Recently cleared by the NCAA for immediate play, Lane Kiffin is expecting a lot in this weekend's Egg Bowl from safety Otis Reese, a player he's oft referred to as the best Ole Miss defender.
Despite just being finally deemed eligible four days ago, Reese (a Georgia transfer) has been full-go at Ole Miss practices since he arrived on campus earlier this year.
"I think (you'll see Reese) a lot," Kiffin said. "Even though he sat out, he still practices all the time. He's in great shape. He's a great practice player. He was always preparing like he was playing. I would anticipate him playing a lot."
Originally, back in training camps, Reese was practicing as a starting safety for the team. At those times, Kiffin would refer to Reese as the team's best defensive player on multiple occasions.
A former four-star recruit (and a top-100 signee) that signed to Georgia as part of the 2018 recruiting class. Seeing action in 25 games at Georgia, including one start each at safety in 2018 and 2019, Reese enrolled early at Ole Miss as part of the 2020 recruiting class and has been on campus ever since.
Recently, after the first waiver appealed to the NCAA was denied, Ole Miss had to stop giving him reps at safety, using him in a variety of different ways in practice. Now, he's back where he belongs and is expecting to play a big role in the few remaining games.
"Once they said he had lost (the first waiver), we couldn't afford to use those reps," Kiffin said. "He's been down on service team. He actually started this week playing receiver on service to help us there because we were down numbers, until we found out."
The Ole Miss defense could certainly use Reese. Currently, the defense ranks No. 97 nationally in SP+ efficiency and No. 124 in scoring (giving up 40.9 ppg).
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