Published August 6, 2012 - 3:30pm
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Jeff Scott and Donte Moncrief are the two most important players to Ole Miss this year. They are seasoned veterans, with Scott being a junior and Moncrief coming off an excellent freshman season.
RB Jeff Scott, Jr, 5-9, 175 pounds
Scott is the all-purpose wizard who excels weaving in and out of traffic out of the backfield and on kick returns.
As a freshman in 2010, Scott rushed for 429 yards and was 20th in the nation in kickoff return yardage at 27.7 per return. He entered last year ready for a part-time role and back up Brandon Bolden. But Bolden’s injuries really caused Scott to have to take a bigger role, ready or not.
He did not disappoint, as he was the eighth overall in all-purpose yardage in the SEC last year. He rushed for 529 yards and six touchdowns, and he was sidelined for the last two games of the year.
But I think he’s got more in the tank to use, and he will need it, seeing as he is the only running back on this team with any experience. His backups – Devin Thomas, Nick Parker, I’Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton – have barely any experience combined. Thomas only has 20 carries to his name.
Scott is a playmaker for the Rebels, and he will need to step up his game this year. He will be a weapon on special teams and on offense out of the backfield.
WR Donte Moncrief, So, 6-2, 210 pounds
Wide receiver Donte Moncrief is one of my favorite players in the SEC.
He led the Rebels with 31 catches for 454 yards and four touchdowns. His receptions were a school record, and he did it with little to no help from any other receivers. He drew the top corner from every team in every game.
Moncrief has put on some weight in the off-season and is physically very impressive. Don’t be surprised to see Moncrief’s receptions double to around 60 this year, as the quarterback position has a better outlook and more upside than 2011.
Moncrief is the biggest star to hit Ole Miss’ campus in quite some time. He is the one big-play, go-to guy in this lineup.
The pressure is mounting in Oxford for these two young – and very gifted – players to lead a resurgence for Ole Miss football.
They will be tasked with bringing some respect back to Oxford.