OXFORD • It’s a different landscape for wide receivers at Ole Miss, but when the camp dust settles it appears Jonathan Mingo will have a role.
With the losses of NFL draft picks A.J. Brown and DK Metcalf plus another very productive player in DaMarkus Lodge, there’s plenty of room for young players looking to prove themselves.
It’s not surprising that a player as accomplished as Mingo at the high school level could get in the mix, but there is a lot of competition.
In Wednesday’s workout Mingo, from Brandon, was not in the rotation of the top two groups of receivers.
The first group included redshirt freshman Miles Battle and junior Braylon Sanders on the outside with sophomore Elijah Moore on the inside.
The second group included junior college transfer Dontario Drummond and redshirt freshman Demarcus Gregory on the outside and Tylan Knight on the inside.
Offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez said camp has been “really good” for Mingo.
“We knew the physical part was there when we recruited him. He’s a big, strong, fast guy, but he’s picked things up really well mentally. He’s worked really hard on that, and he’s going to play,” Rodriguez added. “He’s going to play an awful lot as a true freshman and maybe start, I don’t know, but he’ll definitely be in the mix.”
Mingo is one of five wide receivers signed in the Class of 2019, a group that includes Drummond and former Tupelo standout Jordan Jernigan.
Jernigan has been rotating in with the second group. He missed Wednesday’s practice with a turned ankle, and is day to day.
The veteran of the receivers is Moore, who carved a niche for himself as a true freshman in spite of the abundance of talent on the roster in 2018.
Playing in the slot, Moore appeared in every game as a freshman and started four times. He finished with 36 catches for 398 yards and two touchdowns.
He knows what the freshmen are going through right now. Their path to playing time is not about running away from defenders or jumping above them, Moore said.
“You’ve got to know defenses. It’s not even about being athletic. It’s about being smart. You’ve just got to be that type of player.”