OT Michael Oher

2006 Statistics

Coach: Ed Orgeron
7-16, 2 years
2006 Record: 4-8
at Missouri LOST 7-34
at Kentucky LOST 14-31
at Alabama LOST 23-26 (OT)
at Arkansas LOST 3-38
at Louisiana State LOST 20-23 (OT)


2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

The first two years of the Ed Orgeron era have not shown the kinds of improvements that are reflected through increased win totals. The game’s top assistants have joined on, and that has meant their recent top-heavy recruiting classes. The seeds are planted and everything seems in place for the Rebels. And like watching cotton grow…now, we wait. The rushing attack looks solid and deep – the spring game was highlighted by the performances of the alternate backs. The most need is at quarterback, and the switch to Seth Adams will hopefully cure former starter Brent Schaeffer’s lacking as a leader. The only other unproven/weak link is amongst the linebackers, and in the SEC, any problems there will be costly. The talent is there; they just have to get used to each other and the pace of things in America’s toughest college football conference. This league itself is another major reason you may not realize just how much better Ole Miss is getting - when they face Georgia, Auburn, Arkansas, Alabama, LSU, Florida annually, as well as non-cons Memphis and Mizzu for ’07, improvements often seem fleeting. But true Rebels remember their recent streak of seven winning seasons (1997-2003). It was capped off by their 10-3 effort of four years ago that fell 17 points short of Ole Miss going undefeated. It may not be Eli behind center, but besides the signal caller, the difference in talent between this year’s team and that one isn’t much at all. The determining factor as to whether they can finish at .500 or better will simply be how they do against those better teams. Seeing how competitive Ole Miss was in ‘06 against Georgia, Bama, Auburn and LSU – they lost by another combined total of 17 points (and two of the losses were in OT) – we think this is a team that could be anything from a simple spoiler to an ironclad Cinderella. Any way you slice it, this Rebel squad cannot be ignored when breaking down the possibilities for what happens in the SEC this year.

Projected 2007 record: 5-7
QB - 3 DL - 3.5
RB - 4 LB - 2
WR - 3 DB - 2.5
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Brent Schaeffer, 115-244-10, 1442 yds., 9 TD

Rushing: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 234 att., 1000 yds., 7 TD

Receiving: Mike Wallace, 24 rec., 410 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Joshua Shene, 14-17 FG, 20-20 PAT, 62 pts.

Punting: Rob Park, 58 punts, 38.9 avg.

Kicking: Joshua Shene, 14-17 FG, 20-20 PAT, 62 pts.

Tackles: Jamarca Sanford, 64 tot., 33 solo

Sacks: Greg Hardy, 3 sacks

Interceptions: Dustin Mouzon, 1 for 0 yds.

Kickoff Returns:
Marshay Green, 14 ret., 25.2 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Marshay Green, 20 ret., 11.2 avg., 1 TD


DE Greg Hardy
OFFENSE: Lawrence Lilly-TE, Andrew Wicker-OG
DEFENSE: Hayward Howard-DT, Garry Pack-SLB, Patrick Willis-MLB, Quentin Taylor-WLB, Trumaine McBride-CB, Bryan Brown-SS, Charles Clark-FS, Rory Johnson-WLB (NFL)

At his other coaching stops, coordinator Dan Werner has gotten results. Unfortunately, his experience here in finishing 111th for total offense in ‘06 has us focused on his current campaign and determining whether he is possibly the wrong fit or if the talent is lacking, or both. Coach Orgeron’s recruiting efforts have been piling in the three- and four-star prospects, so Werner may need to just simplify things further until the offense can find their collective groove. The system he runs is subtle in its play-action fakes and classic use of the run to set up the pass. But one of the main reasons the offense didn’t click was due to Tennessee-transfer Brent Schaeffer’s failure to complete even half of his passes (47.1%). The Rebels run it nearly twice as often as they pass, so the aerial efficiency they require means fellow senior Seth Adams has been given the tentative nod, displacing Schaeffer under center, for now. Adams doesn’t have the same speed to run the rock as well as Schaeffer, but his ability to limit mistakes while completing a higher percentage of his passes will surely expand production. No one is more disappointed in last year’s starter than Schaeffer himself, and he knows what he has to do to step up his game enough to be more effective when given his next chance(s). There is no doubt about how good the ground game will be, especially if All-SEC workhorse BenJarvus Green-Ellis stays healthy. One of three backs in school history to ever reach the 1000-yard mark (set Rebel single-season record with 234 carries), the Indiana-transfer was the league’s No.3 rusher with his bowl ‘em-over technique and unusual speed for his size. Ex-QB Bruce Hall is worthy of more than 30+ carries, and Cordera Eason, 2005’s Gatorade Player of the Year and Max Emfinger’s No.1 national RB prospect that year, seems ready to contribute. The one person who guarantees that the ground game will work even better, regardless of which back is in, is fullback Jason Cook and his bruising efforts. As the team’s main arm of attack, the running dimension also sees four starters and three senior backups return along the Rebel front. Legendary line coach Art Kehoe already has his first All-American in junior left tackle Mike Oher, and with heady bookend Maurice Miller, a fortified outside seal will provide needed lanes through which to run. The off-season improvements to hulking Freshman All-American John Jerry’s game (after he started at right guard every week) were apparent throughout spring. Former JUCO-All-American Corey Actis also started every game in his first year in Oxford; the senior’s fruition exemplifies why Kehoe’s bunch looks to be (that much) better in ’07. Senior TE Robert Lane has adapted well after starting behind center a few years ago; both he and Rob Hough can block as well as they release into the pattern during play-action. Receiver Dexter McCluster’s return after missing the last half of 2006 due to injury (head, shoulder) should have fans salivating at his open-field potential, and Mike Wallace, the Rebel’s main aerial weapon last year, gives a full 60 minutes of productive effort. Marshay Green, Shay Hodge and WR/RB Mico McSwain all will again find themselves weapons of choice – the liberal rotations amongst the receivers and their expanding roles can hopefully equal more production with their ample talent(s). Top JUCO-transfer A.J. Jackson will hopefully be given the reps to prove why USC, Cal and Nebraska all coveted his 6’6 potential. We’ll know things are getting better here when they are converting closer to 40% of their third-down tries rather than the 29% they achieved last year. With all of this talent, how can Werner not produce at least a marginally better result? Oh, that’s right, Ole Miss plays in the SEC…results must be proven, not just assumed.


RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Seth Adams-Sr (6-4, 225) Brent Schaeffer-Sr (6-2, 205)
FB Jason Cook-Jr (6-0, 240) Andy Hartmann-So (5-10, 230)
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis-Sr (5-11, 225) Bruce Hall-Sr (5-11, 210)
WR Mico McSwain-Jr (6-1, 203) Mike Wallace-Jr (6-0, 180)
Shay Hodge-So (6-2, 195)
WR Dexter McCluster-So (5-9, 165) Marshay Green-So (5-10, 170)
Michael Hicks-So (6-3, 215)
TE Robert Lane-Sr (6-3, 240) Robert Hough-Sr (6-4, 230)
OT Michael Oher-Jr (6-5, 325) Terry Freeman-Jr (6-3, 330)
OG Reid Neely-So (6-6, 300) Darryl Harris-Sr (6-4, 300)
C Corey Actis-Sr (6-5, 290) Thomas Eckers-Sr (6-2, 300)
OG John Jerry-So (6-5, 360) Mark Jean-Louis-So (6-3, 350)
OT Maurice Miller-Jr (6-3, 350) Marcus Cohen-Sr (6-5, 290)
K Joshua Shene-So (5-9, 170) Justin Sparks-So (6-2, 170)



The rebuilding efforts here are obvious - the linebacking corps is essentially gutted, the line is revamped but stocked, and the secondary can prove 2006’s decent results were no fluke, even with many new members. Loads of talent has influxed during the Orgeron era, especially linemen who know all about their leader’s days of trench tutelage at USC and Miami. The head coach will have more time to give one-on-one lessons with top assistant John Thompson finally taking over the reigns of the D after two year’s of Orgeron pulling double-duty. Thompson’s knowledge of this league is deep (this is his sixth SEC stop), so, like at his other stops, improvements are soon to come. The most experience is found in the middle up front, where senior and ex-DE/starter Brandon Jenkins will play (barely) behind Peria Jerry. Injured his first two campaigns here, Jerry is also (like Jenkins) athletic enough, even at his size, to slide anywhere along the front to create matchup problems. Senior Jeremy Garrett’s huge performance against LSU was a major reason they barely lost in OT to their highly ranked division rival, so his healthy return has this line stacked with talent. The on-again/off-again status of the country’s top (five-star) tackle prospect, Jerrell Powe, need not be considered for this dimension to garner high expectations. The ends are another potentially top-rated group – Kentrell Lockett has impressed enough to displace two former starters, though, Hardy and Bowers have much to prove as they battle for reps they are hungry/sure to get. Tillman is another Rebel who earned Freshman All-American honors, and his ability to stay in front of worthy senior DeLoach speaks volumes for the quality and depth in the trenches. The front four will have to hold their own with so many new faces at linebacker. Svelte Jonathan Cornell won’t be everything Pat Willis was, but he especially needs to prove his toughness/size inside if he is to keep bigger foes from having success by running it right at him. Cornell has the most I-A experience here with six tackles, but JUCO All-American MLB Anthony Fine will impact things upon arrival. Ex-RB Antonio Turner is still adjusting to the finer points of his strongside, but he is doing well enough to hold off former JUCO All-American Ashlee Palmer. The weakside has seen Jamie Philips pass ex-safety Allen Walker on the two-deep, but, like at the other linebacking positions, there was nothing that impressive to report after spring ball. Thompson took over the secondary during spring. Notable was the unit’s improved ability to break on the ball, and after notching division I-A’s lowest INT total (3), this can only help. Corners Cassius Vaughn and Dustin Mouzon, along with oft-seen (nickel) Nate Banks, are the strength of the secondary. Safety Jamarca Sanford was a Freshman All-American, and though solid, he needs to shift his efforts up another gear if Ole Miss is to make marked improvements amongst its back seven’s efforts with so many new faces in front of them. See, Kendrick Lewis is still adjusting to switching from receiver – his old role will help his defensive intuition once he gets comfortable, but he will have to stay sharp or Terrell Jackson will take over. The one aspect needing real game reps to grow is the group chemistry. Once the DBs know each other well enough so they don’t have to look over each other’s shoulder(s) anymore, we will see the Rebs back above .500. This team held nine of their 12 opponents under 28 points, and four of them to 17-or-less, meaning Thompson should have a measurable impact with his hungry bunch.


DB Jamarca Sanford


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Marcus Tillman-So (6-4, 260) Viciente DeLoach-Sr (6-3, 260)
DT Peria Jerry-Jr (6-2, 300) Brandon Jenkins-Sr (6-4, 300)
NT Jeremy Garrett-Sr (6-1, 290) Daverin Geralds-So (6-2, 305)
DE Kentrell Lockett-Fr (6-5, 225) Greg Hardy-So (6-5, 255)
Chris Bowers-Jr (6-2, 245)
SLB Antonio Turner-Jr (6-1, 235) Ashlee Palmer-Jr (6-2, 214)
MLB Jonathan Cornell-So (6-1, 220) Brandon Thomas-Jr (5-11, 245)
WLB Jamie Phillips-So (6-0, 220) Allen Walker-Fr (6-1, 200)
CB Dustin Mouzon-Jr (5-11, 175) Rob Campbell-So (5-10, 160)
CB Cassius Vaughn-So (5-11, 180) Nate Banks-Sr (5-11, 180)
SS Jamarca Sanford-Jr (5-10, 200) Markeith Summers-Fr (6-2, 190)
FS Kendrick Lewis-So (6-0, 185) Terrell Jackson-Jr (5-10, 200)
P Rob Park-Jr (6-0, 185) Justin Sparks-So (6-2, 170)




Regardless of his misses against Georgia and LSU – which ostensibly cost the Rebels two possible wins – Joshua Shene’s 14-for-17 first-year campaign earned him all-frosh honors across the board. Punter Rob Park’s controlled efforts could easily equal a better (team) net result. Appropriately named, Marshay Green makes would-be tacklers’ feet appear stuck in the nearby Delta’s…ahem…marshy green. Simply put, he flies by them on punt returns. Also, Green could wrangle the KR duties from fellow-WRs McSwain and McCluster.