Tate Blackman, Ole Miss

Ole Miss Duo Stays True To Process

OXFORD, Miss. — There are often unintended consequences to abnormally high expectations, and the talented Ole Miss duo of J.B. Woodman and Tate Blackman know that all too well, especially Blackman.

Though Woodman and Blackman are riding high following an extremely successful weekend against Florida International to begin the season, they know not to get overconfident. They’re staying humble and taking the process one day at a time with No. 2 Louisville waiting on the horizon.

They know better than anyone what happens when you deviate off the normal path of your personal expectations. Woodman has had some rashes of success during his previous two seasons with the Rebels, while also realizing there’s more in the tank, while Blackman entered his freshman season last year with Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year expectations from some, only to succumb to a grueling freshman campaign that surely tested his mettle as a player and person.

Both are still standing tall following productive weekends and look ready to make some statements, perhaps beginning this weekend at home against the Cardinals.

“You know, JB has had some success here, and it’s almost a shame he doesn’t get a lot of credit sometimes, because he did hit seven homers last year. He hit .270ish last year, so it wasn’t like it was a terrible year, but people expect him to be an All-American type of player,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. “He certainly has the tools to be as good as anyone out there, as he can run, hit for power, hit for average and defend at any of the three positions in the outfield.

“I’m really proud of Tate,” he continued. “He had a really tough year for us, and that happens in a tough league like this sometimes. But, he never changed his demeanor or work ethic and always kept a smile on his face. He’s the first to admit he struggle last year, but I’ll also say that he didn’t shy away from expectations last season, and he won’t going forward.”


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