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A Closer Look: Special Teams

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Top Performers: Gary Wunderlich (17-21 FG made. Long of 49), Jaylon Jones (31 kick returns, 25 yards per return, one TD)

Returning in 2018: Luke Logan (So., 1L), (Isaac Way., SQ), Patrick Nasiakta (So., SQ), Jack Propst (So., 1L), Cole Becker (Fr., RS), Kamden Darney (Jr., SQ)

Newcomers in 2018: TBD

Losing from 2017 Team: Gary Wunderlich (graduation), Will Gleeson (graduation)

Looking back at 2017: The Ole Miss special teams was pretty solid on most fronts in 2017. Senior Gary Wunderlich made 17-of-21 field goal attempts, a feat even more impressive considering he battled a nagging groin injury for much of the year. Luke Logan went 2-for-3 in his absence. Wunderlich further cemented his legacy as one of the greatest kickers to play at Ole Miss. He was 64-of-77 for his career and is the all-time leading scorer in program history.

Will Gleeson averaged over 41 yards per punt and had three punts of over 50 yards. The Rebels returned just seven punts on the season for an average of 6.7 yards and Jaylon Jones took a kickoff return 97 yards for a score in the season opener against South Alabama. The Rebels weren't overly dynamic in the returning game, but were really good in all three phases of the kicking game. The task next season will be replacing two of the better specialists the team has had in recent memory in Gleeson and Wunderlich.

Looking ahead to 2018: Ole Miss' biggest challenge next season with regards to special teams will be replacing the likes of Gary Wunderlich and Will Gleeson. Wunderlich was one of the most accurate kickers in program history, and in a world of shaky college kickers, was a tremendous asset to the Rebels the last four years because of his consistency, particularly late in games. The most likely candidate to replace Wunderlich is Luke Logan, who made 2-of-3 field goals when Wunderlich was injured with a long of 25 yards. The rising sophomore will also likely retain kickoff duties. Last season he had 25 touchbacks in 76 attempts.

Gleeson also departs after a season in which he averaged 41.5 yards per kick. His likely successor will be sophomore Mac Brown who got his feet wet last season with five punts for a total of 211 yards. That is good for 42.2 yards per kick and his long was 54. It is a small sample size, but that will likely make the coaching staff feel a little bit better about the punting situation going into next season.

Jaylon Jones returns and will presumably handle the kickoff duties once again. A guy to look out for on both punt and kickoff returns is newcomer Elijah Moore. The speedy slot receiver flipped from Georgia to Ole Miss during the early signing period and Matt Luke noted his speed will be a unique weapon the Rebels have not had in a while both in the slot and as a punt returner. How Moore will impact the team as a freshman will get clearer during fall camp, but he's certainly an intriguing guy to keep an eye on.

A Closer Look:
- Running Backs (Jan. 8)
- Quarterbacks (Jan. 9)
- Wide Receivers (Jan. 10)
- Tight Ends (Jan. 11)
- Offensive Line (Jan. 15)
- Defensive Line (Jan. 16)
- Linebackers (Jan. 17)
- Cornerbacks (Jan. 18)
- Safeties (Jan. 19)
- Special Teams (Jan. 22)

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    Tiffany J. Moore said:

    This is amazing with what he have done so far! Hope that he'll achieve more in the future!

    in post Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

    Fiftyyears fan said:

    How can you have five straight top 25 recruiting classes and look as bad as Ole Miss has this year. Easy lack of coaching fundamentals. Look at Mason at Vandy, nothing but 2 and 3 star recruits out of high school and he developers players that want to win. Hugh freeze has 3, 4 & 5 recruits and he expects them to win because of what they were in High School. Mr. Freeze you have not been teaching the fundamentals of football or winning in life. Mr. Freeze you have quit on your players because you have some false expectations of what they are instead of what you can develop in them. Either do your job or quit. Oh yea, please quit running your smoke and mirrors offense, everyone has figured it out. Run a physical offense that can open up holes for your running backs and then your pass attack want require 12 are 14 four and five star receivers. Mr. Freeze you have problems and you need to know that you are not smarter than the rest of the coaches in the SEC.

    in post Rebels Unable to Send Senior Class Out on a High Note

    Karen Holden said:

    Not every pass can be caught. Too low, too short whatever. Not every Kelly pass is perfect. Records were broken by receivers also. But they sre not going to catch every ball thrown. The loss to Auburn was not one players fault. You win or lose as a team.

    in post Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

    Trent browning said:

    Hey I was just wandering if these are the only 2 olemiss players signing. If there are more signing please respond to me ASAP. Also wondering if neil everett will sign any autographs. Thank you very much

    in post Heisman House Tour Heads to Oxford for Ole Miss-Georgia

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    in post Madden 17 Ratings for Former Rebels

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