3 freshmen who should make immediate impact for Ole Miss in 2018

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Considering the situation he and his staff were facing, Matt Luke brought in a well-rounded signing class in his first time in charge of Ole Miss recruiting. With a bowl ban and reduction in scholarships hovering over the Rebels program, along with a slew of transfers that included starting quarterback Shea Patterson, expectations have been tempered in Oxford. But that doesn’t mean the program isn’t moving in a positive direction.

Led by three 4-star signings including pro-style quarterback Matt Corral, Luke is trying to put the pieces in place to make Ole Miss a contender again in the SEC. While Corral likely will sit behind senior quarterback Jordan Ta’amu this season, there are a few incoming freshmen who should make immediate impacts.

Here are three Ole Miss freshmen to watch in 2018:

1. Miles Battle (WR) – While fellow wide receiver signee Elijah Moore was ranked higher as a recruit, the intangibles for Battle — he’s 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds — are difficult to ignore. Battle, from Cypress Creek High School in Houston, chose the Rebels over a slew of big-time programs including Auburn and Oregon. While he will need to add some weight, Battle will be a mismatch against opponents because of his ability to get open and use his incredible hands. Look for Ole Miss to use him when the Rebels are in the red zone.

2. Jalen Cunningham (DT) – A mountain of a man at 6-6 and 345 pounds, Cunningham has the ability to help a defense that could not stop opposing running games last season. The Rebels allowed an average of 245.3 yards per game on the ground, ranking 124th of 130 teams in the FBS. He has a knack for fighting off his defender and should, at the very least, fill some holes against the run. If Cunningham lives up to his ability in his freshman season, he should be able to get into the faces of quarterbacks, pressuring them into bad decisions.

3. Kevontae’ Ruggs (OLB) – Ruggs will need to add some weight — he stands 6-4 but weighs only 210 pounds — to compete in the SEC, but all the other signs are there for him to become a contributor. He chose the Rebels over Alabama, where his brother, Henry Ruggs III, is a wide receiver. A guy who loves to hit, Ruggs excels at the second level and sniffing out the football.

The post 3 freshmen who should make immediate impact for Ole Miss in 2018 appeared first on SEC Country.

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