The Wide Receivers

With a new coach (Gunter Brewer) and a new scheme, the wide receivers were in a learning curve with not many bodies in spring. Read Brewer's thoughts in Part VI of a series with the football assistant coaches inside.

Wide Receivers Coach Gunter Brewer came to Ole Miss from Oklahoma State in January and has been scrambling ever since.

Once spring training rolled around, the scramble continued as Brewer tries to weave his magic into the fabric of the talent available out wide.

"It's a learning process," said Brewer. "We've got a lot of guys who have worked hard and improved throughout the spring. The main thing is that they all know what the expectations are and they are buying in to those expectations.

"We have shown improvement, but we are not where we want to be. At least they are aware of what we want and they are trying to get there."

At ‘X', there is a battle going on between Vincent Sanders and Melvin Harris.

"Melvin has been in games and made some plays, but Vince has come on strong in spring," Brewer noted. "Melvin has improved his work habits and is trying to become a route-runner instead of just a big, tall fade guy. He's trying to be more physical in the blocking game and improve his overall game.

"Vince is extremely raw, but he gives great effort and is very coachable. He's made plays in the spring and has shown flashes and signs of why he was recruited here. He can be a playmaker and he can get deep with some sneaky speed. I really like his attitude."

Ben Walker and Brian Morris are a pair of walk-ons backing them up.

"They are both learning what we want done. They can both play all three positions and they are both working hard to get some air time," Gunter continued. "They've gotten a lot of reps in the spring."

Ja-Mes Logan
Chuck Rounsaville
At ‘Z', Ja-Mes Logan and Terrell Grant are leading the way as spring winds downs.

"Ja-Mes is becoming our go-to guy. He's had a good spring is more consistent and more polished than the rest of the guys. He has knowledge of the game. He needs to become more a leader of the group and become more of a lunch pail guy," Brewer stated. "Terrell moved over from the secondary and I've thrown a lot at him.

"He's got good size, speed and physical attributes. He's just learning the nuances of being a receiver. "

Matthew Tarpley has also made some plays from Z.

"I'd like to see more of him. He's done some good things in spring. He just needs to keep working. He is smart enough to play all three positions as well," Gunter added.

At ‘H' (slot), Korvic Neat held the number one spot coming out of spring training, followed by JUCO transfer Philander Moore, a return specialist as well.

"Korvic is converted RB who has quickness and natural speed. He just has to learn the position. He was not recruited as a wideout, so he has to keep working on ball skills and things of that nature," said Brewer. "He's starting to get a feel for the position and what we want him to do. There are a lot of things he can do – reverse guy, screen guy, bubble guy, underneath stuff.

"Philander is learning H on the fly. He's starting to come on, feeling his way through a pro style offense and the difference in JUCO and major college ball."

Derrick Herman figured into this hunt prior to spring, but has been sidelined all of spring with a hamstring pull.

"He's a converted RB also. I feel he can do some things for us, but right now I don't know where he fits and exactly what he can do. I got no evaluation on him this spring," Brewer closed. "Jordan Holder is another slot guy who finds a way to make plays. When we go four or five wide, he finds a way to get open and catch a ball here and there. He gets underneath and moves the chains – he's a good hand for us."

Nick Sabert is a walkon who has been injured all spring.

Bottom Line: The wideouts struggled early in spring catching the football, but they improved in subsequent practices. Logan is the steadiest, but Sanders is starting to make good gains on becoming what the Rebels want and need. Melvin Harris has been inconsistent, but he's also shown flashes of being a playmaker. On one hand, the progress of the WRs from the start of spring to the finish was encouraging. On the other hand, hurry up and get here, freshmen. More good receivers are needed.

Next Up: The Tight Ends, Special Teams

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