Adding On

Due to an outstanding offseason, Ole Miss junior Tight End Ferbia Allen, after two years as an "undersized" TE, is starting to look the part as he approaches the 250-pound mark.

Ole Miss junior Tight End Ferbia Allen has never been afraid to mix it up with bigger players.

Ole Miss Tight Ends Coach James Shibest has always said "Ferb" will "stick his nose in there without hesitation."

"He's a tough kid," said Shibest. "It's never been a matter of courage with Ferb. He uses good technique, he knows his assignments and he is consistent, but. . . . "

Allen, who was the starter last year, finishes his sentence for him.

"At times, when I would be matched up against bigger guys, I'd get pushed around a little, knocked around a little," said Ferbia, who Offensive Coordinator David Lee called "the most consistent player we had on offense in spring."

Allen set out to do something about his problem and, with the help of a nutritionist, is hoping the size issue is behind him.

"Coach (Don) Decker has been working with me and got me a nutritionist who has shown me ways to gain weight," said Allen. "I'm right at 250 now and I played last year right at 240 or a little under.

"I've been able to keep my speed. I can feel the weight, but it hasn't hurt my movement. I am a lot stronger too. I can tell a lot of difference."

The benefits of the weight/strength game should be noticeable and Allen is already convinced and confident it will.

Ferbia Allen
Chuck Rounsaville
"Like I said, there were times when I would struggle due to my lack of size. I'm anxious to try it out against some bigger guys. I'm anxious to do the pushing and not be pushed around," he smiled.

When you combine his experience, his size gains and the consistency Lee talked about after spring, Ferbia should be a potent package.

"I tried to study my book as hard as I could with the new stuff Coach Lee has put in and I took things one play at a time, like the coaches tell us, and tried to do things the right way," he noted.

That's a pretty easy formula - work hard, pay attention and do it all the time.

Ferbia is excited about the direction the tight end position in Lee's offense is headed.

"We are flexed out more like a slot guy and we use more motion and movement. We're more involved in the passing game," he smiled. "It's a lot different and it suits my skills. It's more like what I used to do in high school. I like it a lot more.

"We (the tight ends) feel like we are a bigger part of the offense."

In spring, it was Ferbia, senior walkon Layton Jones and converted wide receiver Alex Williams at tight end.

Now, Jamal Mosley, a JUCO transfer, has been added to the mix.

"I like him. He's a good guy and he's trying to learn. He comes to the tight end meetings we have and he's participating in seven-on-seven. He's eager," said Ferbia. "Having a big guy coming in who played at Oklahoma State is going to help. Anyone who is here to help the team, I am all for."

Ferbia, like all Rebels, is anxious to see who wins the quarterback job. At this very moment, Randall Mackey is his pick.

"I've just worked with him more. It could be (Barry) Brunetti. I'm pulling for whoever can lead this team to victory," he said diplomatically. "There's not a lot of difference except if you are open, Mackey will find you. Barry is more by the book and tries to go to the guy the play was drawn up for. Both of them are good."

Regardless of who wins the QB job, they will have a bigger, stronger Ferbia Allen to work with.

He can't wait to throw his weight around.

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