But when his next opportunity to dazzle will come is unclear.
Metcalf broke his left foot in the Rebels’ 38-13 win over Wofford Saturday afternoon, as the Ole Miss Spirit first reported. He caught one pass in the game, a 10-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. He went down shortly after.
“He broke his foot, so we’ll be without him,” head coach Hugh Freeze said. “We really felt good about him in the red zone. I haven’t talked to the doctors about how long (he’ll be out), but with the way the rules are with him being able to get a redshirt — though I’ll never say never — we’d try to make that happen and try to save that year for him.”
The 6-foot-4, 217-pound Metcalf — a former U.S. Army All-American and consensus four-star prospect — was one of the top signees for Ole Miss in its 2016 recruiting class. He was ranked the No. 18 wide receiver in the country by Scout.com after hauling in 94 passes for 1,455 yards and 22 touchdowns for Oxford (Miss.) High School last season.
Metcalf had quickly developed into a red zone favorite of quarterback Chad Kelly, who completed 20 of 27 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns. Similar to his Saturday score, Metcalf hauled in a contested touchdown on a fade route against man coverage in the Rebels’ 45-34 loss Florida State.
“He’s just a big specimen anytime on the field,” Kelly said. “Throw it up to him and he can make plays. I saw him make plays back in high school when I watched him, and he’s making plays here. Just got to keep feeding him the ball. Hopefully he’ll get healthy soon and he can come back and make more plays.”
Ole Miss has certainly dealt with its share of injuries through two games.
Metcalf is the third significant contributor to go down this week, joining cornerback Ken Webster and running back Eric Swinney. Webster and Swinney are both out for the season with knee injuries. Swinney tore an ACL against Florida State, while Webster tore “pretty much everything,” according to Freeze.
However, the Rebels are deep at wide receiver. They started senior Quincy Adeboyejo, junior Damore’ea Stringfellow and redshirt freshman Van Jefferson on Saturday, and true freshman A.J. Brown, sophomore Damarkus Lodge and junior Markell Pack all logged catches as well.
“Some of those guys who’ve been here have to step up,” Kelly said. “Stringfellow does, Quincy, all those guys. They’re ready to go. It just gives them another option to be there. Those guys are great players all across the board. As long as we get them the ball, they can make plays.”
Freeze said the loss of Metcalf won’t influence his decision on whether or not to redshirt Tre Nixon.
“We’re still OK right there, I think,” Freeze said. “Lodge, String and Quincy outside, and we can move (Ole Miss tight end) Evan (Engram) around, too. We still got Van and Markel and A.J. outside, too. We’re still deep enough there. Probably wouldn’t do that to Tre right now.
“D.K. will be back, hopefully.”