'It's all fun'

Sophomore wide receiver Vincent Sanders doesn't watch much wrestling these days. It's been a while.

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But he likes to have fun when he practices. So much so, when participating in team drills, he calls back to World Wrestling Entertainment star John Cena.

Prior to each play, Sanders, who has impressed in fall practices, waves his hand in front of his face, in the direction of the defense.

"It's just something John Cena used to do," he said. "What it stands for is you can't see me, you can't touch me, you can't hold me, you can't tackle me, but you've got to respect me. I'm giving you five options to pick."

Sanders said the gesture is used as motivation, not just for the defense, but for himself.

"I think they hate it, you know, ‘cause it irritates every play," Sanders said. "At the end of the day, it's for motivating them to practice hard and it motivates me to make sure me and the offense get the job done."

All in fun. But it's an example of the growing confidence of Sanders, a former four-star recruit who seems to be coming into his own under first-year head coach Hugh Freeze and his wide-open offensive attack.

John Cena

Sanders caught 10 passes for 110 yards in nine games played last season.

"Every time I do it, I'm like ‘OK, I've got to make a play.' It's great motivation," Sanders said. "Every time they make a play, they throw water on me and everything. It's all fun."

Ole Miss opens its season against Central Arkansas next Saturday. Sanders is in line to play a major role.

The Rebels practiced again Wednesday afternoon, and Freeze said the team began installing its game plan for the Bears.

"I know there's a couple of things we can get rid of that I didn't like at all," Freeze said. "Our coaches have great ideas. I like for them to come up with their ideas when they watch tape, and then I'll look at it and see if we like it and put the final stamp on it. We'll start cutting it down some."

The status of tight end Jamal Mosley is still under review. Mosley was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. Freeze said a final punishment would be announced next week.

"We still got two weeks left," he said. "So far, he's done most things right. He and I talk, pretty much daily, about his status. I'll definitely let you know next week exactly what the final punishment will be."

Random Notes:

* The list of walking wounded trimmed a bit Wednesday. Senior cornerback Wesley Pendleton (knee) was dressed and was a limited participant in practice, as was defensive back Ivan Nicholas, who missed some time with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Cliff Coleman again missed practice with a knee injury.

* With Pendleton out, junior college transfer Louis Covington has been used primarily as the team's starting cornerback opposite Senquez Golson.

"Really glad we have him," Freeze said. "If we didn't, we'd be in serious trouble depth-wise with the injuries we've had. Louis is going to have to play. Hopefully, he matures very, very quickly and picks up on the stuff we're doing."

* Sophomore guard Aaron Morris was another of those players who missed a least a handful of practices this fall due to injury. However, he returned last week, and has since been in competition with redshirt freshman guard Justin Bell for the starting spot at left guard. Wednesday, Morris was back with the first team, taking the majority of the snaps.

* Junior running back Jeff Scott has been in and out of practice with a myriad of injuries. He seemed fine as he participated in practice Wednesday.

Jeff Scott
Ben Garrett

He's closer, if not all the way back, to full health and is running well. "Did everything today. Everything," Freeze said. "I think he's real close to being back to 100 percent." Scott, if you remember, led Ole Miss in rushing last season with 529 yards.

* Many have asked of a two-deep depth chart. Well, safe to say first and second teams are etched in sand, rendering a guess all but pointless. But at punt return, from left to right, the Rebels lined up as follows: CB Covington, DB Dehendret Collins, DB Brishen Mathews, LB Aaron Garbutt, LB Keith Lewis, DE Ralph Williams, LB Denzel Nkemdiche, DB Chief Brown, DB Trae Elston and CB Golson.

Scott and WRs Korvic Neat and Philander Moore are vying for the starting nod as the team's returner.

* As noted in Tuesday's report, freshman defensive end Channing Ward certainly passes the look test. He was being worked in with the ones and twos Wednesday, and after nearly ever rep, was seen with defensive line coach Chris Kiffin, who stayed in his ear. His conditioning is OK, but he's not quite there yet. Makes sense, considering he missed the first two weeks of camp. Regardless, it's obvious he's going to play and play a lot. Ole Miss needs him.

* Ole Miss returns to practice Thursday at 4:20 p.m. As usual, the practice is closed to the public. Media are allowed to view the first seven periods, as well as meet with select players and coaches following each practice.

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