Walter Nolen has a lot to prove entering the 2024 season after transferring to Ole Miss following a coaching change at Texas A&M.

Originally a 5-star recruit and the nation’s top defensive lineman for the 2022 recruiting class, Nolen began his career with 66 tackles, 11 TFL and 5 sacks across the 2022-23 seasons. After Jimbo Fisher’s firing and the hiring of Mike Elko, Nolen transferred to Ole Miss to join Lane Kiffin’s program.

Now, Nolen enters the 2024 season as a piece of a star-studded transfer class for the Rebels. 247 Sports rated Ole Miss’ transfer class No. 1 overall for the cycle, and Nolen was rated the best of that group.

According to ESPN’s Chris Low, it all adds up to Nolen being the transfer player with the most to prove this season. After flashes of looking like an All-SEC competitor his first two seasons, Low is looking to see if Nolen can elevate his play into that of an every-down enforcer for Ole Miss.

Here’s what Low had to say about Nolen’s upcoming season:

Nolen was the No. 1 recruit in the country when he signed with Texas A&M to headline the Aggies’ top-ranked recruiting class in 2022. He showed flashes of being an All-SEC performer with 11 tackles for loss and five sacks in his first two seasons in the SEC. The key now is being that kind of player on every down, as Ole Miss will look to Nolen to be an enforcer in its defensive line on what should be Lane Kiffin’s most talented defense yet in Oxford. The 6-4, 295-pound Nolen was one of the most coveted players in the 2023 transfer portal. If he plays to that level and becomes a more consistent player — along with some of the other key transfers Ole Miss brought in — the Rebels should be right in the middle of the 2024 playoff chase.

With the introduction of the 12-team Playoff, Ole Miss is an intriguing team to watch in the national championship odds. The Rebels were unable to take down the top-tier SEC teams in Alabama and Georgia this past season, but there’s a chance Ole Miss can still sneak into the 12-team field with a 10-2 record. Fans can use SDS’s mobile sportsbook apps to track all the odds and line movement heading into the 2024 season.