Thursday Practice Report

By late Thursday, just about everything that can be done has been in preparation for the next game - which this week is Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Read about it inside.

At the end of a light Thursday practice - shorts, helmets, not much longer than an hour, lots of special teams work, etc. - there's really very little left to say, very little left to ask.

As oldtimers might say, the hay's in the barn.

Most of Coach Houston Nutt's brief post-practice comments centered on the injured from a week ago being back in the fold.

"It's good to have everyone back. We had another good practice. We even had (Center) A.J. (Hawkins) out there some today," said Nutt. "He won't start, but he might be available for some action.

"It's good to have a full house, so to speak. The only player completely out, other than Kentrell Lockett, is (TB) Enrique Davis."

SS Johnny Brown, who has missed the last two games due to a knee/hamstring injury, returned to practice this week and Nutt said he's close to 100% healthy.

"I don't think he's quite 100%, but he's real, real close," Nutt commented.

The inevitable question was then sprung on the Rebel mentor. With the announcement today about the Bear being the new Ole Miss Rebel mascot, Nutt was asked his reaction.

"I'm glad our students had the opportunity to get what they wanted for a mascot, but to be real honest, I haven't thought about it much. We are the Ole Miss Rebels and our mascot is the Black Bear, but I'm worried about a different type of animal right now - I'm worried about those Elephants."

And there it is.

Nothing left to do, nothing more to say. Just tee up the ball and get it on with the Crimson Tide.

Random Note:

* Even though there wasn't much info available Thursday, we were able to pick uip a couple of tidbits about how some of the freshmen are coming along in their behind-the-scenes development in the weight program. Freshmen, you will recall, work out four times a week, unless they are playing in games, then it's three times, same as the varsity. Assistant Strength Coach Jason Wilfawn, who works with the frosh and redshirts during the season, has been impressed, thus far. "(DT) Carlton Martin is real strong - we really don't know how strong he is yet, but it's off the charts for a freshman," Wilfawn began. "(LB) Ralph Williams is also a strong young player. He benches nearly 400 pounds and works hard at it. He wants to be good. (TB/FB) Nick Parker is one of our hardest workers. They know how to work when they come from South Panola. Nick's nmumbers aren't spectacular yet, but with his work ethic, you know they will be. (OL) Matt Hall has made some big strides this season. He's stronger, leaner and more mobile than he was when we first got him last spring. (DE) Delvin Jones has a lot on his plate now that he is playing in the games, but he's continued to make good gains. He's much stronger than when he first got here. (DE) Carlos Thompson continues to make good strides as well, and I have been very pleased with (CB) Cliff Coleman now that he has come back from his ankle injury and is able to work out in the weight room. He's had a tremendous week this week."

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