A solid cast of starters returns, but when Donte Moncrief and Vince Sanders were held out of spring drills with injuries an alarming lack of depth was in full view.
Collins Moore will help that depth if he’s able to overcome the injuries to both shoulders that kept him out of most of last season. He’s a tough guy and plays hard.
Moncrief has all-star potential, but in a league with great receivers, he won’t make first-team All-SEC unless he becomes more consistent. It’s not enough to have big numbers at the end of the season. Moncrief’s 10 touchdown catches were third in the league, but he had only one touchdown catch in his first six SEC games and needs to find a way to get open when other teams are keying on him.
The emergence of Sanders will make that easier. It’s no coincidence that Moncrief’s best SEC games were his last two.
Sanders had 39 catches last year, third on the team. Ja-Mes Logan had 43, Moncrief 66. The Rebels were a better offense when Logan took over at the slot. He’s listed No. 1 there going into camp. Korvic Neat is behind Logan and will be pushed for that second spot by junior college transfer Quadarias Mireles.
All eyes will be on Laquon Treadwell in camp. He’s listed 6-3 and 215, and his skill set has been compared to Moncrief’s. If Treadwell uses his big frame to shield opponents and catches the ball in traffic as Moncrief does it could be interesting to have one of those guys on each end.
Another guy to watch is four-star signee Quincy Adeboyejo. He doesn’t have quite the hype on arrival of Treadwell, but he was impressive in summer workouts.
Sophomore Cody Core and senior Jordan Holder are on the summer two-deep.
The group no longer includes Philander Moore, who was let go in the off-season.
It won’t be stunning to see the occasional running back, Jaylen Walton perhaps, split wide at the line of scrimmage.