With five of the top 10 tacklers for the Ole Miss Rebels graduating or moved or left early for the NFL, head coach Hugh Freeze will be getting some immediate help from the northwest. Oregon State linebacker Rommel Mageo has decided to head south to Oxford to play one more season as a graduate transfer, and will be eligible as early as Spring. With the stats he produced for the Beavers in the Pac-12 last season, it could’ve made a huge difference defensively with all the flaws they dealt with off the field.
Despite a 2-10 record in the Pac-12 North, Mageo led the team in total tackles with 87, and two sacks for 19 yards. The leading tackler for the Rebels was DeMarquis Gateswith 76, 11 less than Mageo. Mageo also led the Beavers in interceptions and sacks with two. In his three years with Oregon State, Mageo recorded 157 total tackles including seven and a half tackles for a loss in 32 games. Those years of experience could help improve the rushing defense which was ranked fifth in the SEC last year.
Adding a veteran presence from another Power Five Conference is huge for the Rebels. Coming over from the worst team in PAC-12 to the 10th ranked team in the country from the SEC has to be huge for Mageo, though he’s not the only major transfer. Alabama landed wide receiver Gehrig Dieter from Bowling Green just a few weeks ago, and helps add immediate experience on the offensive side. Texas A&Mgrabbed Trevor Knight from Oklahoma, where they are in desperate need at quarterback.
The SEC appears to have gotten the best transfers during the offseason. This can be the battle of graduate transfers in the SEC for 2016. No doubt that there are others who have moved into the SEC, but right now Mageo and the others mentioned are taking center stage.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Bryan Law