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OXFORD, Miss. — As we count down the days until the Ole Miss season opener against Memphis in the Liberty Bowl, we are releasing who we think the Top 50 Most Impactful Players will be for the Rebels this season. This series is a way for Ole Miss fans to learn more about players to keep an eye on this fall.
With 42 days before kickoff, coming in at No. 42…
Running back D’Vaughn Pennamon, at 5-foot-11, 216-pounds, was a consensus four-star prospect according to ESPN, Rivals, and 247Sports. He finished with 1,585 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior at Manvel High School in Texas before signing with Ole Miss in the class of 2016.
As a true freshman, Pennamon rushed for 6 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. His production increased during his sophomore season when he rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns on 53 carries for an average of 4.1 yards per carry.
Pennamon was the second highest rusher on the team during his sophomore season, appearing in 11 games, but he suffered a knee injury against Texas A&M that sidelined him for the rest of the season. For precautionary reasons, Pennamon was also held out all of the 2018 football season and now has two years left to play for the Rebels.
Pennamon is very good between the tackles, and running backs coach Derrick Nix looks forward to having the redshirt junior back on the field.
“The instincts and the skill-set, you can’t teach. He still has those. Once his body fully recovers and he gets all his strength back in his lower half, I think he’ll be that pile-moving type of guy. And he’ll be a great pass-protector.”
Running backs coach Derrick Nix
The Rebels may have speedier backs this fall, but they likely won’t have one who is as hard to tackle as Pennamon.
“He’s never been the fastest guy we’ve had,” Coach Nix told Ole Miss Spirit earlier this spring. “But before the injury, he was one of the most difficult to bring down. He had the ability to wiggle at the last second if he needed to, and he was a lot bigger than the other backs. I expect him to be at full speed by fall camp. He did a good job in the spring.”
We wouldn’t blame Pennamon if he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder in 2019, after having to sit out more than a season and then watching all the younger guys receiving high praise. Mark it down; do not count out Pennamon this fall.
Top 50 Most Impactful Rebels:
Derrell has covered Ole Miss athletics in the past for Rebels247 at 247Sports. He attended Delta State University where he graduated with a B.S. in Biology. He is currently pursuing his Pharm.D. at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy with an expected graduation of May, 2020.