'Best Yet'

After Monday's spring practice, Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze was happy with the results from the defense and with the continued theme of great intensity and effort, but not with the production of the offense. Wednesday, he said, "may have been the best day yet" this spring.

"It was a great day. The film will show me if I am right or not, but this may have been our best day yet," said Freeze, after a full-pad workout on the practice fields in crisp, breezy and sunlit weather. "We had great competition from both sides. The players had an edge to them - it was good.

"The offense won the competition periods 3-2 and bounced back very nicely. As coaches, we probably scripted a little better against all the defensive looks we are getting, but our quarterbacks took care of the ball and didn't turn it over, which we did Monday. We were also effective running it."

This spring, Quincy Adeboyejo has been moved to the slot and Laquon Treadwell has been moved outside to take over for the now departed Donte Moncrief. Freeze is happy with both moves.

"Moving Quincy inside and Laquon outside gives us another physical outside receiver who is a great blocker and we think Quincy can stretch the field a little better than Quon because he is a little faster, so both goals are meing met with the moves," Freeze explained.

Evan Engram
Petre Thomas

Freeze has been adamant that this spring has been more consistent, intense and competitive than previous springs.

"No question," he said. "The competitive vibe is definitely more consistent. It's brand new for me, and I don't mean to be funny, but this is my first time for three years at one place too. I think the continuity of staff, the same system, some of the same kids in year three and added depth has helped. We have more consistent plays from the backups because we have better talent in some spots.

Random Notes:

* The injury bug has been kind to the Rebels - knock on wood - so far this spring. DT Lavon Hooks (ankle) injury missed a couple of days last week, but came back Monday. However, he was not able to finish practice Wednesday. . . . WR Vincent Sanders (hamstring) continues to struggle with a hamstring issue that has kept him out of spring completely thus far, but beyond that, all hands on deck.

* The Rebels have not worked much on the punting game other than extensive periods of trying to find a punt returner capable of catching the ball fluidly and consistently. "We have worked hard on catching them and I will tell you who I am excited about back there - Carlos Davis," said Freeze. "He looks real natural back there and he gives us speed in the return game. Quincy (Adeboyejo) is doing a good job as well and so is Trae Elston, but the one I am really excited about is Carlos. Anthony Alford is also working back there and has done well, but Carlos just looks more natural at it right now."

* TE Evan Engram, coming off a foot/ankle injury that sidelined him late in the year until he returned for the Music City Bowl, has come back strong. "He's matured some. He still needs to bulk up some more in the offseason and he seems more comfortable and confident now than when he first got here," Freeze assessed.

* The Class of 2013 continues to build momentum. Is it better than even Freeze thought it would be on that heralded signing day? "Robert (Nkemdiche) was dominant today and the other kids are proving to be what they were billed to be," said Freeze. "Derrick Jones, Kailo Moore, Tony Conner, Laremy Tunsil, Austin Golson, Evan Engram - all those guys, and some more, have a chance to be special here in their careers if they stay on this path. It's tough to play as a freshman in this league. Now, they understand even more now and they are maturing. I like where they are headed."

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