OXFORD, Miss. – The honors keep pouring in for Ole Miss redshirt-freshman linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche.
On Friday, he earned a place on Scout.com’s Freshman All-America first team, one of 10 Southeastern Conference players on the first team.
The Loganville, Ga., native had already been tabbed All-SEC second team (Associated Press) and SEC All-Freshman (Coaches) earlier in the week.
Nkemdiche earned a starting role at Stinger out of preseason camp and helped lead the Rebels from a last-place preseason pick all the way to a bowl game. An undersized SEC linebacker at 5-foot-11 and 203 pounds, he leads Ole Miss with 78 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and three interceptions this year.
Nkemdiche is tied for eighth in the SEC and tops among freshmen with 1.0 tackles for loss per outing, and third nationally among all freshmen. He’s one of just two SEC players that forced four fumbles in league play, along with SEC Defensive Player of the Year Jarvis Jones from Georgia.
It is the second straight year for a Rebel linebacker to be named Freshman All-America. Serderius Bryant picked up third-team honors last year from Phil Steele.
Ole Miss will play in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 5 in Birmingham, Ala. The Rebels will square off against the Pitt Panthers for the first time in the two programs’ storied histories.