As temperatures continue to flare up across the Magnolia State, so does college football fever. Fortunately for fans, games begin in just a few weeks.
Heading into the 2023 season, the Ole Miss Rebels have been ranked No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, released by the publication Monday.
After what many fans would consider a disappointing season 2022 season in which the Rebels went 1-5 after winning their first seven games, Ole Miss is expected to have a successful year four of the Lane Kiffin era.
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) August 7, 2023
Despite facing arguably one of the toughest schedules in the country and having to account for losses at wide receiver with Jonathan Mingo and Malik Heath preparing to make their NFL debuts, production from veteran quarterback Jaxson Dart and All-American running back Quinshon Judkins is anticipated to make the Rebels’ offense one of the best in the SEC.
Last year, Judkins led the SEC in rushing with 1,567 yards and 16 touchdowns. Ole Miss also turned to the transfer portal to add Tre Harris (La. Tech) and Zahkari Franklin (UTSA) — both recently named to the Biletnikoff Trophy watch list — to its wide receivers room.
On the other side of the ball, the Rebels return one of their deepest defensive fronts in recent history. Defensive linemen J.J. Pegues, Cedric Johnson, and Jared Ivey will be a strong presence in the trenches. At linebacker, first-year defensive coordinator Pete Golding reached into the portal to add linebackers Monty Montgomery (Louisville), T.J. Dudley (Clemson), and Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste (UCF) to complement Ashanti Cistrunk and five-star freshman Suntarine Perkins.
The Rebels’ biggest splash in the portal came in the secondary with Ole Miss adding six new defensive backs to the roster to aid Deantre Prince in coverage. Among the newcomers expected to make an immediate impact are Chris Graves (Miami), DeShawn Gaddie (North Texas), and Zamari Walton (Georgia Tech).
The full top 25, which features six SEC schools, can be viewed below.
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Florida State
- Notre Dame
- Kansas State
- Oregon State
- North Carolina
- Ole Miss
- Texas Tech
- Texas A&M