Big things are expected this season from Ole Miss defensive end Marquis Haynes, beginning Monday night when the Rebels open the season against Florida State in Orlando.
Haynes (6 feet 3, 222 pounds), a junior, had 10 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss last season, and already is for fourth in school history with 17.5 career sacks.
His success hasn’t surprised David Penland, his high school coach at Jacksonville University Christian. Haynes helped University Christian to the Cass 2A state title as a senior in 2012.
“I knew he was going to blow up just because of his size and how fast he was going into his senior season,” Penland told GN. “Just a natural freak. Colleges were chomping at the bit to see this kid.”
Haynes originally signed with North Carolina, but things fell through because of academic issues.
“He was North Carolina at the start,” Penland said. “Then he went to a prep school (Fort Union Military Academy in Virginia); he passed everything at the prep school, but North Carolina has been in all this trouble with academics and they just basically said ‘no.’ That’s how he ended up at Ole Miss.
“Haynes said he liked the coaching staff at Ole Miss, said they reminded him of us.”
Penland remains close with Haynes.
“I talk to him all the time,” he said. “Every time he is in town, he makes sure he comes by and sees us. He’s just a genuine, good kid. …
“It’s awesome to watch him on Saturdays, just knowing the potential he has and where it could take him.”
Haynes’ athleticism is such that a move to outside linebacker at the next level is the projection. His best trait is his pass-rush ability, and guys who can rush the passer on a consistent basis can make a lot of NFL money.
His one-on-one battles Monday night with Florida State offensive tackle Roderick Johnson – considered one of the best offensive linemen in the nation – will be must-watch tape for NFL scouts.
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)
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