Ole Miss head coach weighs in on all the latest in Rebel football

Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze made a brief appearance on the SEC teleconference today. Here's a transcript of the Q&A.

Discuss spring training results:

Freeze: I was pleased we were able to get a lot of reps for youngsters we are going to be counting on. I was pleased we were able to get in eight guys at mid-term who came in early from high school and get them significant reps and get them acclimated to college football and college life. What was unfortunate was the number of players who were out with injuries, but you cannot help that. It was different this spring because due to our facility upgrades we had to practice inside the whole spring. We have a great indoor facility, but of course, we would have liked to have been outside. We also had no place to have a spring game at the end of it, which didn't sit well with the fans, which I understand. We want to have a spring game. I do think we made strides, but we have more work to do, obviously, in August. 

On recent adversity:

Freeze: I want to address that. I know our administration has been working tirelessly to reach a resolution on the matters involving Laremy (Tunsil). I have been told we have made a lot of progress, but the facts are always more important than speed or a public response, which is difficult for me because I want to respond, but in this instance it is best that our administration work with all parties involved, reach a conclusion and then respond. It will come quickly, we hope. I won't answer any questions about the NCAA investigation or draft day incidents. I was shocked like everyone else, but I believe in our administration and their process. 

On satellite camps:

Freeze: We continue to believe recruiting is best served in the high schools so we are currently on the road going in to high schools and making evaluations. That's our best evaluation, to me. I love for kids to come to our campus as well. I think they need to see what we have to offer, but we will participate in satellite camps. We won't do too many, but we are looking at Atlanta, Dallas and Houston and one on the Coast.

On missing the graduated (drafted and free agent) guys in spring training:

Freeze: Any time you lose the guys we did, not just the drafted guys but guys like Mike Hilton and Channing Ward and Trae Elston and so on, it hurts. They played a lot of football for us. It is a loss, but everyone goes through that. You just have to recruit to replace them and I think we have had four solid years of recruiting, so our depth is better than it was when we took over. We are still shy in a few spots, but we are definitely better off than we have been in previous years. We will, however, be counting on more youngsters this year to take valuable reps and we will have to get them ready to go.

On playing an early tough out of conference team:

Freeze: We are playing a Top 10 opponent in Florida State next year and more great teams in the future. That's the right thing to do for our conference. But what gives you the confidence to do that is that you know regardless of what happens in that game, if you fare well in the SEC and have a chance to go to Atlanta, you believe you are deserving to be in the playoff discussion. That gives us more confidence to take on tougher teams in out of conference games. 

On defending the Ole Miss brand:

Freeze: When the facts are known, I will make a statement. Right now, I think we need to be patient and make sure we have the facts first. All the facts. What will the facts reveal? I do not know yet. I'll know more when the facts are revealed.

On Tony Conner's progress:

Freeze: He started running a couple of weeks ago and there has been no signs of irritation or swelling after those workouts. I am excited about it. It was so obvious when we lost Issac Gross and Tony last year that our defense was just not the same, so I cannot way to get them back. They are big factors for us moving forward.


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