Position Previews: Breaking Down the Ole Miss Defensive Line
Somehow, someway, we made it to football.
Training camps around the SEC open this upcoming week, and likewise here in Oxford the new Ole Miss coaching staff will get their hands on this Rebel team in full capacity for the first time since Lane Kiffin took over the program in December of 2019.
With the season set to kick off of Sept. 26 and camp about to get underway, it's time to start taking a deeper look at this Ole Miss football roster for 2020.
For the next seven days here at The Grove Report, we'll take a position group by position group breakdown of the Rebel roster, starting today with the defensive line.
Returning Starters: None
The defensive line is the single position group with the most turnover from the 2019 season. It's thus the one with the most question marks and the least amount of experienced depth.
Benito Jones, Josiah Coatney and Austrian Robinson – last year's starters and major contributors – are all on NFL rosters to start the season of professional training camps.
Returning Contributors: Ryder Anderson (Sr.), Tariqious Tisdale (Sr.), Quentin Bivens (RS So.)
Ryder Anderson is the only Rebel defensive lineman returning to record a start last year. Anderson got snaps in each of the first five games, starting four of them, before tearing his ACL in the game at Alabama.
Tisdale, while not starting as a junior, got snaps in each of the 12 games in 2019. He finished the year with 28 tackles, 3.5 TFLs and two sacks. At 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, he's the most physically imposing defensive end on the roster.
Like Tisdale, Bivens also appeared in all 12 games off the bench on the defensive line as a redshirt freshman. He totaled 18 tackles including 2.5 sacks and is the only returning interior player with much experience.
Other Returners: LeDarrius Cox (RS Fr.), Hal Northern (RS Sr.), Sincere David (RS Jr.), Patrick Lucas Jr. (RS Fr.), KD Hill (RS So.)
This group consists of a lot of redshirted underclassmen with little experience in the Rebel trenches.
Hal Northern (11 career games played) and Sincere David (eight career games played) are somehow the veterans of the crew yet the most intriguing option might come from KD Hill. After playing two games while redshirting as a freshman in 2018, Hill saw action in 11 games as a redshirt freshman in 2019.
Of course, Northern and David will be the two you expect to see the most of following the group of Anderson, Tisdale and Bivens. Look for Patrick Lucas as another guy that could sneakily contend for a starting interior role.
Newcomers: DeSanto Rollins
It's not exactly commonplace to see a true freshman defensive lineman have a shot at playing time and not redshirting in the SEC, but it's not exactly common for Ole Miss to land aa 6-foot-3, 275 pound true freshman from Baton Rouge either.
A consensus three-star prospect Rollins could fight for a shot to see actual playing time in a defensive line group that lacks a ton of depth. He was named Louisiana First-Team All-State in both 2018 and 2019, recording 63 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and seven sacks as a senior.