Call Waiting

Maikhail Miller watched from afar as Ole Miss fumbled its way to a 2-10 finish last season.

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He had no choice, really. Miller greyshirted in the fall, meaning he wasn't allowed to participate in practices or games. He was unable to directly affect the outcome of games, let alone help his teammates prepare for LSU or Alabama or Arkansas.

Former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt talked Miller into taking the greyshirt. However, Nutt was fired Nov. 7 and replaced with Hugh Freeze, who was named head coach Monday. Now Miller's status for 2012 is up in the air. He greyshirted with the understanding he would be put on scholarship in the spring.

Maikhail Miller
File Photo

Miller was excited to hear Ole Miss had hired Freeze. Freeze tried to lure Miller to Arkansas State in January. Freeze led the Red Wolves to a 10-2 season a year ago.

"I was excited. I talked to him before I signed with Ole Miss," Miller said. "Going over to Arkansas State, I talked to him a little bit when I went on an official (visit) over there. I've talked to him.

"I loved him when I was considering Arkansas State. His offense is perfect for me. He's a good person. I got pretty close to him. I'm glad he's coming to Ole Miss."

But will Miller join Freeze in Oxford? He doesn't know yet. Freeze has yet to make contact with Miller, who threw for 1,636 yards and rushed for 1,148 yards as a senior for Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton in 2010.

"I've been sitting out. A football player, he notices," he said. "A year's a good bit, so I'm just excited. I've seen what I can do and I've watched all the games. I see what they need and what they can improve on, too."

Miller said Freeze is the perfect fit for Ole Miss. Freeze was an assistant under Ed Orgeron, who coached at Ole Miss for three seasons. Freeze's recruiting ties in Mississippi, according to Miller, can't be overstated.

"He's a Mississippi guy. I know we got a lot of Mississippi kids (on the roster). He kind of knows what Mississippi is already like," Miller said. "There'll be a lot more recruits who come to Ole Miss from Mississippi. He's perfect for the job, for the timing and everything. His offense fits what we have player-wise over there now. I think it'll be pretty good."

Still Committed:

Memphis, Tenn., offensive lineman Ben Still got chills as he watched Freeze's introductory press conference Monday. He was raised an Ole Miss fan. Still, as any fan would, was inspired by Freeze's enthusiasm.

"It was great. The love he has for Ole Miss stuck out to me. I loved the press conference," Still said. "It made me want to go out there and play for him right now. That ‘Hotty Toddy' at the end kind of gave me the chills and everything. It was weird. It pumped me up pretty good. He's definitely going to bring energy back into the program. He loves Ole Miss, and he loves what he's doing. I'm looking forward to it."

Ben Still
Yancy Porter

Freeze is well known throughout Memphis. He coached at Briarcrest Christian School for 10 seasons. As head coach, his teams won two state championships, in 2002 and 2004.

"I was excited. I knew him back when … well, I didn't know him personally, but my dad and family kind of knew him when he coached at Briarcrest. We're all kind of happy that he's the one that got hired," Still said.

Still, rated a three-star recruit by, said Freeze is the right hire for Ole Miss.

The Rebels struggled mightily last season, including humiliating losses in the final three games. Ole Miss was blown out by rival schools LSU and Mississippi State, and was beaten handily by Louisiana Tech on Homecoming night.

"I think he fits great. I thought the program, you could tell the last three games it was lacking energy," Still said. "I watched his press conference. I thought he definitely was going to bring energy and all that back into the program.

"I was 100 percent even after Hosuton Nutt got fired. Now I'm still 100 percent. I'm just looking forward to getting out there and getting a chance to play under Hugh Freeze."

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