Notes: Ole Miss’ health trending up ahead of opener

Published 3:47 pm Monday, August 27, 2018

With Ole Miss’ season opener less than a week away, the health of one of Ole Miss’ most experienced cornerbacks is trending up.

Ken Webster has been held out of practice since pulling a hamstring midway through preseason camp, but the fifth-year senior will practice Tuesday. Webster was one of the players coach Matt Luke recently voiced the most concern about not having for the Rebels’ game against Texas Tech on Saturday (11 a.m., ESPN), but Luke said Monday he likes Webster’s chances of being available at this point.

“He needed one more day, but he’ll practice on Tuesday,” Luke said. “I have him listed as probable because I do think he’ll play.”

The injury has knocked Webster down the depth chart, though Ole Miss figures to rotate often at corner against a Texas Tech offense that attempted the sixth-most passes in the nation last season. Webster is listed behind starters Jaylon Jones and Myles Hartsfield as well as true freshman Keidron Smith and senior Javien Hamilton, who returned from a hamstring injury last week and has continued to practice.

As for other players who recently returned from injuries, receivers A.J. Brown (hamstring), Braylon Sanders (hamstring) and DaMarkus Lodge (ankle) all practiced Sunday and are on track to play Saturday. Luke said redshirt freshman Sincere David, who’s listed as Josiah Coatney’s backup at defensive tackle on the updated depth chart, has made enough progress after spraining his MCL during camp that he’ll likely be able to contribute in the opener.

“He is probable,” Luke said. “He did not practice (Sunday), but I think he’ll be available to give us some snaps.”

Depth-chart musings

Austrian Robinson will begin the season as a starter at defensive end opposite Qaadir Sheppard. The redshirt junior has appeared in 15 career games, all as a backup.

Jacquez Jones’ late surge during camp has the true freshman as Mohamed Sanogo’s backup at middle linebacker. With redshirt freshman Zikerrion Baker listed as the third-team linebacker in the middle, four of the Rebels’ top five linebackers are freshmen or sophomores.

Junior college transfer Scottie Phillips will take the first snap at running back. Montrell Custis is slightly ahead of junior college transfer Vernon Dasher at nickel, though both will get plenty of snaps.

Freshman Elijah Moore will start out as the primary punt returner, though fellow freshman Tylan Knight could rotate in there. Both will see time at kick returner.

Recruiting catch

Ole Miss and Texas Tech will both host recruits at Houston’s NRG Stadium on Saturday, but there’s a catch.

While the schools can provide game tickets for prospects, NCAA rules prohibit coaches from talking to them since the game is being played off campus. Luke said most of those tickets will be reserved for prospects in Houston and the surrounding area that Ole Miss is recruiting since the game is set for a morning kickoff.