First Impressions

The Rebel newcomers had a dedicated three periods in today's practice that the media was allowed to attend. The following are first impression observations, commonly referred to as "Random Notes." (Also a couple of notes on the vets.)




Random Notes:

* Quarterback Jason Pellerin is every bit of 6-4, 229 pounds, as listed. It would not surprise if he was closer to 235 now. Thick kid and he has a big arm. We've been told he can throw a football nearly 80 yards and the limited reps we saw, it's clear he has plenty of zip on the ball, but needs to work on his accuracy, which will come in time. Remember, Jason threw very little in high school playing in an option offense.

* Another youngster whose sheer size was unexpected is freshman Defensive End Austrian Robinson. He's listed at 6-4, 292. There's no question Austrian is that big, maybe a little bigger. In fact, DL Coach Chris Kiffin stated yesterday that he believes Austrian is 298 pounds.

* Jalen Julius, expected to be a threat in the receiving game and in the return game, has been moved to cornerback for now. In limited drills we saw, his quickness is apparent and obviously suited for the CB position.

* WR Demore'ea Stringfellow took a page out of Laquon Treadwell's summer book. Treadwell lost 15 pounds or so over the offseason and said he feels quicker and faster while maintaining his strength. String has gone from 235 to 220 and also feels stronger and faster.

* Not many freshmen report and have the same mature look as the veterans. It's a big step from high school to the SEC, but a couple of the Rebel newcomers have that veteran, mature look. One is LB Shawn Curtis at 6-3, 247 pounds and chiseled. Another is Safety Zedrick Woods. According to their position coaches, they already have college strength numbers. We'll see how quickly that translates into playing time.

* The tight end position needs help. It appears some help is here. One, Jeremy Liggins has been moved back to tight end. Two, fifth-year senior transfer Dillon Barrett has transferred in from Lamar University and has a mature, SEC look to him physically at 6-4, 235-240. Three, there's a good-looking freshman on board now - one Willie Hibbler, who is 6-3, 240 pounds, already.

* Don't be surprised if WRs Van Jefferson and DaMarkus Lodge make some noise this August camp. They are two more frosh who seem to be comfortable in this high-level environment.

* OL Michael Howard and Alex Givens will most likely redshirt, but so far, so good for the future. Howard has an outstanding frame for growth. Even though he's only 6-5 and roughly 240 pounds right now, he will be 270-280 quickly, it says here. Givens is already 6-6, 295 with a thick lower body. 10 more pounds of upper body weight/strength and he'll be ready to go. Givens is currently working at left tackling Howard at right tackle.

* Safety Armani Linton and CB Cameron Ordway also have "the look." Both are long and lean. A year in the weight room and they will be finished products as well.'

* Senior OG Aaron Morris is almost unrecognizable. He has lost a bunch of weight and is now only 312 pounds. He looks like a different person. In a couple of weeks, he should be fully released to play, but will be limited until them.

* More when we (the media) gets more exposure Monday.


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