As first reported by RebelGrove.com‘s Chase Parham, Ole Miss updated its roster this evening with the exclusion of four names: Austin Hartzog, Jimel Judon, Dustin McWilliams and Austin Sullivan.
The Diamond Rebels went through the fall season with 41 players on their roster but now, per NCAA rules, must get down to 35 by the time the team leaves Oxford for their season opener on Feb. 17 at No. 10 TCU.
Hartzog, a former standout pitcher at Hillcrest Christian in Byram, redshirted last season. In six games during the fall, Hartzog posted a 5.28 ERA, walking eight and striking out 11 in 15.3 innings.
McWilliams transferred to Ole Miss prior to the fall season from Meridian Community College.
During the fall, the left-hander posted a 7.07 ERA in 14 innings of work.
Judon, a Myrtle native, redshirted in 2011 and struggled this fall, hitting .122. In 16 games, Judon struck out 23 times and had an on-base percentage of .204.
Sullivan had a minimal role on the team as a true freshman in 2011 and recorded one hit in three at-bats.
During 16 fall ball games, Sullivan did hit .281, but of the five catchers on the roster, the Fort Walton Beach, Fla., native had the worst fielding percentage (.953).
Ole Miss can begin individual “skill work” on Jan. 15 and begins full team practices on Jan. 27.
UPDATE (10:53 a.m. CT; Jan. 5): Just had a good conversation with Judon’s father regarding his future with Ole Miss athletics. According to his dad, Judon is considering talking to new Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze about walking onto the football team.
Judon is on an academic scholarship so his schooling is completely paid for. If he opted to transfer to continue his baseball career he would only receive a fraction of a scholarship. While playing baseball is Judon’s first love, getting his education paid for is priority No. 1.
Judon’s father said Jimel was “heartbroken” about being cut from the baseball team but he “loves Ole Miss and loves the school dearly.” As such, he doesn’t want to go anywhere else.
Judon is expected to meet with Freeze once he’s back in town for school in the hopes of earning a walk-on spot on the football team.
One big question, however, is can Judon play football? Judon, coming from Myrtle High, which does not have a football program, has never played football.
I suppose time will tell, but at a listed 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, why not give it a shot. (January 4, 2012)