Day One

Coach Houston Nutt showed up at the newcomers press gathering Thursday afternoon with mainly good news.

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"We're real excited to get going," said Nutt, entering his fourth season with the Rebels. "We gave our freshmen about six days off. They're back trying to get into the locker room and dorm rooms and the whole bit. So we're excited."

Nutt said this class can be special.

"This class is very, very important," he said. "We asked all of them to be here by May 27. That's hard to do, to graduate from high school and get here by that first session. But it shows the drive they had to get here. That sends a huge message. They know we're counting on them. There may be some we redshirt, but we're asking them all to come get on the bus."

Nutt said this class has been building for a while, and it goes back to last winter when they were bringing them together as Ole Miss Rebels.

From left to right: Johnson, Worthy, Moncrief
Yancy Porter

"It's an exciting group and it sends such a message of the kind of recruiting year we did have," he said. "They still feel that same thing we told them in the living rooms, that this can be the group that can make this place very special. We stay here together for the next four or five years, it could be real special."

There are two situations still to be cleared up.

"We've got a couple of guys with a few things left to do," he continued. "Denzel Nkemdiche is one, but we expect him to be here soon. We're just about done."

Nutt felt Nkemdiche was cleared by now.

"He went to summer school all summer, both semesters," Nutt said. "So I feel good about it."

The other is not an academic situation but a medical situation. Kameron Woods' shoulder is being evaluated by a doctor.

"He's definitely going to be here, but we'll decide whether he'll be here now or wait until January," Nutt said.

Nutt said he feels good about the academic situation as it pertains to the incoming Rebels.

"This is the best (situation) I've ever had academically," Nutt said. "When you have this many guys that all make it, I'm really excited about that. It helps our numbers a great deal. Now we're anxious to get out on the field."

Nutt said newcomers could help in several areas.

"Linebacker, of course, is thin. Defensive back, the secondary. Receivers very thin. And you can never get enough linemen. They're always valuable."

Some other Nutt notes from Thursday:

On Tanner Burns, son of defensive backs coach Keith Burns: We're exploring that. He's a coach's son. We're asking for a waver there, and he wants to be here. I'm excited and at the very least he will help us on a scout team situation. It's always good to have a coach's son in a program, and he understands football.

On Aaron Garbutt: Unbelievable. He's been working out. Took care of school work and working out. Looks like he's been training hard. I'm real excited about him. I'm thinking more safety for him. He's played corner and safety.

Houston Nutt
Bruce Newman

On Keith Lewis and Serderius Bryant: Keith Lewis is 230-plus pounds. He looks the part. He runs, he's quick. Bryant doesn't have the length and height and weight of a C.J. Johnson or Keith Lewis. Turn on his film, he's tough. He's a tackler, and he'll hit you. I'm excited about him.

On Chief Brown: Excited about him. Start him out there at safety. He's 100 percent and good to go.

On the young receivers: Gunner's numbers in that room are larger, which we really needed. Donte Moncrief physically, you feel like he will help us. Nick Brassell, speed, athleticism, will help us and also on special teams. Tobias Singleton, speed, he's thick, and another guy that can return a kick. Collins Moore, keep your eyes on him. T.J. Worthy. Some guys there that are very, very talented. I don't know who is going to get in that rotation. At the end of the first ten days, we'll know who at least the six are.

On Brassell potentially playing defense: You can do it. You're talking about a small package on defense for him. I've seen him do it since ninth grade at camps. Offense primarily. Special situations on defense, starting out.

On Senquez Golson: Senquez Golson. I thank him every day. And his family. Because they had an opportunity to accept money and go play baseball. And they didn't do it. Wanted to come to Ole Miss. This guy is so talented. He's physical. He's more mature than I think any freshmen corner I've seen in a long time. It's a blessing that he's here. If we didn't have Senquez, we'd be hurting with depth.

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