Making Their Marks

With the news Tuesday that three true freshmen are slated for their first career starts this Saturday against Kentucky, the youth movement at Ole Miss continues.

Early in the current football season, Wide Receiver Donte Moncrief broke the barrier for true freshmen starting on the 2011 Ole Miss team.

Since then, Nickolas Brassell, also a true frosh, has earned starts on both sides of the ball and Aaron Morris has gained the edge as the left guard slot in his first collegiate season.

As reported Tuesday, it appears three more names will be added to the list of true freshmen who have gotten starting nods for the Rebs this season in the form of LB Serderius Bryant, Spur Keith Lewis and Safety Cody Prewitt.

"We've been easing them in for a few weeks now. They started out playing special teams and being sprinkled in during the games," said Coach Houston Nutt. "They have progressed at a rapid pace and now we feel they are ready to go. They are taking the gameplan in, working hard. The bottom line is it's like swimming - you just have to put them out there and see if they sink or float.

"We've been saying all year how we appreciate the way this whole freshman class attacks the game of football and now we are anxious to see them take the next step. We still have guys like Damien Jackson and Joel Kight who will help us in a lot of areas, but those youngsters have gotten better and need a chance."

It is also anticipated freshman WR Tobias Singleton will get more action as well as fellow frosh WR Collins Moore. Also, CB Senquez Golson will be in the corner rotation.

Serderius Bryant
File Photo

"It will be exciting to see what we can do with that many freshmen out there starting or playing significant roles," Nutt continued. "We are anxious and excited to see how they react and how they handle the speed of the game when the lights come on."

On the senior side of things, Nutt is also encouraged to have a full-speed Brandon Bolden in the fold.

"We have been doing better on offense by keeping the ball in the playmakers' hands and he's one of our better options because of all the things he can do," explained Nutt. "With him, we can open up the playbook a little more with screens, delays, draws and such. You can throw to him, hand it to him - he's just very valuable to our cause."

Random Notes:

* Placekicker Bryson Rose is on the fast track to setting an SEC record. Rose, who currently has the longest field goal streak in the country at 15 straight, is three shy of the conference record of 18 without a miss.

* The two best defensive players on Kentucky's team? Without much doubt, Linebacker Danny Trevathan (#22), who already has 94 tackles on the year, and Winston Guy (#21), who has 83 stops from Kentucky's version of the Spur position, are the main men for the Wildcats. The scouting report indicates Kentucky is "sound" up front, mainly due to how active Trevathan and Guy are, and sporadic in the secondary. "Those two can play for anyone in the conference, including Alabama," said a pro scout who was at a recent Rebel practice session.

Bryson Rose
File Photo

* As was reported Tuesday, Prewitt is no longer wearing the "club" on his broken hand that was surgically repaired prior to the Arkansas game. He's taped and gloved. At Wednesday's practice, Cody was testing the hand by catching some hard passes and didn't seem to be experiencing any difficulties or pain.

* LB D.T. Shackelford's rehab is going well. He has been cleared by his doctor to resume all lifts in the weight room, including the power clean, which is the most stressful on the knees, and he's now cutting when he jogs. With his leadership skills, one might assume that D.T. would want to get in coaching after his playing days are over. Not so. "My dream has always been to be a high school principal," he said. One would have to believe he will reach that dream one day. That's just the way he is - failure in anything he sets his mind to is not an option.

* Slot Receiver Derrick Herman was missing from practice Wednesday. He has an illness in his immediate family. Korvic Neat was lined up with the number one offense Wednesday in his absence.

* Quietly, junior Fullback E.J. Epperson has edged out junior H.R. Greer for the starting nod. Both are anticipated to play quality snaps, but E.J. will get the first shot against the Wildcats.

* The Rebels usually practice in full pads on Wednesdays during the early part of the season and then back off and only go full pads on Tuesdays as the grind of the season wears on. They are in that mode now - shorts, shoulder pads and helmets today.

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