Weapons

Want to double team Laquon Treadwell? That's fine with Ole Miss Wide Receivers Coach Grant Heard. The Rebels have quality options at every position and they are being utilized.

So far this season, when it comes to defending the Ole Miss wideouts, opposing defenses have been faced with a pick-your-poison scenario.

You shade the coverage there, we'll go here. You zone, we'll go underneath or sink in soft spots. You press, we'll go deep.

Admittedly, the competition will pick up greatly as the weeks click by, but thus far, it's been a dazzling display of wide receiver weaponry.

Laquon Treadwell and Vincent Sanders have both caught 15 balls, Cody Core 12, Quincy Adeboyejo 11 and freshman Markell Pack, who is starting to get the hang of things more and more, has 3 catches.

Wide Receivers Coach Grant Heard has little to complain about.

"They are playing with great excitement and enthusiasm and they are trying to do the little things right," noted Heard. "We are still making some little mistakes that corrected can make them better, but they are playing extremely hard and that's all I can ask them to do."

A lot has been made of the fact defenses are giving a lot of attention to Treadwell, maybe even more than Donte Moncrief was getting last season.

"That's why you see Cody and Vincent and Quincy getting more balls thrown their way," Grant said. "Some of the success of the other guys is because of him drawing extra attention and that's just part of being a team.

"That means someone else has to step up and make a play, and so far they have."

Laquon, said Heard, is handling the sometimes-role of guinea pig well, plus he's still producing.

"It doesn't seem like he is touching the ball as much, but he is still tied at the top of the team in receptions with 15," Heard stated. "There's been an adjustment for him, but he understands what he is doing for the team and he is the ultimate team player."

Grant was quick to point out there are three "pieces" to the passing success and they have all clicked to this point.

"Bo (Wallace) has been getting good protection, number one. When my guys have enough time to operate, they are going to get open," he stated. "Number two, Bo has become the kind of vocal leader we thought he could be, since the first half of the Boise game, he has not tried to force anything and he's also seeing the open guy in his progressions better than he ever has.

"Three, my guys are making plays."

Making plays. . . that's what it is all about.

"I didn't really doubt these guys would make plays. They all have the talent, even some of the guys who aren't playing are good enough. It's just great to see it in a game," he explained. "We've seen it in practice, so to see it translate to the games is good.

"Cody has been here three years. We knew what he could do, he just hasn't been able to break into the lineup because of who else we had. He's making the most of his opportunity. Quincy is just a sophomore who didn't play a whole lot last year for the same reason. And everyone seems to forget or minimize that Quon is just a fourth through his sophomore season, even though he caught a lot of balls last year."

Their early success has gone beyond talent, however, according to Heard.

"The great thing about my group is that they always push each other and compete. Who got a pancake this week? Who ran the best route? They are always making everything a competition," Heard continued. "They all feed off each other and I think that's one reason we keep getting better."

In the last outing, against ULL, Pack got more playing time. Earned or blowout opportunity?

"He's earned it. He's starting to get more of a grasp. Markell understands what we are doing and what we want. At times, he has to think too much and that slows him down some, but those times aren't as often as they were just a week ago," Grant said. "Plus, in our five-wide sets, it's perfect for him because we can get him in space and let him use his talent.

"He gets better and better each week. If that continues, he will play more and more."

Heard has a wild card also - Derrick Jones has been moved to wide receiver, at least half the time, from cornerback.

"I wanted him when we signed him. I know what he can do. He's an exceptional athlete, he just doesn't know what to do yet," noted Heard. "The open week will be a good time to get him in there and teach him more.

"At first, I gave him a package and limited it to that. This week, I can give him a little more and keep adding slowly."

Heard has not seen much, on the field, of redshirts Sammie Epps and Dayall Harris since August, but he liked what he saw then and what he has seen in the meeting room and in individual drills since.

"Being redshirts, they spend a lot of time with the defense giving them looks, but the thing I learned in August is that they are exceptional workers with talent," he closed. "They love football. They are going to be great players.

"They remind me of myself when I was that age, a little immature, but they work. I have never seen freshmen work harder. In meetings, they pay attention. In drills with me, they are 100% and the defensive coaches always say they get great looks from those guys. They have a bright future ahead of them."

Through three games, one definite thing has been established about the Rebel wideouts.

They are weapons.


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