OXFORD, Miss. -- The Ole Miss Rebels are in the middle of fall camp, and many players are trying to figure out their roles for the upcoming season. JJ Pegues is one of these players, but his task is a little different than most as he is still learning how to play a completely new position.
Pegues played tight end at Oxford High School (Miss.) and continued playing this position as a member of the Auburn Tigers until he switched to defensive tackle in 2021.
"I'm just trying to get the defense down and work on myself," Pegues said. "There was [a period of time where I didn't] know what to expect, and the coaches gave me goals. They just put them on me, and however I used it, I'd get better or worse. I try to get one plus everyday."
Switching from tight end to defensive tackle can not be easy, but Pegues credits his experience at tight end with helping him transition.
"I'm at a point where with me being on offense and I hear the offensive line talk, it's familiar to me," Pegues said. "Because I played tight end, hearing them gives me an advantage."
Despite playing high school ball in Oxford and playing on defense last season, Pegues understands there is still much for him to learn, so he views this season as a fresh start.
"I feel like it is just me coming back home and being in a new system," Pegues said. "It is my first year now playing defensive line, and me playing offense my whole life, I feel like everything is a fresh start, which is why I like to learn a lot. If you want to learn, then you'll become great."
Pegues and the Rebels open their season at home against the Troy Trojans on Sept. 3. The game will be televised on SEC Network.
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