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A Closer Look: Cornerbacks

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This is the eighth of a 10-part position-by-position series looking back at the 2017 season, as well as previewing what lies ahead for Ole Miss football in 2018.

Top Performer: Myles Hartsfield (29 solo tackles, 14 assisted tackles, 43 total tackles, two interceptions four TFLs), Ken Webster (21 solo tackles, eight assisted tackles, 29 total tackles), Javien Hamilton (20 total tackles, three INTs)

Returning in 2018: Webster (Sr., 3L), Hamilton (Sr., 1L), Hartsfield (Jr., 2L), D.D. Bowie (So., 1L), Montrell Custis (Jr., 2L)

Newcomers in 2018: Kedrion Smith (Fr., Palm Beach, Fla.)

Losing from 2017 Team: Jalen Julius (Transfer)

Looking back at 2017: The first thing that really comes to mind when thinking of the Ole Miss defensive backs in 2017 is the resurgence of Ken Webster. The rising senior overcame a gruesome leg injury in the 2016 season opener, leaving some questioning whether he'd ever get back to full strength. Webster did that and then some this season. He had 29 tackles in 10 games and had a pair of break ups and passes deflections. Webster didn't get thrown on a whole lot, and that is certainly good news for the Rebels.

Outside of that, Javien Hamilton, a junior college transfer playing his first division one season was really good for the Rebels too. He had three interceptions five pass break ups and eight deflections. He was a tremendous addition to what was still a relatively young secondary last fall. Throw in Myles Hartsfield playing well in his first full season of starting and this was a pretty solid group.

The good news? Everyone in this group returns again in 2018.

Looking ahead to 2018: Given the fact the Rebels return their entire two deep depth chart at cornerback from a year ago, this group should be strong again in 2018. Ole Miss will have the senior leadership of Webster on the field with upperclassmen Hartsfield and Hamilton alongside him. The only loss in this group is Jalen Julius, who is transferring, but all starters return next season and Julius' role with the team at full strength would have been unclear. If Ole Miss can stay healthy, they should feel pretty good about they match up to most opponents' vertical passing game. Not to mention, it can't hurt this group goes up against the likes of D.K. Metcalf, Damarkus Lodge and A.J. Brown in practice on a daily basis.

The secondary as a whole picked off just eight passes in 2017, two of which came in the season finale against Mississippi State. It will be interesting to see how that number compares to the total next season with so much experience coming back on the outside at cornerback. The team should feel pretty good about where it stands at this position in 2018.

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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