Ole Miss releases rosters for 'Grove Bowl Games'

11by:Jake Thompson04/12/24


Saturday marks the end of spring practices for the Ole Miss football team and head coach Lane Kiffin is ending his fourth in a unique and new way.

Evolving how the annual and Grove Bowl is played, Kiffin and Ole Miss announced on Tuesday the traditional scrimmage will be replaced with a 7-on-7 competition but still feature four quarters. In between those quarters will be events marking the first ‘Grove Bowl Games,’ including a dunk contest, hot dog eating contest and an obstacle course.

Kiffin also stated there would still be Red and Blue teams, splitting the roster in half, as there are points at stake and a winner will be determined.

On Thursday those rosters were revealed with a mix of the top Rebels leading both squads into Saturday’s spring finale.

“We didn’t have a big announcement,” Kiffin said of the Grove Bowl format on Tuesday. “We drafted leadership (and) split the offense and defense. I explained to them and kind of threw ideas out with them, too. We’re really excited about it. It’ll be fun but competitive, too. If you win the dunk competition you get a certain number of points and so on.”

Leading the Red Team is quarterback Jaxson Dart. Walker Howard, Braden Waterman and Jett Miller round out the the Red Team signal callers. In the 7-on-7 portion of the day Dart will have all his top targets with wide receivers Jordan Watkins and Tre Harris and tight ends Caden Prieskorn, Dae’Quan Wright and Jayvontay Conner all on the Red Team.

In the trenches the Red Team has a mix of potential starters and reserves. On the offensive line Caleb Warren, Jayden Williams, Jeremy James and Julius Buelow highlight that group. The defensive line for the Red Team includes newcomers Princely Umanmielen and Walter Nolen and freshman Kam Franklin.

Related: Ole Miss announces full details for ‘Grove Bowl Games’

Quarterback Austin Simmons leads the Blue Team with AJ Maddox and Deljay Bailey rounding out the position group. Targets for Williams in the 7-on-7 are Ayden Williams, Cayden Lee, Noreel White among the receivers. Hudson Wolfe leads the tight end group.

Kedrick Reescano and Matt Jones lead the running backs for the Blue Team. On the defensive line JJ Pegues and Jared Ivey lead a group that includes Jeffery Rush, Zxavian Harris and Akelo Stone. Nate Kelepo, Micah Pettus and Diego Pounds lead the offensive line for the Blue squad.

The ‘Grove Bowl Games’ will begin at 3 p.m. CT inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday and is free to the public and Ole Miss students. Hot dog eating world champion Joey Chestnut is scheduled to appear for the halftime hot dog eating contest that will include Ole Miss players and staff members.

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