A Sneak Peek at the September/October Issue

The September/October issue of Rebel Nation Magazine™ is in production and will mail out to subscribers later this month and hit stores the week of September 4. Here’s a taste of what you can expect! Don’t miss it! It’s ALL Ole Miss from Cover to Cover!

Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

Leading the Way – Fiorenzo earned unanimous captain role by overcoming adversity

By John Davis – Oxford Citizen

If you want to be the best, you have to train like it. For Ole Miss goalie Marnie Merritt and the rest of the Rebels; work put in during the spring and summer is what determines how the 2017 season will go.

A year after the Rebels failed to return to the NCAA Tournament following a trip to the Sweet 16, the focus has only been on improvement.

“Last year we didn’t have a very successful season, but I think we made the necessary changes that we needed to implement to put our program back on the map and make our team successful,” Merritt said. “This spring, honestly, was one of the best ones I’ve ever had here as a team. We were winning games and scoring goals. It was fun again, and soccer was enjoyable.”

Ole Miss Loses Two Legends – Looking back at the lives and careers of Larry Grantham and Eddie Crawford

By Mark Stowers

Each one bled red and blue. The Ole Miss family lost two prominent members this summer as Edward (Eddie) S. Crawford III and Larry Grantham both passed away. Crawford was the school’s last three-sport letterman and had worked at Ole Miss for 54 years. Grantham used his football talents to parlay a professional career replete with a Super Bowl ring with the New York Jets.

Grantham – a gritty linebacker – played for Coach Johnny Vaught from 1957 through 1959 and played on the Ole Miss baseball team in 1958.

Crawford, a Jackson, Tennessee native, spent nearly six decades in Oxford. From 1954-1956, Crawford participated in football, basketball, and baseball for three seasons and was on the track team for one.

REBEL FLASHBACK: WARNER ALFORD – Before he was the Ole Miss A.D., Alford was a two-way player for Coach Vaught

By Mark Stowers

As a member of two National Championship teams, a SEC Championship and a lifetime of Rebel devotion, Warner Alford was “delivered” to Ole Miss via mail. Growing up in McComb – 250 miles south of Oxford – in the 1950s, that may as well have been a world away. But fortunately, the US Mail had to be delivered, and a lot of that was done by train. So, when it came time for a campus visit, the high school lineman hopped a mail train on the Illinois Central Railroad and made his way to Batesville where an Ole Miss athletic department worker picked him up “to finish the mail route.” And when his visit was over he was “mailed” back home, but he would soon fill out a change of address form with Oxford as his new residence.

Since 1957, Alford has been a staple in Oxford. He did spend a few years off campus in the family business and a couple of colleges getting his feet wet in coaching. But Oxford has always been his adopted home. And he found his wife, Kay, while an undergrad as well.

ONE ON ONE: KENTRELL LOCKETT – Kentrell Lockett talks about the famous “Tebow Game” and surviving the ups and downs of two head coaches during his time at Ole Miss

By K.L. Williams – OleHottyToddy.com

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium can be one of the most intimidating football stadiums in the country on a hot Saturday afternoon. Thousands upon thousands of screaming fans doing a primitive version of an alligator rapidly closing its jaws. The intimidation factor grows tenfold when the Florida Gators are playing their best football of the year. They hosted the Rebels while ranked 4th the nation.

However, according to Ole Miss Rebel great Kentrell Lockett, he remembers the stadium going deathly quiet. “It got so quiet at that point. So, so quiet. It was almost like you could hear street lights changing.” He vividly remembers that moment because he was the cause of the silence.

ON THE COVER: IS A.J.BROWN UNSTOPPABLE? – A.J. Brown is raising the bar for wide receivers at Ole Miss and making fans forget about a recent Rebel great

By Parish Alford – Daily Journal

Laquon Treadwell set the standard for Ole Miss wide receivers in 2015.

His departure as a first-round NFL draft pick would be felt, but the receiving cupboard in Oxford was far from bare in 2016.

There was proven experience and talent, enough that almost any young player would benefit from a slow pace, a time to take lumps and learn the ropes.

There was never a question, though, that A.J. Brown would make an impact as a freshman. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze told him so.

“They plan for me to play,” said Brown on Signing Day. That’s not all. The plan was not for Brown to make a quiet transition from high school to the SEC stage. He began his college career wearing No. 1, Treadwell’s number.

TRIPPED UP AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE: Examining the Sudden Resignation of Coach Hugh Freeze

By K.L. Williams – OleHottyToddy.com

The Line of Scrimmage.

In football vernacular, the line of scrimmage is the imaginary line that divides the offense and defense at the beginning of a play. It is an amazing strip of land. The line of scrimmage is invisible to the naked eye, yet everyone knows when it has been crossed. It stands out like a sore thumb when a player goes into the line before the ball is snapped. The entire world can see it, and you can’t hide.

The line is almost perfect. On the outskirts of the line are different colored, shiny helmets. Huge men on each side are about to battle each other for supremacy. It is often said, that whoever “owns” the line of scrimmage will win the game. This imaginary, invisible line is truly an amazing strip of land.

We all, whether we admit it or not, function through life with a figurative, invisible line of scrimmage. A line that separates us from who we are and who others think we are. It separates the public persona from the private one. Just like the line of scrimmage on the football field, it too can’t be seen by the naked eye. However, everyone knows when it’s been crossed.

OLE MISS 2017: Triumph or Turmoil?

By Acey Roberts

The 2017 Ole Miss football season is one of the more anticipated storylines in the entire nation this year, but not for the reason we all had hoped for at the end of the 2016 season.

With the sudden departure of Hugh Freeze two weeks before fall practice, the already sweltering pressure on this team has the potential to overwhelm the actual temperatures on the field of August in Mississippi.

Very few national pundits are expecting Ole Miss to make any noise. Coach Matt Luke enters his first season as a head coach in an interim role with an inexperienced QB, a new offensive and defensive coordinator and a lot of questions on defense.

The odds are stacked against them even without the off the field clamor, but longtime Ole Miss fans have been here before.

Anyone from the freshman class of 1994 and 1995 could provide good counsel for this team.

Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss AthleticsTwitter: @OleMissPix

Matt Luke is Living His Dream – As a player, assistant coach, to now, Head Coach; Matt Luke has worked his way up the ladder. Now he gets the chance to show he belongs in 2017.

By John Davis – Oxford Citizen

Matt Luke won the press conference. Now, it’s time for him to win some games. Ole Miss football needed a coach like Matt Luke. After the departure of Hugh Freeze, the only person on staff that could pull the team together was Matt Luke.

Wesley McGriff has a ton of energy, and he is great with the media, especially when it comes to one-liners. But Matt Luke has something that nobody else has on staff — a deep love for the Rebels. It’s all he has known. He rooted for his brother in the stands growing up. He’s heard all the stories about his father playing under Johnny Vaught. He’s met so many of the men that helped make Ole Miss important to so many. Matt Luke understands Ole Miss and Oxford like nobody else. His passion is second to none. His attention to detail as an assistant coach was praised. He gets the most out of his players. They respect him, and respect is something Ole Miss needs in spades right now.

Former Interim Head Caoch – Joe Lee Dunn,

IN THE INTERIM – Looking back at other interim situations in Ole Miss history. There have been two interim head coaches and one situation – after the firing of Houston Nutt – that there should have been another.

By Parrish Alford – Daily Journal

If there’s the need for an interim coach in any football program, then something unfortunate has happened to reach that point.

Ole Miss has reached that point in a surprising manner. The job security of Hugh Freeze was a topic of speculation throughout the ongoing NCAA investigation.

While the administration stood steadfastly behind him through the NCAA mess, few would have guessed that Freeze would, in fact, be terminated for reasons of morality.

However, an interim situation is where the Rebels find themselves, and it’s time to try and make the best of it.

Trying to do just that will be Matt Luke, an “Ole Miss man” if there ever was one. Luke, a popular former player, has been an assistant coach at Ole Miss for nine seasons on three different coaching staffs – David Cutcliffe, Ed Orgeron, and Freeze.

Photo by Getty Images

COMMENTARY: THIS IS NOT OUR STATE 

By Jim Shute – OleHottyToddy.com

As you are reading this, the season is starting, Matt Luke is our interim coach, and we are finally growing closer to the end of the NCAA investigation and moving on to the next chapter of Ole Miss Football.

That brings us to what the title of this article is about.  No, it’s not about the agitating phrase that Mississippi State and Dan Mullen once plastered on billboards all over the state.  This is about our state (Mississippi) and how we are in the midst of an unhealthy rivalry between our beloved Rebels and the Bulldogs.

The Ole Miss – Mississippi State rivalry has always been intense but in a spirited way.  We would tease each other by the water cooler at work and then at church on Sunday.  It was pretty intense when Jackie Sherrill was at MSU when he wouldn’t call us Ole Miss, and they won a few games against us.

This is just a sample of the types of features you will read in every issue of Rebel Nation Magazine™. You can have every issue delivered directly to your home or office by subscribing today. For only $24 you can receive the best coverage of Ole Miss, its athletic teams and ALL of Rebel Nation. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE ONLINE with a credit card, or simply mail us a check for $24 for one year, or $40 for 2-years with your name and mailing address to start receiving Rebel Nation Magazine™. Rebel Nation Magazine™ also makes a great GIFT IDEA for your favorite Rebels!