Posted 07/29/2008 at 01:37 AM
At long last, Ole Miss will have the services of defensive tackle Jerrell Powe for the 2008 season. On Monday, the SEC cleared Powe after a three-year struggle to get eligible.
Powe was the prize catch in Ed Orgeron's first recruiting class in 2005, when he was considered by most to be the best prep defensive lineman in the country.
Since watching the Ole Miss spring game a few weeks back, there was already some momentum building in my mind for the '08 Rebels. The addition of Powe only further serves that cause.
A spring game is a spring game, but Jevan Snead looked like the real deal to me. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is gone, but the combination of Enrique Davis (an orginal Auburn signee) and Cordera Eason should bring about equal production from the running back position.
WR Mike Wallace and Dexter McCluster are both playmakers. The offensive line is solid -- ranked 15th in Phil Steele's pre-season magazine -- with a dominating OT in Michael Oher, who could be a top-10 pick in next year's NFL Draft.
The defense returns nine starters, including the 14 leading tacklers. And now add Powe to that mix.
Most importantly, the Rebels will be coached better. Oregeron did an excellent job recruiting at Ole Miss, but he was an atrocious game coach.
I had already changed my pre-season prediction from 5-7 to 6-6. Now I'm thinking about calling for the Rebels to go 7-5. They would look extremley attractive if they are double-digit underdogs in Week 2 at Wake Forest.