WR Mike Wallace

2007 Statistics

Coach: Houston Nutt
1st year
2007 Record: 3-9
at Memphis WON 23-21
at Vanderbilt LOST 17-31
at Georgia LOST 17-45
at Auburn LOST 3-17
at Mississippi State LOST 14-17


2007 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

Landing on his feet right away, Houston Nutt became the 36th Ole Miss Head Coach with great expectations placed upon his arrival. The past three years under ex-head man Ed Orgeron never quite found the few lucky bounces needed to make things even a little better. Last year saw the offense really struggle, so securing an offensive mind like Nutt’s pretty much guarantees things will be different, if not better under Little Rock’s native son.

Nutt has two new coordinators, neither of which he brought from Arkansas. Ex-Reb QB Kent Austin led Ole Miss from 1981-85 (strangely, three of his campaigns as a QB here ended up 4-6-1) and then he led Saskatchewan to the Grey Cup title as both a player (1989) and rookie head coach (2007). Austin will bring a passing edge Nutt lacks, and as an alum, Austin’s commitment to making Jevan Snead the latest local hero has been evident. Nutt and Austin have a large backfield dilemma, and by that, we mean they have too many big backs and not enough speedy, elusive types. The receivers are adequate, if not extremely promising for Snead to have found special connections with some of them by October.

On defense, Tyrone Nix comes in from South Carolina, where he proved his formulas work. Just as many expectations are there for a defense that has returning starters everywhere. The patience of Jerrell Powe to work through his issues and to now be poised to make this one of the country’s best DLs is a dividend the new staff has to thank Orgeron for (one of many great prospects awaiting Nutt). This kid has NFL written all over his huge, athletic build. Powe joins some talent that is already in place, but has yet to show the right stuff on every play…and inconsistency on D spells trouble in the SEC.

Both sides of the ball have the potential to really improve at a rapid rate. Will this happen? Guessing that it won’t seems safe, but then again, quick turnarounds have been occurring more often these days for teams (like Wake Forest, Kansas and Kentucky) that seem to be perennial bottom dwellers. Stranger things in the college football world happened in 2007.

Speaking of Wake Forest, an early trip there seems like a watershed game of sorts. If they can win it, Ole Miss can build some confidence and really think about making a bowl in their new coaches’ first year here. If they lose, the Vandy game two week later will seem that much more uphill, and the SEC onslaught will then keep the Rebels from a winning record. Going to Arkansas, Alabama, LSU and Florida for away games will build character, but growing tighter through losses doesn’t buoy this year’s destiny. Like their in-state rival, the Bulldogs, just experienced, building quickly probably won’t happen, but enough signs of improvement should surface so 2009 can be the year this great program returns to its competitive form.

Projected 2008 record: 5-7
QB - 3 DL - 3.5
RB - 2.5 LB - 3
WR - 3.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 3.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: None

Rushing: Dexter McCluster, 6 att., 63 yds., 0 TD

Receiving: Shay Hodge, 43 rec., 593 yds., 6 TD

Scoring: Joshua Shene, 11-17 FG, 24-25 PAT, 57 pts.

Punting: Justin Sparks, 51 punts, 39.7 avg.

Kicking: Joshua Shene, 11-17 FG, 24-25 PAT, 57 pts.

Tackles: Ashlee Palmer, 89 tot., 50 solo

Sacks: Greg Hardy, 10 sacks

Interceptions: Ashlee Palmer, 3 for 28 yds.

Kickoff Returns:
Marshay Green, 27 ret., 23.4 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Marshay Green, 48 ret., 4.0 avg., 1 TD


LB Ashlee Palmer
OFFENSE: Seth Adams-QB, BenJarvus Green-Ellis-RB, Robert Lane-TE, Corey Actis-C, Thomas Eckers-OG
DEFENSE: Brandon Jenkins-NT, Jeremy Garrett-NT, Viciente DeLoach-DE, Jamie Phillips-WLB, Nate Banks-CB

In the new era, the offense really won’t change that much, except for how the pass will be leaned upon more and more as Jevan Snead develops. In a Houston Nutt offense where coordinator and No.2 all-time Rebel passer Kent Austin will oversee everything but the play calling (Nutt is handling that), the shape of the new-look offense will be built around the Texas transfer who sat out last year per NCAA requirements. Snead was the No.3 dual-threat recruit in 2006 but lost the competition for Vince Young’s job to Colt McCoy…like most players who know they are too good to sit and wait indefinitely, we find Snead the clear starter here in Oxford. The staff is playing its cards slowly, keeping what they show prior to the first snaps against Memphis close to the chest, so to speak. Tapp will be tapped early to see what the second-stringer has in case of emergency. Hopefully, his strong arm and durable running approach can offer a change of pace from the leaner build of Snead. Nate Stanley is likely redshirted, but if he isn’t put off for further development, injuries to Snead and Tapp mean the newbie gets his first legitimate chance. The offense would suffer during Stanley’s trial-by-fire.

The rushing attack has talent, but lacks experience. Meridian’s Cordera Eason heard promises from the former regime that he would be brought along, but he had to wait until this year to be given a real shot. Having turned down Auburn, big Cordera will bring it to bear on any wanna-be tacklers. Auburn wanted and even signed a LOI from the nation’s top prep school back, Enrique Davis, but his grades have landed him here. Along with Derrick Davis (no relation) and incumbent fullback Jared Cook, this team has a corner on the big, hulking backs (Hartmann too). No small, scat-type will hurt, so expect someone to eventually fill the shifty role.

The line has to bank on experience and the new schemes for improvements. Four of the starters are the same, and Mike Oher coming back is the biggest boon from a personnel standpoint. John Jerry bumping back outside (to the position he played in high school) looks like a better fit than it was for Miller. Miller switching inside will help, but can Jerry handle the rush ends of the SEC better? Along with new hat Daverin Geralds, this switch-off is the main concern up front. Neely will keep developing by playing next to Oher…it seemed to rub off last year, so expect Neely’s upside to keep revealing itself. Harris started at center in 2005 and then at tackle in ’06. He gives Austin and Nutt a versatile man who can help wherever the need may arise. TEs Traxler and Harris are mostly pushers.

These WRs have more to offer as targets, especially big Shay Hodge, the team leader for catches as a mere reserve. Deep threat Wallace is ready to fly. Hicks can also prove to be a field stretcher with his size, and that size could easily slip him past McCluster for his downfield blocking. The passing game will ramp up as Snead feels more and more comfortable. Hi decision making skills will be a major pivot for how well this offense can become.


OT Michael Oher


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Jevan Snead-So (6-3, 215) Billy Tapp-Jr (6-4, 230)
FB Jason Cook-Sr (5-11, 248) Andy Hartmann-Jr (5-10, 243)
RB Cordera Eason-Jr (5-10, 224) Derrick Davis-So (5-10, 224)
Enrique Davis-Fr (6-1, 215)
WR Mike Wallace-Sr (6-0, 180) Markeith Summers-So (6-2, 197)
WR Shay Hodge-Jr (6-1, 207) Michael Hicks-Jr (6-2, 222)
WR Dexter McCluster-Jr (5-8, 165) Lionel Breaux-So (6-0, 191)
TE David Traxler-Sr (6-6, 255) Gerald Harris-Jr (6-5, 250)
OT Michael Oher-Sr (6-5, 318) Bradley Sowell-Fr (6-7, 310)
OG Reid Neely-Jr (6-6, 310) Mark Jean-Louis-Jr (6-2, 355)
C Daverin Geralds-Jr (6-2, 312) Brandon Green-Jr (6-2, 300)
OG Maurice Miller-Sr (6-4, 343) Darryl Harris-Sr (6-3, 300)
OT John Jerry-Jr (6-5, 350) Alex Washington-Fr (6-4, 337)
K Joshua Shene-Jr (5-8, 170) ..



Tyrone Nix at the defensive helm is a good thing. Like on offense, all the ways that the D has recently drooped will have a good chance to bounce back in relatively little time. The talent is in place, but getting it to gel, and then effectively handle what the SEC annually throws at its members will be a tall order. The biggest jump should be in the line’s performance. Greg Hardy is already in place for former Outland Trophy winner (1988, Auburn) and DL coach Tracy Rocker to build around. Hardy’s breakout sophomore year proves he has to be marked every play. The best tackle in 2007, Peria Jerry, benefits from the distraction and can bounce outside effectively. But this senior gets even another Rebel monster to pull linemen from his immediate space – man-child Jerrell Powe. Powe’s story took him to perennial powerhouse Hardgrave in 2005 after signing here since his grades weren’t there yet. Then Powe was held up for the past two years awaiting NCAA clearance, and he was forced to enroll in classes in Oxford without participating in any practices last year. Finally, the 340-pounder with 4.8 speed and superior footwork has been cleared to play. This line is as good as any in the land, but having it all come together for higher than a 40th ranking in run stopping might be dreaming too big.

Ex-DB Allen Walker is the guy good enough to start, passing a former starter who is now behind him on the two-deep. Palmer led the team in tackles and seems solid at SLB. Cornell was slated to replace Patrick Willis but got sidelined by a shoulder injury. Four-year Iraqi vet Fein filled in nicely at MIKE, and he had a huge JUCO year prior to last year’s impressive performance. Trahan (another guy who started out at Auburn) is this year’s junior college find. (Also the LB coach) Nix has to be excited for the possibilities knowing his line is going to be able to handle itself without extra help from the LBs.

Outside coverage has had its troubles, so Ole Miss will move its third-leading receiver, Marshay Green, to corner (a position he’s never played). His skill package fits nicely. Corners Mouzan and Vaughn have gambled and won, but each has gambled and lost much of the time, too. What Johnny Brown did in just his first campaign was enough to make us think the entire safety unit will be at least a notch better. Compliment SS Jamarca Sanford cleans up many plays, but this year he and Brown can hopefully keep the plays from happening rather than chasing ball carriers that have made it to their second tier. Kendrick Lewis is another former offensive player (WR); he can play either safety spot, affording Nix much depth for dime packages. Arguably 11 starters return, and with the reinvigorated staff, the possibility that the D gets much better very quickly are real and their sudden prowess will catch foes napping.


DE Greg Hardy


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Greg Hardy-Jr (6-4, 265) Kentrell Lockett-So (6-5, 240)
DT Ted Laurent-So (6-0, 303) Justin Sanders-Fr (6-4, 300)
DT Peria Jerry-Sr (6-2, 290) Lawon Scott-So (6-1, 322)
DE Marcus Tillman-Jr (6-4, 260) Emmanuel Stephens-Jr (6-3, 235)
SLB Ashlee Palmer-Sr (6-2, 222) Lamar Brumfield-Jr (6-0, 224)
Patrick Trahan-Jr (6-3, 225)
MLB Tony Fein-Sr (6-2, 245) Brandon Thomas-Sr (5-11, 245)
WLB Allen Walker-So (6-1, 215) Jonathan Cornell-So (6-1, 225)
CB Dustin Mouzon-Sr (5-11, 175) Cassius Vaughn-Jr (5-10, 185)
CB Marshay Green-Jr (5-9, 170) Jeremy McGee-So (5-10, 178)
SS Jamarca Sanford-Sr (5-10, 200) Terrell Jackson-Sr (5-10, 200)
FS Johnny Brown-So (5-11, 207) Kendrick Lewis-Jr (5-11, 192)
P Justin Sparks-Jr (6-2, 187) Rob Park-Sr (5-11, 194)




Justin Sparks has the right touch. The new staff has to find better net results if the defensive depth is so good. Shene gets the three needed points on most important occasions. Sparks should keep the kickoff duties since he averages five more yards per KO than Shene. Green will keep his PR job since his new DB status fits so well. He wasn’t so great, but the potential is there along with the safety valve factor. Green gives way to 60-minute man Mike Wallace and his TD-making abilities on KRs.