Van Jefferson

Rebel WR Van Jefferson owes a lot to his dad, Shawn

Redshirt freshman WR Van Jefferson basically took over the slot receiver position in spring training after redshirting last season. With his bloodline and background, that comes as no surprise.

Jefferson's dad, Shawn, played wide receiver in the NFL for 13 seasons and has been coaching wideouts in the National Football League ever since. He's currently with the Miami Dolphins.

So it's no shocker that his son is way ahead of the curve when it comes to wideout skills.

"I owe my father a lot. He has taught me so much about creating separation out of breaks and route-running and all the different skills of being a wide receiver," said Van. "When I was growing up, every day I was in the field with him putting me through drills and everything like that. God blessed me with some raw ability and my Father helped me hone it from an early age."

Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze says Jefferson, even at this tender age, is the best route-runner on the team and is the best at getting separation from defenders.

"My dad always instilled in me the importance of quick feet. He also taught me it's about reps, and reps and more reps and reps when you don't want to rep any more," he smiled. "I have worked hard to get where I am now."

It hasn't always been a bed of roses for Van, however.

Last year as a true freshman, he expected to make an immediate impact and when he was asked to redshirt, it really didn't set well with him.

"I was pretty upset. I didn't want to redshirt. I wanted to make an early impact, but that wasn't God's plan for me. So I waited patiently and finally realized it was best for me. My Mom kept telling me to be patient and keep working. That's what I did and now I realize the redshirt was what I needed.

"I got stronger and bigger and faster and I learned the offense inside and out."

When spring came around, Jefferson was ready to roll and roll he did, taking over the slot position within a couple of weeks of spring ball.

"I expected to make an impact in spring. It's why I put in all this work. It's what I had been preparing for," he said confidently.

Now that fall camp is here, Jefferson is picking up where he left off.

"I have good retention from spring. I'm feeling good. We are putting in some new things, but it has been easy for me to pick up so far. I'm just ready to go out there and make some plays in the games."

Jefferson said he is impressed withe the three freshmen wide receivers on the squad - A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf and Tre' Nixon.

"All three are looking really good. I believe they have a chance to make an impact quickly," he noted, "but I keep telling them to be patient. I keep telling them that they are going to make mistakes and Coach (Grant) Heard is going to get on them some, but to just keep going, keep working and keep making plays and it will all sort itself out and they will get more and more comfortable."

Van Jefferson has a bright future, starting now, at wide receiver for the Rebels and he should. . . . 

. . . . he's a chip off the block.


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