With so many injuries, here's which Ole Miss football skill players have been impressive
OXFORD — Ole Miss football's injury list this spring has read like a depth chart.
Other than quarterback Matt Corral and left tackle Nick Broeker, Ole Miss' offense has looked like a shell of the dominant unit that ranked No. 3 in the FBS in total offense last year. Starting receivers Braylon Sanders, Dontario Drummond and Jonathan Mingo have spent time on the injury list. Running backs Jerrion Ealy and Henry Parrish haven't taken part in a scrimmage. Nor have tight ends Casey Kelly and Hudson Wolfe. Center Ben Brown has missed time, too.
The bad news about a spring like this is it's hard to evaluate offensive chemistry and cohesion. The good news is it has allowed Lane Kiffin and his staff the chance to evaluate players who wouldn't get this type of first-team exposure in the fall.
Here are a few of the injury replacements who have drawn impressive reviews this spring.
RB Kentrel Bullock
A sophomore running back from Columbia, Kentrel Bullock barely touched the ball his freshman year. He only carried twice for 11 yards, both in the Outback Bowl when Ealy was hurt.
Bullock has seen an expanded role this spring, rotating with Snoop Conner as the Rebels' No. 1 running back. He started and scored an opening drive touchdown in one Saturday scrimmage and ripped off a 40-yard run to get the Rebels into the red zone.
"Kentrel's done a really good job," Kiffin said. "He's a really tough, physical runner coming into his second year."
WR Dannis Jackson
Dannis Jackson's first two years in Oxford have been a bit of a disappointment. A former 4-star recruit and track star who might be the fastest player on Ole Miss' roster, Jackson has only caught seven passes in two seasons, including zero last year.
With Sanders and Drummond missing time, Jackson has slid into the starting rotation and is developing rhythm with Corral. Jackson primarily was a slot and motion player his last two years but he has gotten reps on the outside this spring.
"Dannis has played inside and outside for us, now he's playing more outside for us," Kiffin said. "He's really fast. We've just got to get him going."
WR Qua Davis
Qua Davis is a junior college signee and early enrollee who has taken reps as Ole Miss' first-team slot receiver this spring. Filling Elijah Moore's shoes isn't a task anyone envies, but Davis has looked comfortable and fluid catching bubble screens and quick outs as an extension of Ole Miss' running game.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound receiver has more of a prototypical outside receiver build than slot build, but his quickness and shiftiness in space make him versatile.
"Qua, he's a physical guy," Sanders said. "He's strong and fast. Everybody has a different game. Qua brings that physicality and speed and he's a guy that can also run the ball out of the backfield as well.
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