Ole Miss junior college transfer Terry Caldwell will start in place of middle linebacker C.J. Johnson, who underwent surgery on his torn lateral meniscus Tuesday. Johnson will be out for the next four to six weeks.
Fortunately for Ole Miss, Caldwell had been practicing at middle linebacker since fall camp and has made major improvements.
“The biggest thing in moving from JUCO to this level is learning the system,” Caldwell said according to OM Spirit. “It’s more complex. Now that I have everything down, I’m good to go. Things started slowing down for me a couple of weeks into fall camp. I have spent a lot to time in the film room with Coach Wommack and I’ve always been a guy who took pride in being ready. I will be ready Saturday.”
Rebels linebacker coach Dave Wommack moved Caldwell to middle linebacker in August to give Ole Miss some depth at that position. It turns out the Rebels need it.
Caldwell has played in every game this season, totaling eight tackles and a forced fumble. Johnson’s meniscus tear is the second such injury to an Ole Miss defensive player. Safety Tony Connor, who tore his meniscus against Alabama, has been out since Sept. 19.
— Ben Garrett (@SpiritBen) October 7, 2015