Bowl participation affords a program many things, but one of the most important is getting a jump on spring football and next year by getting backups and younger players quality, needed reps.
"We've been doing a lot of indo and competition periods with the younger guys and it's been really good," noted Rebel Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack. "This gives us a chance to get them on film and evaluate them and see their progress and gauge what they need to do to get better. These bowl practices are very valuable, I believe. They give you a great jump on spring training and next year.
"I've been really impressed with DT Breeland Speaks, DE Victor Evans, Husky C.J. Moore, all of them really. I've said before, we didn't have many misses in last year's class."
Wommack also mentioned FS C.J. Hampton and CB Kendarius Webster.
"Those guys have played some, so we know more about them, but they improve daily. I'm really excited to see how they do in spring training, but these extra days they are getting right now have really helped them advance," Dave stated. "We will give C.J. the reins in spring at free safety and see how he does. I think he will be ready."
DE Gerrald McDowell? Wommack likes what he sees there too.
"He is an effort guy. I want to see him gains some weight and get bigger. He works really hard, he shows some good things in technique and he uses his hands well in getting off blocks," Dave stated.
Wommack is highly impressed with TCU's offense, especially QB Trevone Boykin.
"He ended up in the Top 5 in the Heisman, didn't he?" Wommack asked. "He's a great athlete and he improved his passing as the year went on. They take a lot of shots deep. Their offense is very similar to Texas A&M.
"They run some of the same stuff as MSU in their run game, but like A&M with their passing game. They are very good on offense. We have our hands full."
* All-American Cornerback Senquez Golson missed practice Tuesday due to a stomach virus. It is said to be the 24-hour variety, so no major worries.
* For the third year in a row, the Rebels have landed a defensive lineman on the Freshman All-American First-Team. In 2012, it was DT Issac Gross. In 2013, DT Robert Nkemdiche. This year, DE Marquis Haynes. The Rebels are the only program in the country with that distinction - frosh DL making that prestigious squad three years in a row.
* WR Laquon Treadwell, who broke his foot in the Auburn game, is now off his scooter and in a walking boot. He will be in the boot for a couple of more weeks. Then, he will start his rehab. He is hopeful he will be ready for spring training.
* No Tom Allen at practice today. The Rebel LB coach is now the former Rebel LB coach. Best of luck to Tom in his new gig as the defensive coordinator at South Florida. "I'm very happy for Tom. He's such a good man. He's been wanting to be a coordinator and I think he will do a good job for USF," said Wommack. "From our standpoint, it's good to have a guy like Corey (Batoon) on staff who can move right in and take up the slack. He knows the system, he's really bright and he's a great guy to have on our sidelines. He's on top of everything."
* QB Bo Wallace sat out of practice Tuesday in order to rest his ankle and get treatment. Also, the coaches want to get as many reps for Ryan Buchanan and Devante Kincade as this week will allow.
* RB Mark Dodson injured his ankle and was not at practice Tuesday.
* It's cool to watch some of the young players develop when they get quality practice reps. Several have stood out. WR Markell Pack, WR Derrick Jones, MLB Christian Russell, the Moore twins, MLB DeMarquis Gates and CB Kendarius Webster come to mind quickly. They have gained knowledge and with that knowledge, they have gained confidence and are playing faster. Faster equates to making plays. . . The same can be said for Buchanan and Kincade. Getting all the reps has elevated their games noticeably. Cool to see.
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