Mind the Sign

Ole Miss strength and conditioning coach Paul Jackson has a sign hanging outside his office.

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It's a relatively simple sign. Nothing flashy. A motivational sign, if you will.

A sign for NFL scouts listing players Jackson -- in his first year at Ole Miss -- works with every single day, both in the weight room and on the practice fields. The players he sees as lacking in commitment.

If a player is a hard worker, one who puts in the time and effort Jackson demands, that player won't find his name listed on the sign. But those players identified as lazy or a bad teammate or unwilling to do what's necessary, well, he'll find his name blacklisted.

"That's not to really scare the kids," Jackson said. "Really, in the sign, it talks about the things that aren't physical. It doesn't say he doesn't run a 4.3. It says he's not a good teammate, he doesn't like to work hard and those aspects.

"Those are the things I think make a good pro, a good college player and all that. Plus, it lets these guys know what I think is important. I'll talk to ‘em about any guy. If he's a hard worker for me, I'll sit down and try to talk him up as best I can. But if you're not going to come out here and work, and you're not going to sacrifice for you team, I'm not going to waste my time trying to build you up."

Jackson talked about the sign, as well as his philosophy, following practice Tuesday. Ole Miss practiced inside due to inclement weather, holding a full-contact session. The Rebels have but one practice remaining before the annual Grove Bowl game Saturday.

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