<
>

Ole Miss Rebels position battles

8/18/2015
Ryan Buchanan, above, Chad Kelly and DeVante Kincade are in a three-way battle to be the starting quarterback at Ole Miss. Beth Hall/USA TODAY Sports

Our team-by-team look at position battles across the SEC continues today with Ole Miss. A look at three key battles to watch in training camp:

Quarterback: The Rebels entered training camp with a three-way battle for the starting quarterback job between Ryan Buchanan, Chad Kelly and DeVante Kincade. Buchanan got the reps with the first-team on the first day of camp but all three are getting turns. Kelly is the one pegged as the preseason favorite by outsiders, but coach Hugh Freeze floated the idea recently of not deciding on a starter until Ole Miss' Week 3 game vs. Alabama. The Rebels open the season with home contests vs. Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State so there is room for them to experiment with different signal callers before the showdown in Tuscaloosa. It would be ideal if the Rebels decided on a starter early to help the offense establish continuity with the winner, but so far, there doesn't seem to be much separation between the trio in camp.

Receiver: Ole Miss' No. 1 receiver is undisputed -- Laquon Treadwell. Beyond that, figuring out a consistent No. 2 receiver (not including Evan Engram, who is technically a tight end) and a good No. 3 to complement Treadwell is on the to-do list for the Rebels in this training camp. The options are plentiful: Cody Core has the most production among the returnees (41 catches, 558 yards, six touchdowns in 2014), Quincy Adeboyejo (26 catches, 313 yards, two touchdowns) also flashed some ability last season and Markell Pack and Derrick Jones got some playing time last season as well. There are some appealing newcomers in camp joining those returnees, like Damore'ea Stringfellow and true freshmen DaMarkus Lodge and Van Jefferson.

Offensive line: Left tackle Laremy Tunsil is the only sure thing here; there are questions to be answered just about everywhere else. Two key spots to keep on eye on here are guard and center. The Rebels are repping multiple players at center currently: Robert Conyers, Ben Still and Justin Bell. At right guard, Rod Taylor was making some headway as the No. 1 player in that spot but suffered a non-football injury last week and with his status unknown, Bell is a potential option there (Bell was No. 1 at right guard on the preseason depth chart) as is redshirt freshman Jordan Sims or possibly even one of the Rebels' left guards like Daronte Bouldin or Javon Patterson. There is much to be decided between now and the start of the season up front for the Rebels.