Thoroughbred

In the annals of Ole Miss football, there have been many outstanding athletes. Their names roll off the tongue easily. Add senior Safety Cody Prewitt to that hallowed list.

Of the thousands of football players who have donned the Red & Blue through the 120-year history of Ole Miss football, 48 have made First-Team All-American.

Names like Kinard, Poole, Willis, Manning (two of them), Gibbs, Dunaway, Urbanek, Metcalf and Jerry are familiar to all who claim Rebel Nation status.

The latest, senior Free Safety Cody Prewitt, is among that elite after a stellar junior season.

Now, he has a chance to get in the "uber-elite" of Rebels lore - a two-time First-Team All-American.

Only eight Rebels have done that - Bruiser Kinard, Barney Poole, Jim Dunaway, Jim Urbanek, Archie Manning, Bill Smith, Everett Lindsay and Patrick Willis.


Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt.

Will Prewitt be the ninth? The odds are in his favor, but it's the last thing on his mind.

All he talks about is the team, the 2014 team to be exact.

"It's great to have that kind of recognition," he said in a summer interview, "but I would trade it all for an SEC Championship."

That is standard fare for most collegiate athletes, but less than sincere with some.

Not Prewitt.

"Cody would play defensive tackle if it would make us a better team," said Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack. "A lot of guys rest on their laurels when they made an All-American team as juniors, but not Cody.

"He came to me last February before spring training and asked me what he could do to get better. What could he do to help the team get better. And he's done it."

Wommack has gone as far as to call Cody "indispensable" to the 2014 Rebel defense.

That is in the stratosphere of compliments from a guy who doesn't hand out accolades without merit or flippantly.

Prewitt, just days before the opener of the '14 season, can't wait to embark on his final collegiate campaign.

"We have had a very good August. Looking back, we haven't had a defense since I have been here that is as far along as we are now," the 6-2, 218-pounder noted. "We are making a minimum of mistakes and we are really anticipating getting the season started."


Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt.

Familiarity, according to Prewitt, has been a main key to the defense being, at this point, at an advanced stage of readiness.

"We all know the scheme, we have been playing together a long time and because of that we have been able to teach the young guys and bring them along quickly," he stated.

Prewitt also feels there is a full arsenal on defense, aka, more depth, versus 2013 when the Rebel 'D' was half-loaded and playing with smoke and mirrors as some positions.

"The coaches have developed a good, solid depth chart. We are not exactly where we want to be, but we are deeper than we've been in my career and by the end of the season I think we will be where we want to be," he continued. "That's going to allow us to be more aggressive. We can turn loose and give our body up because we don't have to worry about getting hurt and there being a big dropoff from the next guy.

"There's a lot of comfort in knowing if you get hurt there's somebody just as good ready to step in and get the job done."

The secondary has been, for the most part, in tact for two full years with CBs Mike Hilton and Senquez Golson, SS Trae Elston and FS Prewitt - a major plus in his mind.

"Sometimes, we don't even have to make verbal cheks. We can just give each other a look and know what to do," Cody noted. "That will be very beneficial, especially going against tempo offenses."

Prewitt is also excited about the possibility of the defensive line, the front four, being able to get pressure on the opposing quarterback without having to send extra people.

"It takes a lot of pressure off of us in the back end to know we only have to cover for four or five seconds," he explained. "If we get the pressure from the front four I expect this season, it really messes things up for a quarterback and an offense.


Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt.

"Their timing gets off and it opens up possibilities for turnovers. We want to make opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable. We want to be one of the leaders in the nation in turnovers."

Prewitt has added another element to his personal tool box - knowing what every position on the defense is supposed to do on every call.

"I feel really comfortable with the defensive scheme as a whole. I know what every player is supposed to do on every call, so I can help the middle linebacker with his calls and so on," said Prewitt. "Being able to direct traffic of the whole defense, if it's needed, was a goal of mine in the offseason."

While Prewitt is completely confident in the Rebel defense, he knows Thursday night against Boise State is going to be a major challenge. He thinks the Rebels are up to the task.

"They are a really solid team. We expect that," he added. "This is an opportunity for us to get the season off to a fast start if we can play to our potential and to the best of our ability.

"We know it's going to be a tough game, but we are going in the game with a different level of confidence than in past seasons."

Eight Rebels have been named two-time First-Team All-Americans.

Will Cody Prewitt, the thoroughbred free safety for the 2014 Rebels, be the ninth?

Don't bet against him.


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