Auburn Football: Scouting the Ole Miss Defense and Special Teams

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Sep 13, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (5) steps up to the line during the game against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line

Robert Nkemdiche is one of the best players in the nation at any position. The sophomore has lived up to the expectations placed upon him as the country’s highest rated recruit in the 2013 recruiting class.

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  • He’s been named a mid-season All-SEC and All-American performer by many publications on the strength of 21 tackles and two sacks this season, as well as the attention he receives from offensive coordinators in terms of extra blockers. Nkemdiche starts at defensive tackle, but can play end as well. Bryon Bennett, Woodrow Hamilton, Lavon Hooks and Issac Gross also see time as interior defensive linemen for the Rebels.

    At defensive end, CJ Johnson and Fadol Brown are the starters, but redshirt freshman Marquis Haynes has made the biggest plays. Haynes leads the Rebels with 6.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss and his forced three fumbles lead the SEC. He and Johnson – at 220 and 225 pounds, respectively – are speed rushers that are capable of getting to the quarterback often, and Johnson is one of the team’s emotional leaders. Brown is much bigger at 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, and is a run stopper.

    Next: Ole Miss Linebackers