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Most Impactful Rebels for 2019: No. 3 MoMo Sanogo

by | Aug 28, 2019 | Countdown, Football | 0 comments

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 3 days before kickoff, coming in at No. 3…

MoMo Sanogo 

MoMo Sanogo was a four-star linebacker, according to Rivals and Scout, out of Plano, Texas when he signed with Ole Miss in the Class of 2017. 

MoMo Sanogo

MoMo Sanogo (Photo: Peter Rocha, Rebel Walk)

As a sophomore in high school, the 6-foot-2, 244-pound Sanogo earned Newcomer of the Year for District 6-6A after registering 111 tackles that season. He then went on to notch 110 tackles the following year as a junior, while earning First Team All-District honors. As a senior, Sanogo played in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl and in the North American Championships with USA Football’s U-18 National Team. He was named Team USA MVP after the 26-0 win over Canada. 

As a true freshman at Ole Miss, Sanogo appeared in 11 games and made eight tackles. His breakout season came last year when he started in all twelve games at linebacker and led the Rebels with 112 tackles, placing him fifth in the SEC in total tackles. 

Against Auburn and Texas A&M, Sanogo tallied 16 tackles in each game—the most tackles in a game by an Ole Miss Rebel since Tony Fein did it in 2007. 

Sanogo has been placed on the 2019 Butkus Award Watch List for the the top linebacker in the country. He was also named to the Preseason All-SEC Third Team by Lindy’s and the Preseason All-SEC Fourth Team by Athlon and Phil Steele.

Sanogo is an incredibly driven student-athlete who excels off the field as much as on. As a freshman in 2017, he earned SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll honors and followed that up by being named to both the 2018 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll as well as the 2018 Dean’s Fall Honor Roll. He represented the Rebels at SEC Media Day in Hoover, Alabama in July and is also a member of the 2019 SEC Football Student-Athlete Leadership Council. 

The Rebel Walk spoke with MoMo earlier this month at Media Day. He discussed the adjustment from last season’s 4-2-5 to the 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre. “It was a pretty simple adjustment,” began Sanogo. “Coach MacIntyre does a great job of simplifying his defense, and he did a very good job of implementing his defense earlier on in the spring. We’re all pretty comfortable in it.”

We asked Momo if he feels he’s going to have to replicate that same type of success that he had last season again this fall in order for this team to be successful on the field. 

“It doesn’t feel like I’m having to shoulder as much load. As it is, I’m just trying to do the best I can to help my team succeed,” continued Sanogo. “Last year, that was making 112 tackles, and this year, if it’s making 112, then it’s 112. If it’s making 40, then it’s making 40,” he explained. 

I’m just trying to do the best that I can and perform the best that I can for this team.

ILB MoMo Sanogo

Where does MoMo feel like he has to improve the most in order to be the best linebacker he can be for the team this upcoming season?

“As I get older, you see more and more guys in the NFL that are just defensive geniuses,” the cerebral linebacker said.

It’s just a matter of studying the game and understanding the game and understanding schemes, weaknesses, different defenses and offenses, and what they’re trying to do. Those are the real special guys in the NFL, not necessarily the best athletes, but the ones that have such a profound understanding of the game that it makes it impossible to block or get passed, so I just want to be a guy like that.

MoMo Sanogo

We fully expect MoMo to have another fantastic season in the Cardinal Red and Navy Blue in 2019. However, we don’t expect him to necessarily have to duplicate the same number of tackles as he did last season. Perhaps he will, but with the transition to the 3-4 from the 4-2-5, there should be more linebackers available than in the prior two seasons to help him out in run support.

Keep an eye out on No. 46 this fall. He’s the de facto leader of the defense and it wouldn’t surprise us if he tested the waters of the NFL draft in the offseason. 

Hotty Toddy!

Most Impactful Rebels for 2019

3.  MoMo Sanogo
4.  Elijah Moore
5.  Benito Jones
6.  Jaylon Jones
7.  Alex Givens
8.  Josiah Coatney
9.  Ben Brown
10. Lakia Henry
11. Sam Williams
12. Qaadir Sheppard
13. Jacquez Jones
14. Miles Battle
15. Jerrion Ealy
16. Braylon Sanders
17. Eli Johnson
18. Myles Hartsfield
19. Dontario Drummond
20. Jon Haynes
21. Montrell Custis
22. Demarcus Gregory
23. Bryce Mathews
24. Royce Newman
25. Tylan Knight
26. Tariqious Tisdale
27. Octavious Cooley
28. Jalen Julius
29. Luke Logan
30. Nick Broeker
31. Austrian Robinson
32. Quentin Bivens
33. Willie Hibbler
34. Isaiah Woullard
35. Jadon Jackson
36. Grant Tisdale, Kinkead Dent, John Rhys Plumlee
37. Keidron Smith
38. Snoop Conner
39. Michael Howard
40. Vernon Dasher
41. Ryder Anderson
42. D’Vaughn Pennamon
43. C.J. Miller
44. Charles Wiley
45. Sincere David
46. Mac Brown
47. Jason Pellerin
48. Chandler Tuitt
49. Dannis Jackson
50. Jonathan Mingo

Derrell Hart
Derrell Hart

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.

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