 2024 offensive line collectively returns players with 222 total starts. Oklahoma State is in second place, eight games behind, with 214 career starts. 

The complete top 10 for offensive line career starts is as follows:

In addition to returning four starters in Micah Pettus, Jeremy James, Caleb Warren and Jayden Williams, offensive line coach John Garrison will also have experienced returnees in Reece McIntyre and Eli Acker.

But it doesn’t stop there. Ole Miss brought in some top-notch transfer offensive linemen, including Nate Kalepo and Julius Buelow — transfers from Washington who were 2/5 of the Huskies’ o-line that won the Joe Moore Award last season honoring the nation’s top offensive line. They are joined by transfers Diego Pounds and Gerquan Scott.

Those offensive linemen mentioned above account for the 222 starts — and that must put a smile on the face of Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart, who returns for his third season under head coach Lane Kiffin.

CFB Focus breaks down why the 222 starts are significant.

Offensive line experience and cohesion is one of the most vital aspects for a good team, and is often a tiebreaker for me when analyzing similar teams. If a team has an inexperienced offensive line it is likely to struggle during the season as the trench guys are the foundation for a team.

CFB Focus 

Last season, Ole Miss substituted a lot of players on the offensive line, some of it due to injury. When the Rebels played in Athens against No. 1 Georgia, the lack of size and depth on the line were evident, prompting Coach Kiffin to mention it post-game — and to use the portal to remedy the situation.

One question for the 2024 offensive line might be how well will the new transfers gel with the returnees, and the answer to that will likely go a long way as to how they perform. But keep in mind, this is a veteran-laden team whose leaders know the importance of chemistry. You can bet Jaxson Dart is the leader of the unit and will make sure everyone is on the same page.

Ole Miss kicks off the 2024 season at home in Vaught-Hemingway against Furman at 6:00 p.m. CT.

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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