Ole Miss coach Matt Luke met with the media prior to the start of the Rebels’ spring practice. And he came bringing some bad news, as he announced that a number of players will not be participating in spring practie.
Luke, who will be running his first spring practice this year after being named the full-time coach after the 2017 season, announced that the following players will miss spring practice due to injury: tight end Dawson Knox, running back D.K. Buford, running back D’Vaughn Pennamon, center Eli Johnson, defensive tackle Austrian Robinson, defensive tackle Benito Jones and defensive end Qaadir Shepard.
The biggest name of that group is Benito Jones, who is a former 5-star recruit. Pennamon is also Ole Miss’ top returning rusher from last season.
Luke also added what he is looking for from his team during its spring practices
“I want to see who the leaders are going to be,” Luke said. “Guys that will emerge and hold other players accountable.”
The Rebels will also be a little undermanned given that plenty of players have transferred from the school in the wake of its NCAA penalties. Some of the bigger names include Shea Patterson and wide receiver Van Jefferson. The NCAA has not yet ruled on if those players will be allowed to play right away. Patterson ended up at Michigan while Jefferson picked Florida.
Ole Miss’ spring game is set for April 7 and will air at 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Ole Miss went 6-6 under Luke last season. He took over after the school parted ways with Hugh Freeze back in July.