Towing the Line: Khari Demos Talks College Football Weeks 10 & 11

Khari Demos joins Matt Waldman’s RSP site this season to profile college football’s trenches while keeping an eye on standout offensive skill players.  This week, an Ole Miss tandem: RT Micah Pettus and WR Tre Harris.

Micah Pettus, RT #57, Ole Miss

I know I’ve profiled several right tackles this fall, but it’s hard not to when they’ve got the pedigree of some of these players throughout the country. This Madison, AL native is no different, as he’s helped the Rebels reach the No. 9 ranking in the nation after a 2022 campaign where he was named a Third Team Freshman All-American (College Football Network) and a 2023 Preseason Fourth Team All-American nod (Phil Steele).

Pettus is a mauler and he has a mean streak to his game. While he is not perfect and should continue to grow here in his redshirt sophomore campaign, Pettus has the looks of becoming an offensive tackle at the next level.

Pettus is a massive human at 6-foot-7 and 360 pounds, but he carries that weight well. One thing I do know is he knows how to throw his weight around, which he showcased with this block on an early 4th-and-1 conversion in the thrilling win over Texas A&M.


The two clips below illustrate that Pettus  moves his feet pretty well in pass pro, and although there are things he can clean up there, I like the room for growth he has in this area of his game.

This rep below  was one of my favorites because it’s almost like he just fell into the defender, yet he knocks him off with the block and still helps Quinshon Judkins punch this score in.

His size and strength are just overwhelming at times with run blocking, which is why I think his future as an RT makes more sense due to his prowess in that area. Most offensive lines have their top run-blocking tackle at that RT spot, and the opposite at LT is where the team’s best pass protector generally goes.

Don’t get me wrong, Pettus gets it done in pass protection.

His run blocking is what sets him apart. Making blocks like these, I’m going to coin Pettus as “The Punisher.”

He just always seems to end up sending guys to the ground, even in pass protection.

Style points aren’t a thing, of course, but Pettus showing off his mettle is not a bad thing.

What I will say about Pettus’ play in pass protection (say that fast five times) is that it’s still a work in progress. Like this set here — although Pettus won this rep, his technique was not ideal.

He was able to hold off standout DE Shemar Turner, but he also allowed him to get into his chest, causing Pettus to be unable to lock him out and have to lean on Turner. And even here, where he mirrors Malick Sylla, I’m more than impressed with his footwork.

But he does not engage soon enough, which he showed a habit of doing throughout the matchup. He also has to improve on the inclination to lunge at defenders in his pass sets. And this set isn’t even “bad” per se, let alone it’s not like he got beat. But there’s definitely room for improvement in his technique.

Here’s an example of how bad things can be if Pettus doesn’t clean up his pass-blocking technique.

Not only can he not be driven back like that to knock star QB Jaxson Dart out of rhythm in his drop-back, but he also lost here because he opened up his outside leg far too early. This took away the inside leverage he had on Shemar Stewart, clearing the way for the sophomore defensive lineman to blow up this throw despite the penalty.

This rep right here is one of my favorites of Pettus’ on the day. I like the shadowing he does with Turner on the island, and rather than ducking his head as he did in other instances, Pettus was able to keep his eyes up and on Turner, and locked in to engage at the appropriate time.

Even here on this RPO, Pettus plays it perfectly by knocking Sylla off the ball while also not pushing too far upfield.

But as long as he can stay in front of guys and anchor in when needed as he does on this 2-point conversion, Pettus’ size will be something he can rely on to overmatch guys in pass pro.

But as always, Pettus’ ability to clear the way in the run is what’s most impressive.

He even saved one of those pancakes to help seal the win for the Rebels in the end. If he can keep leaning on this skillset and growing with his pass blocking, who knows how much further the redshirt sophomore will go from here.

It’s been an interesting road for Pettus, after having some tough moments to start the season.

And again, he’s far from the perfect prospect. But I like a lot of what I see already from the 20-year-old, and for all my DragonBall Z fans out there, he hasn’t even hit his final form yet. The saddest thing, though, is that we will not see Pettus in this weekend’s top-10 matchup between the Rebels and two-time defending national champion Georgia due to a foot injury he suffered in practice. Hopefully, it’s nothing that’s too serious for him to overcome with so much to look forward to this season for the Rebels, let alone his future beyond the 2023 season.

Tre Harris, WR #9, Ole Miss

While Pettus was standing on business in the trenches, the senior wideout was putting up a legendary stat line on the edges. Harris totaled 11 catches, 213 yards, and a score in one of the most complete showings for a pass catcher on the season. It was his fourth time on the year topping the 100-yard mark and his sixth game of the season to finish with over 19 yards per catch, pushing his mark on the year to 19.7.  I think Harris has a smooth game, is a crisp route runner, and likes to go up and get the ball over defenders, which I’m sure draws a lot of head taps from his teammates.


I like the release Harris shows off here. He fakes the inside move to set himself up outside, where he then attacks A&M’s Sam McCall down the left sideline to haul this catch in.

Another play, another great release here for the Lafayette, LA native. I love how decisive he is with his route-running and the fact that he doesn’t have trouble locating a ball coming in hot.

Head-tap alert No. 1: Harris was able to haul in this fade ball from Dart to record his seventh TD on the season. Being able to make a play on the ball on the top shelf like this is such an encouraging sign for a lanky wideout who checks in at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds.

He would then show his versatility to move into the slot, proving that he’s more than a jump-ball, outside receiver when he picked up the first down on this slant. I think one thing I’ve noticed about Harris in route-running is that when he plants his foot in the ground, he’s one cut and go. I think this is something he can keep expanding his route tree with, maybe even setting up more double moves down the line.

Head-tap alert No. 2: this time around, Harris was able to take a softer release, but what was so striking to me about this catch is that he still came down with it over the shoulder, even with Jayvon Thomas all in his grill.

Not only does that take concentration, but I also think it helped him wait until the very last moment to come down with this ball, which puts Thomas in a bind as to when he should be putting his hands up.

But that was just a setup for head-tap alert No. 3: this play right here may have been Harris’ best of the game. He was able to find the hole in the Cover 2 look, and knowing this was a holeshot play, Dart was able to give the Louisiana Tech transfer a chance by letting him go up and get it.

He took that as an opportunity to continue embarrassing the Aggies’ defense. It’s all set up by a smooth shoulder dip outside on his release and the springs to go up and get it at the end, even on an underthrown ball from Dart.

Harris then capped the drive off with this 2-point conversion. To see him sift through the defense so effortlessly shows just how silky of a route runner he is.

He just knows how to set guys up and clear space for himself to get open. But as far as Harris’ top play on the day, I stand corrected. This Odell Beckham Jr.-inspired catch was the highlight of an absolutely stellar day for Harris and could be a favorite for the catch of the year.

I’m not sure what’s more impressive: being able to haul in this one-handed catch or the fact that he came down with this one after being draped on by Josh DeBerry, which resulted in a pass interference. Want to see another one-hander from Harris? This one may not have counted, but our eyes know what we saw on this one no doubt.

One of his final plays of the day, Harris showed off his run-after-catch ability, to push himself over 200 yards in a game for the first time in his collegiate career.

He reminds me of a young Keenan Allen, who was such a tactical, yet athletic, receiver when first coming out of Cal. I think Harris has the potential to be a top-100 pick in the draft, especially if he tests well during the draft process.

The SEC’s reigning Co-Offensive Player of the Week, Harris is built a little thin as a receiver. But he is by no means small. Compared to the likes of DeVonta Smith or a Jaylen Waddle, he has much more size than them.  He has the potential to add to his wiry strong build.

Aside from those concerns over Harris’ slender build, having played the bulk of his college career at La. Tech may cause some coaches to want to dive deeper into his tape. They’ll be sure to find a lot more of what you saw against the Aggies, as he totaled 935 receiving yards, 10 TDs, and 65 catches in 2022 en route to being first-team All-Conference USA.

Now that he’s a Power 5 receiver, Harris is rising to the occasion here in his senior year, as he’s currently tied for third in the FBS with Washington’s Rome Odunze for most 20-yard receptions this season (18).

Of course, that Jim Nagy stamp of approval is a must, as Harris was named a Senior Bowl watchlist player as well as the Senior Bowl’s offensive player of the week honors for his 200-yard performance. Harris may be a late rise now that he’s in the national spotlight for one of the best teams in the country. But this will not be the last time you hear about him when it comes to his exploits on the field.

So while we wait to see where he can help Ole Miss finish this year and see where he ends up playing on Sundays, let’s bask in this beauty one more time.

And of course, if you want to know about the rookies from this draft class, you will find the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), with the 2023 Rookie Scouting Portfolio for $21.95. 

Matt’s new RSP Dynasty Rankings and Two-Year Projections Package is available for $24.95

If you’re a fantasy owner and interested in purchasing past publications for $9.95 each, the 2012-2022 RSPs also have a Post-Draft Add-on that’s included at no additional charge.  

If you’re a fantasy owner and interested in purchasing past publications for $9.95 each, the 2012-2022 RSPs also have a Post-Draft Add-on that’s included at no additional charge.  

Best yet, proceeds from sales are set aside for a year-end donation to Darkness to Light to combat the sexual abuse of children. 

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