Ole Miss QB Jordan Ta'amu

A tidbit or many from day two of spring training at Ole Miss

Day two of spring training produced a few notes as the Rebels worked for a little over two hours in a spirited - sometimes volatile where tempers flared two or three times - high-energy practice.

Random Notes

* It's rare to see tempers flare during a Hugh Freeze practice - he doesn't like to see his guy lose their poise and composure - but the Rebs had two or three bouts of push-and-shove that had to be broken up today in the second day of spring training. "We'd rather not see that, but the guys are out here competing and it happens sometimes. People are trying to earn a job, things are intense and things are spirited," said Freeze. "No harm done, but I don't want that to become a habit. In spring, however, it happens sometimes."

* WR D.K. Metcalf played at 215 pounds last year before he sustained a season-ending fractured foot. Now, the 6-4 Metcalf has added 10 pounds and is carrying 225 pounds comfortably. The extra weight even seems to have helped his speed.

* OL Rod Taylor has added yet another position to his arsenal. On the first day of spring training, he was playing left tackle and right guard. Today, he added right tackle to his duties. Said to be the best athlete on the OL, his versatility will be very important next year. By the way, Rod played at 329 last year. He intentionally trimmed down to 320 this year and his movement is better, he said.

Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf

* After just one day of spring, DL Coach Freddie Roach said he was very pleased with DEs Victor Evans and Marquis Haynes, DT Breeland Speaks and DT Benito Jones ("I wish I had four of him."). He said he is also excited about Qaadir Sheppard, Charles Wiley and Markell Winters but they need time to develop this spring. Obviously, this was from one day and no pads, so don't draw too many conclusions. Just a note, nothing more. 

* The Rebels will play out of a shotgun snap most of the time in Phil Longo's offense, but they did practice some today with the QB under center. It will be utilized, but not a lot, we were told.

* Jason Pellerin saw his first action at TE/H-back today but he also worked a lot of QB. It appears he will do both for most of spring training, but he showed some skill running routes and catching the ball when given the opportunity.

* Marquis Haynes missed practice today due to a special class project that is required toward his graduation.

* We were asked if the offensive linemen were in a two-point or three-point stance on run plays. From today's observations, the answer is both. The center and guards are in a three-point stance and the tackles are in a two-point stance.

* LB DeMarquis Gates is dressing out and running some individual drills, but he is doing no team work right now due to the stage of rehab he is in after offseason knee surgery. In his place, Ray Ray Smith seems to have taken the lead at one outside linebacker slot. Against the spread offense Longo is running right now, the Reb defense is usually in a 4-2-5 look with a Star position instead of a second OLB. The Star, for now, has been A.J. Moore.

* Who are the fastest players on the team? Off the top of his head, S&C Coach Paul Jackson said, in no order, Myles Hartsfield, A.J. Moore, C.J. Moore, Zedrick Woods, Tre' Nixon and Jalen Julius. JUCO CB Javien Hamilton has also shown flashes of true speed, but Jackson said the others are a little faster right now.

Ole Miss DB Javien Hamilton

* Hartsfield and Montrell Custis are getting coached hard by McGriff at corner and they are both responding. Hartsfield may end up winning a job at corner after a year at safety last season. Custis, who played the Husky slot last year, also looks to have corner skills, and both would be the biggest corners on the team. (Jaylon Jones is also showing his goods at corner as well.)

* TE Dawson Knox caught a 60-yard catch-and-run from Shea Patterson today with D.K. Metcalf running interference and blocking. Pretty play. Knox has some wheels for a 245-250 pounder.

* We said after the first practice we like the look of JUCO transfer QB Jordan Ta'amu. Today did not change our mind. Jordan keeps his feet alive in the pocket and always looks downfield. He moves well in the pocket and seems to have s sense of where pressure is coming from and he can avoid it. As we said Tuesday, he has a decent arm with good accuracy and timing and that was exhibited again today.

* Zedrick Woods, now at strong safety, had an interception in the end zone on a long pass today.

* Several former Rebs attended Thursday's practice. Donte Moncrief, Cody Core, Senquez Golson, Carlos Davis, Mike Hilton and Trae Elston were all there and all involved in encouraging their former teammates. Nice to see.

* The media will get to attend next Tuesday's practice, the first day in pads, we were told. Stay tuned.

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