Rumor Central

Earlier today, rumors were swirling about this and that concerning the football players. Based on Wednesday's practice, the most prominent don't appear to be true.

On the heels of regular losing and the suspensions of QB Randall Mackey, RB Jeff Scott and WR Korvic Neat, it seems more rumors pop up daily, sometimes more frequently.

The best way to confirm or refute the rumors is to go see for ourselves at practice.

Before getting too deep into the practice report, we'll knock out a couple.

Backup sophomore Quarterback Barry Brunetti has not quit the team and WR/CB Nickolas Brassell has not been suspended for any reason.

Brunetti practiced Wednesday and is expected to play against LSU behind starter Zack Stoudt. Brassell was working mostly on offense Wednesday at wideout.

There has also been strong talk of more suspensions. Coach Houston Nutt said there will be none that he is aware of at this time. Athletics Director Pete Boone confirmed Nutt's sentiments.

"We don't anticipate any more suspensions the rest of the season," said Boone. "We are counting on everyone besides the three suspended Tuesday to be on board for the Egg Bowl."

As was reported Tuesday, it looks as if freshman Senquez Golson will start at cornerback against LSU. He had a very good game against Louisiana Tech, including his first career interception.

"I feel good to be able to get more playing time. I got a confidence boost against Louisiana Tech," said Golson. "Through the course of this year, I have learned you have to play loose and play with confidence. Those two things will carry you a long way. I was too tense and not very sure of myself earlier in the year, but now I am relaxed and confident. I've learned the correct way to study film and I am learner quicker in the film room. When you know what you are supposed to do, you can play a lot faster. I am reaching that point."

Golson said the past week or so has been tough on the players, but he's keeping the faith due to his band of freshman he hangs with.

"Coach Nutt recruited us and we are sorry to see him go, but this class of freshmen all stick together and we are looking forward to moving on," he explained. "We're looking forward to seeing who our new coach is going to be and getting into the offseason workouts."

Bryson Rose
File Photo

The Rebels practiced inside Wednesday due to wet practice fields and the threat of rain in the area.

"This building has been a blessing. Every time we have needed somewhere to practice due to bad weather, we've had the IPF to fall back on and we have had many. many great days of practice in here in our tenure," said Nutt. "Today was one of those. We got a lot done today."

While the LSU defense gets a lot of the headlines, and rightfully so, Nutt said the Tiger offense is just as dominant.

"They probably don't get as much attention, but they can be dominant as well. Their backs are physical and run downhill. WR Ruben Randle is a special talent who always seems to be behind defenders," said Nutt. "Their OL is physical and they have two very good quarterbacks. Their offense is very, very good. They are number one in the nation because they are excellent on both sides of the ball."

Freshman DE C.J. Johnson will be getting his second start after leading the team in tackles in his first start against Louisiana Tech last week.

"I am so proud of the way he has taken care of his business. He has done well in school, he has adjusted well and he's handled everything so well," said Nutt. "He's developed well and he's been humble and willing, even when we asked him to go from linebacker to defensive end. He's going to be a really good football player.

"I think he will end up at DE and that's not saying he couldn't be a fine linebacker. I just think he's going to keep growing and get quicker and he'll be a greatt player."

Johnson was excited about the way he played against the Bulldogs last week.

"I just ran to the ball and made plays," said Johnson. "I'm excited to have a big role in this week's gameplan. I am a whole lot more comfortable now than I was earlier in the year. I am thankful to the older defensive ends for tutoring me. It took a while to get adjusted because of the speed of the game, but it's coming around now. We all just have to keep working."

Johnson knows LSU is stepping things up a big notch.

"They like to run the ball right at you and play physical. We will have to match how physical they are and execute," he noted. "It's all about getting to the ball and making something happen."

Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix said the game looks like a mismatch on paper, but games aren't played on paper.

"If you look at the statistics, we don't have a chance on either side of the ball, but that's not the key to the game," he said. "Every year you see upsets on every level. Our objective is to go out there and play as hard as we can and as well as we can and see what happens.

"When we beat them a couple of years ago, it was one of the best feelings we have had here. We'd love to repeat it."

Nix knows the task is formidable.

Ferbia Allen
File Photo

"They are physical, powerful, explosive - every adjective you can use to describe a team. They take care of the ball, they are the total package," he added. "They have two good QBs, several good RBs, several good wideouts and a very good offensive line. They are the real deal."

Random Notes:

* Amidst the turmoil that has earmarked this season, at least one beacon has been bright - Placekicker Bryson Rose. Unfortunately, even he hit a snag against Louisiana Tech. Facing a 37-yard field goal to tie the SEC record for 18 straight, he missed - barely - to the right. His kick was a little off center and then the wind whipped it out of line further. Guess what? Rose will be fine. You don't hit 17 straight unless you are mentally tough, and he is. He's also focused and serious about his craft. The miss will be a blip on his radar. Rose will start a new streak soon and if he gets enough chances between now and the end of the 2012 season, he'll break the record. He's that good.

* TE Ferbia Allen was expected to return to practice Wednesday after suffering a slight concussion against LaTech. The trainer opted to hold him out one more day. He is expected to return to practice Thursday and to be available for the game against LSU.

* As we reported last week, former Rebel player Ronnie Heard, who now works in the UMAA Foundation, will be allowed to recruit for football after the season while a new staff is being put in place. Ronnie was approved by the SEC a couple of days ago. All he has to do is pass a compliance test, which he will take soon, and he will be good to go.

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