By Robert Wilson
VICKSBURG ST. ALOYSIUS HIGH ALUMNUS BEN BROWN HAS SEASON-ENDING ARM SURGERY
Vicksburg St. Aloysius High alumnus Ben Brown has played his last game for Ole Miss.
Brown, a senior who has played several positions on the offensive line, had season-ending surgery on his right bicep this week. He was injured in the fourth quarter of the Tennessee game two weeks ago. Brown didn’t play against LSU last week.
Brown posted this statement on his Instagram account Tuesday:
“It is with great sadness that I must announce that I have played my last game as an Ole Miss Rebel. I suffered a complete tear of my distal bicep tendon in the fourth quarter of the Tennessee game. I never imaged that my time as an Ole Miss football player would end so abruptly, and it causes me great pain not to be able to finish this amazing season alongside my brothers. Even so, God is good. I had surgery today and begin a long recovery process. Please keep me in your prayers for the road ahead. I will be forever grateful for the honor and privilege to don the Red and Blue to represent Ole Miss, the great state of Mississippi, my hometown of Vicksburg, and the St. Al Flashes! It has been a dream come true for me, and I have truly had the time of my life! Thank you to Coach Luke for believing in an unproven boy from a tiny school. Thank you to all my coaches, teammates, trainers, managers, and support staff. I love you guys!”
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Brown, a preseason All-SEC selection, played 40 games in his career at Ole Miss. He was named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame earlier this year.
The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.
He graduated in December 2020 with a degree in exercise science and currently holds a 3.64 GPA. Brown is pursuing his master’s in health promotion in hopes of becoming a physical therapist. He has volunteered for several community service events including Reading with the Rebels and the Adopt-A-Basket program. Brown has been named to the Dean’s Honor Roll three times and the Chancellor’s Honor Roll four times during his four years at Ole Miss.
Brown was a MaxPreps Small School All-American second team selection as a senior at St. Al. He was ranked as the No. 1 offensive tackle in Mississippi by Scout. Brown started at offensive and defensive tackle every game as a senior.
No. 10 Ole Miss, 6-1, visits No. 18 Auburn, 5-2, Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
JACKSON PREP ALUMNUS CHANCE LOVERTICH SHINES IN HIS QUARTERBACK DEBUT FOR MISSISSIPPI STATE:
Jackson Prep alumnus Chance Lovertich got his first opportunity to play for Mississippi State Saturday and made the most of it.
Lovertich completed 5 of 6 passes for 77 yards and threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to complete an 80-yard, eight-play scoring drive with 51 seconds to play in MSU’s 45-7 victory over Vanderbilt. He completed his last five passes and ran for a 7-yard gain.
“He’s gotten better and better,” MSU coach Mike Leach said. “He is explosive as far as zipping the ball downfield.”
Lovertich transferred to MSU from South Alabama. And in his debut, he threw a TD pass as well against Southern Miss last season. Lovertich completed 47 of 86 passes for 619 yards and five TDs in six games last season.
“Chance is the ultimate competitor,” said former Prep Ricky Black, who coached Lovertich. “He’s intense and has a great spirit about him. He’s a great student of the game. It doesn’t take long for Chance to figure it out. I’m sure he picked up on the new offense quickly. He’s got a feel for the game.”
Lovertich had an amazing 59-1 record as a starting quarterback at Prep and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College before signing with South Alabama. He worked his way up to the second team in the depth chart. He led Prep to three straight state titles and Gulf Coast to a national title last year.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior is combination of Peyton Manning’s attention to detail, Brett Favre’s enthusiasm and grit and Drew Brees’ competitive fire for winning.
When Lovertich was a junior at Prep he threw 25 TD passes with no interceptions. Not one interception in 169 attempts. He completed 110 of those passes, 65.1 percent, for 1,926 yards and led Prep to a 13-1 record and a state championship. In fact, dating back to the end of his sophomore season, Lovertich didn’t throw an interception for 18 consecutive games. He threw 32 TD passes with only three interceptions as a senior and won his third straight title.
Lovertich comes from a family of star athletes. His dad, Trey, was the Mississippi Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year at Forest Hill. His grandfather, Doug Hutton, is a former All-American basketball player at Mississippi State and is in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Hutton still holds the record for most points in a game in the Mississippi public high school state tournament, set in 1960. Lovertich’s older brother, Trace, was a star linebacker at Prep.
MSU, 4-3, plays host to Kentucky, 6-1, Saturday at 6 p.m. on SEC Network.
OXFORD HIGH ALUMNUS J.J. PEGUES IS PLAYING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE FOR AUBURN
Oxford High alumnus J. J. Pegues, a 6-foot-3, 308-pound sophomore, is playing both offense and defense for Auburn these days. As a freshman, Pegues played tight end and then this spring he was switched to defensive tackle. But this season, Pegues has played both as well as on special teams.
“We utilize him.” Said Auburn coach Bryan Harsin to al.com. “J.J.’s a good player, and you want to try to get the best players on the field. So, he’s doing quite a bit: playing D-line, playing on special teams, doing a little offense. I would imagine that will continue. His football intelligence is very high. He understands the game, and that’s what allows us to be able to do multiple things with him. He is a guy that could start for us in all three phases, which is a credit to him, his ability and then just how he prepares himself.”
Pegues caught seven passes for 57 yards and was a wildcat quarterback with five carries for 14 yards. He completed the only pass he attempted. He was moved to defense to give depth at the tackle position after Jeremiah Wright’s knee injury this spring. Pegues was listed as the No. 2 nose tackle in the season opener. He has eight tackles and has forced one fumble. Pegues has yet to run the ball or caught any passes on offense.
No. 18 Auburn, 5-2, plays host to No. 10 Ole Miss, 6-1, Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.