Stock Report: Five to Watch

Attempting to rebound from its surprising 0-1 start to the 2010 season, Ole Miss travels to Tulane Saturday for an 8 p.m. meeting on ESPN2. Go inside for five players to keep an eye on as kickoff approaches.

Hahnville, La. | SR-3L
SIZE: 6-5/260
STOCK: En Fuego
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The last few weeks have been brutal for senior defensive end Kentrell Lockett. He's traveled from Memphis, Tenn. to Cleveland, Ohio, all in an attempt to find out what was causing his heart to beat out of rhythm. Having since been cleared, Ole Miss' team captain and emotional leader is set to take his rightful place with the first-team defense. Make no mistake, no player means more to this Ole Miss team than Lockett, as evidenced Saturday, when Jacksonville State upended the Rebels, 49-48, in double overtime. The Rebels failed to muster any semblance of a pass rush and, frankly, appeared lifeless after seeing its 31-10 halftime lead evaporate. Lockett, meanwhile, could only watch in street clothes from the sideline. And as Vaught-Hemingway Stadium emptied Saturday, Lockett remained on the field disappointed, feeling helpless as his team dropped to 0-1 on the young season. Now, both on and off the field, he has a new lease on life. It may take some time to get his feet under him, but when he does, he'll wreak havoc on an underwhelming Tulane offensive line.
QUOTABLE: "This has been balled up for almost two weeks now. It had to come out somewhere. I'm just anxious, giddy, waiting for Saturday."
2009 TOTALS: 13 games, 39 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss
BEN'S BOLD PREDICTION: 5 tackles, 2 sacks

#35 FS - Fon Ingram
Atlanta, Ga. | SR-3L
SIZE: 6-0/205
STOCK: Rising
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Not to be forgotten, senior free safety Fon Ingram returned to practice this week. Like Lockett, he was sorely missed against Jacksonville State. Fill-in Damien Jackson, who had his moments, struggled in pass coverage. He ultimately surrendered a crucial touchdown on fourth-and-15 in the second of two overtimes, leading to JSU's decisive 2-point conversion a play later. Ingram has been an unheralded contributor over his Ole Miss career, but a fundamentally sound player known for his ability to make the big play and be where he's supposed to be. Ole Miss didn't force a turnover Saturday, a statistic where Ingram can quickly make an impact. It remains to be seen how much action he'll receive at Tulane, though Ingram said earlier in the week that he's around 94 percent, strength-wise. Regardless, having the stabilizing veteran in the lineup in any capacity is a big boost for an otherwise young secondary.
QUOTABLE: "I just worked hard. (The training staff) put a day (to return) in my head, and I just tried to run with it. I know the team wants me and needs me to be out there, just as bad as I want to be out there with them. I just took the training room serious and tried to get back out here as soon as possible."
2009 TOTALS: 13 games, 49 total tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown
BEN'S BOLD PREDICTION: 6 tackles, 1 interception

San Francisco, Calif. | SR-TR
SIZE: 5-11 / 220
STOCK: Same
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Jeremiah Masoli was supposed to be the story last week in his Ole Miss debut. He entered the game in the team's fourth offensive series to a raucous ovation by the home crowd. He completed his first pass to tight end Ferbia Allen, a 10-yard gain, before finishing up with 38 yards of total offense in his first drive. But as it turned out, Masoli became just another character in an unthinkable upset loss to Jacksonville State. Of note, however, was his presence under center in both overtimes, when he marched Ole Miss on two scoring drives. As of Thursday, Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt had yet to announced a starting quarterback for Saturday's kickoff at Tulane in the Big Easy. But if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on the former Oregon quarterback for the nod. Nathan Stanley performed well in his first career start, but considering recent developments, Masoli's mobility could very well be a needed commodity.
QUOTABLE: "Last season (while at Oregon) when we lost to Boise, it was a big blow for us. We all thought we were going to win that. But one of the things I did learn from that is you get better. You get better every day, one day at a time. Last year, (Oregon) came out on top in the conference. Those are still our goals. We can still do that and everybody understands that."
WEEK 1 TOTALS: 7 for 10, 109 yards, 1 interception; 5 carries, 29 yards
BEN'S BOLD PREDICTION: 11 for 16, 224 yards, 1 touchdown; 4 carries, 46 yards, 1 touchdown

#10 WR - Jesse Grandy
Pine Bluff, Ark. | SO-1L
SIZE: 5-10/165
STOCK: Same
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: A shrewd piece of insight, I'm sure, but sophomore wide receiver is the proverbial engine of the Ole Miss offense. Why? Well, not only is he one of the team's few big-play threats, but he's also a capable ball-carrier when given the opportunity. One only needs to look to last week, when Grandy touched the ball four times, and was targeted far more. He's become the de facto Dexter McCluster, the speedy, multifaceted firecracker the team so desperately needs. However, he makes the list because of his one deficiency: turnovers. His fumble vs. Jacksonville State led to one of the Gamecocks' many scoring opportunities. JSU capitalized, too. If Grandy is going to be relied upon as much as many think he will be, he'll need to protect the ball and develop into the go-to weapon. Of all the skill players offensively, be it Brandon Bolden, Markeith Summers, etc., Grandy can change a game in one play. Conversely, he can swing a game in the opposition's favor if those turnovers become a habit.
QUOTABLE: "Jesse Grandy has to continue to be our go-to guy," Nutt said.
WEEK 1 TOTALS: 2 receptions, 31 yards, 1 touchdown; 2 carries, 24 yards
BEN'S BOLD PREDICTION: 3 catches, 47 yards; 1 carry, 12 yards, 1 touchdown

#60 G - Josh Tatum
Marbury, Ala. | SO-SQ
SIZE: 6-5/315
STOCK: Rising
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Nutt announced the dismissal of oft-troubled guard Rishaw Johnson Thursday for a "violation of team rules." And for a thin, inexperienced offensive line, it was a sizeable blow. In steps longtime backup Josh Tatum, whose two seasons at Ole Miss have been spent solely with the scout team. However, he's the next in line, meaning his stock rises by default. His performance will be an intriguing storyline as the team moves on without one of its more talented linemen in Johnson, especially considering the lack of proven bodies behind him. If he struggles, don't be surprised to see current center A.J. Hawkins moved in his place and Evan Swindall switched to center. Underclassmen Michael Brown, Chris Gill and Emmanuel McCray could also get looks.
QUOTABLE: "Tatum, right now, is going to start the game," offensive line coach Mike Markuson said. "If that was a problem, we'd go with A.J. (Hawkins) as a possibility."
2009 TOTALS: N/A

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