Familiar Theme

Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach Dave Wommack's priority during spring training was to get a "comfortable" two-deep at free safety, rover and husky. For the first time since he has been at Ole Miss, he feels they have reached that goal, and for good reason.

While Wommack does not believe the safeties and husky slots are totally solidified, he does believe they are well on their way.

"We had to change a player's position and we have a true freshman backing up at one slot, but I feel like we are getting where we need to be in regards to a two-deep and I believe August practice, if all goes well, will get us there," said Wommack.

Competition was real good in spring. Competition makes the wheels turn. Competition makes everyone better. Cliches, but also truths.

"There's no doubt we are deeper than we've been at all those spots. Moving Chief (Brown) to husky to compete with Tony Conner helped them both. The competition between Trae Elston and Anthony Alford was intense all spring. Cody (Prewitt) is certainly the seasoned veteran at free, but we think freshman C.J. Hampton will be ready to help after an August session and he made good strides in spring," Wommack continued.

C.J. Hampton
Petre Thomas

Wommack enjoyed watching the development of both Alford and Hampton.

"It's exciting. Anthony is such a good athlete, but he's still a little rusty from having played scout team QB most of the time in practice last year. He will continue to get better and better. With C.J., there's just so much to learn, but I was really pleased with what he did grasp. Athletically, he's what we thought he was. He just has to put being tentative behind him, which he will in short order," said Wommack. "As I told him after spring training, imagine if you had to come in cold in August. It was a great advantage for him to be here during spring training and it will pay dividends next August and during the season."

Conner. Freshman sensation in 2013.

"He's such a gifted athlete. My only concern is that he doesn't get too big to play husky. He can play a lot of positions for us on defense, but we need him to play husky. We just don't need him to get any bigger because man coverage is a big part of that position," Wommack noted. "There was a lot of carryover from last year for him. He was not hesitant with his assignments in spring camp at all. He was smooth and played fast.

"Chief took to husky well. We can depend on him to play and produce. He is pretty good in man coverage and has the right skill set for husky."

While Wommack was happy with the players on board in spring, the plans are to add to more to the mix in fall camp.

"We believe signees C.J. Moore and D.K. Buford will make fine safeties, so that is where we are going to start them out," Wommack closed. "I'm not sure which positions they will play yet, but they will be in the safety/husky mix."

Overview: Good starters? Check. Good backups? With a little more development/time, check. Wommack's happy, and why wouldn't he be? Experience, athleticism and, now, some good depth. All the ingredients for success.

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