Back on the Field

Senquez Golson missed spring football to play baseball. But he's back now and making his presence known on the gridiron.

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Head coach Hugh Freeze, who didn't have the sophomore cornerback in the spring since he was out for baseball, said the Pascagoula product is making an impression.

"I think he's going to be good," Freeze said. "He's doing a good job. He's playing with great attitude and passion. He has the athletic ability to play at this level. Coach (Wesley) McGriff better coach him up, because we need him."

McGriff, the Rebels' cornerbacks coach, agreed that Golson is a playmaker.

"We're lucky to have him because he's a talent," said McGriff, also seeing Golson on the field for the first time the past few days. "He has the short area quickness, the long speed, a tremendous change of direction. We've just got to keep working with him and make sure he stays disciplined and keep developing his technique and fundamentals. You'll see a good one out of (No. 21). He's coming along well, happy to have him, and he's developing well. We're going to make sure he's ready for SEC competition."

Golson said he'll be ready. Last fall the former staff helped get him started at the collegiate levbel. Now he's ready to take it to another level.

"Playing bump and run technique," is one of the aspects Golson said he recalled from last season. "It helped me out a lot with Coach (Keith) Burns teaching me to stay patient at the line. With Coach McGriff's stuff, it just makes it even better."

Golson said he's confident being back out on the football field, even though it's been a while.

Senquez Golson
Chuck Rounsaville

"As far as playing wise, it's not that bad to get back out here and practice," he said. "It's just learning the playbook. I don't really look at first team, second team, third team. I just try to look at it as making myself better to help the team."

Golson said getting used to those around him on the field is also a key to improvement.

"Confidence comes with being comfortable with the person next to you," he said. "We've got a three-man rotation on top of me with Tanner (Burns), Cody (Prewitt), and Chief (Brown). I'm comfortable with all those guys. It's helped me on the comeback routes. I know I've got help over the top."

Golson said with Charles Sawyer out with injury for a while, the Rebels should still be OK in the secondary.

"It's a team thing. We've got to bounce back. We've got a little depth this year," he said. "That's going to help out a lot. Trae Elston's stepping up bigtime. He's stepping in for Charles right now. It's going good."

Freeze said the secondary as a whole continues to be a bright spot for the Rebels.

"Defense did well and had great energy," he said. "When it got down to team stuff, defense dominated again. The secondary continues to play with a little swagger and chip on their shoulder. They show up in the team settings. Defensively we've said all along that's where most of our experience lies. They've got to carry us early on. If they can keep getting turnovers like they have in practice, we'll have some chances."

Golson said he's still not where he needs to be but there's time.

"I've got a long way to go with technique," he said. "I'm playing sloppily. My athletic ability comes in. Coach McGriff is getting us down with the technique, and (he's staying) after practice (to work with us) a little bit later."

More from McGriff:

On Wesley Pendleton – "The progress he's made is more attention to the football. He's shown signs he could be a pretty good ball hog. He had a couple of picks today which was good to see. Just keep playing fundamental, sound technique. The thing I see out of Wes is he wants to be good. He's got that attitude and swagger like he wants to be great. I just hope as his position coach I can match that."

On Dehendret Collins – "We moved him from the corner to husky, and he's one of those kids that can play any position in the secondary. He's a smart kid with a very, very high football IQ. He's a high energy guy and he does a tremendous job. Very, very coachable kid. He's another one that just wants to be great."

On the youth of the secondary – "There's some good, young talent. I'm excited about the young talent. (Anthony) Standifer is a big, smooth guy. We're just doing some development, some technique drills. He's so smooth with his size that it's almost scary. Mike Hilton is what I refer to as a boy dog. He's a physical kid, not very big, but he plays big. You can tell he's a little ball of fire now. We've got some good talent in there. We've just got to be patient and develop them."

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