Pleasing

Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze had a satisfied look on his face when he entered the team meeting room after Wednesday's workout, held on the practice fields under heated conditions.

"This was the first heat we had today and that was good for us," Freeze began. "Our quarterbacks were as sharp as they have been all camps and I was glad to see that."

Overall, pretty good marks from the head mentor, but there were some "buts."

"We need to get more consistent at wide receiver and we have to develop one more player there," he said. "It's not an effort thing, but we are having too many MAs (missed assignments) and too many drops. We have to clean that up and we need one of the group of Markell Pack, Dayall Harris, Trey Bledsoe and Quintavius Burdette step up for that last rotation slot. We'll decide next Wednesday who that might be.""

Back to the good. . .

"Our offensive line pushed through and did some good things today," he continued. "Our defense also seemed to have a good grasp of what we are wanting to do against Boise during the scout period. We have decided Ben Still will start at center over Robert Conyers. They are really very equal but we felt Robert could help us more playing center and both tackle slots. He will be valuable to us in that capacity. He can function at three positions and that will be very, very valuable to us.

"I continue to be impressed with some of the freshmen, like Marquis Haynes and DeMarquis Gates. They will add some quickness to our defense."

The Rebs ended the workout with a field goal competition and Andrew Fletcher continues to hold the lead in that battle, at least from 43 yards and in.


Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche.

"I'm not sure who will be our long field goal kicker yet between Andy Pappanastos and Gary Wunderlich, but Fletcher has been the most consistent from 43 yards and in," Freeze graded.

Random Notes:

* Fahn Cooper has been named the starting right tackle, but he's also working some in practice at left tackle as insurance in case anything were to happen to starter Laremy Tunsil. "We have to have a tackle rotation just in case," Freeze noted. "Conyers and Cooper are capable of playing either tackle slots, but we wanted to see Fahn there more here lately to get him used to working in space more. There are more one-on-ones out there. He's athletic enough, depending on the matchup we get. It's all about matchups."

* The NCAA has requested more information on the immediate eligibility appeals of WR Damore'ea Stringfellow and OL Christian Morris, meaning more time. . . and another delay in a decision. "We are not near the end in the next few days," said Freeze.

* Freshman WR/TE Sammie Epps got into some trouble here recently. Freeze's response? "We've had some long talks. I think Sammie is a good kid who made a mistake and he regrets the embarrassment to himself and our program," Hugh noted. "There will be punishment. I'll let him know tomorrow. It's disappointing, but we will still love him. There's a good chance there will be some suspension. My initial thought was to redshirt him, but I have not decided on that 100% yet. At the least, there will be some game suspension."

* DT Issac Gross is still out with a neck issue. "He had a shot in his neck that should speed up the recovery and help him with a cure. We should know Monday if he will be able to go against Boise," noted Freeze.

* Fletcher is in front in the field goal kicking competition because of accuracy, but also because of "get off" time. "He's very consistent and is under 1.3 seconds getting the kick off," Freeze said.


Ole Miss wide receiver Sammie Epps.

* Carlton Martin has been with the offensive line since the start of last spring. Today, he moved back to defensive tackle. "We know from history taht Carlton can help us at DT and with Issac out for now, we are looking for some insurance," Freeze stated.

* The coaches know what RBs I'tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton can do, hence, in practice lately, Jordan Wilkins, who redshirted last year and had a productive spring, is getting a lot of number one reps. "He has to be ready to play, and will play," said Hugh. "Jaylen and I-Train are tuned in. We need to get Jordan tuned in too."

* While it doesn't mean a definite redshirt, when newcomers put on the white jerseys for practice, that means scout team and that often times means a redshirt is forthcoming. DL Breeland Speaks, DE Victor Evans, DE Garrald McDowell, S D.K. Buford, OL Jordan Sims, DT Herbert Moore (redshirted last year) and OL Sean Rawlings were some of the players in white jerseys Wednesday and working with the scout teams.

* Thursday's practice is closed to the media and the public.


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