Analysis of incoming football signees

I have watched some of the newcomers on the team work out the last couple of weeks. While two weeks is not enough to draw any ironclad conclusions (I always say 'wait til they put pads on for the real answers'), I have noticed a few things which I will share now.

* For his size, I have been real impressed with the movement and agility of OL Michael Oher. He can flat-out motor. He's working out on his own every Tuesday and Thursday and has the look I was hoping for. If he can adjust to the tempo of college football quickly, I look for him to make an impact on the offensive line very quickly. He has that same "look" of a Terrance Metcalf or Chris Spencer - physically mature beyond his age.

* Tyson Andrus has been the best worker I have seen among the freshmen. They are all getting good reviews from the strength coaches for their effort, but Tyson's name comes up more often. He attacks every drill, he's usually the first in line and he's showing the kind of early signs that makes you believe he will be a leader when his time comes to have that opportunity.

* It is apparent Michael Hicks will have a great career at Ole Miss. The question is "at what position?" He's about 6-3, 215 right now and is very athletic. His growth potential is boundless. He could be the type to stay right where he is and be a big safety, or he could get in the strength program and blossom into a tight end or DE. Time will tell, but he's what you are looking for in terms of body frame and athletic ability.

* Gary Riggs has shown the kind of speed coaches look for in a CB/S/WR. He just needs to live in the weight room for a year and fill out his thinnish frame. He's got some muscle definition right now, but needs more bulk. Start with speed and go from there is a formula that can't go wrong if the participant is willing to get better, which Gary has already shown he is.

* LB Quentin Taylor looks ready-made. He's big, thick and runs good enough to play MLB on the SEC level. But the reality is that Quentin needs to change his body a little. He needs to have a year of shedding some body fat and replacing it with lean muscle mass. It will help him with his movement. Great-looking prospect, but like all of them, he has work to do. (With Quentin, I almost feel like I'm nitpicking a bit. He can play just like he is, but most want to know what he can do to increase his chances.)

* LB Wallace Bates was behind the curve when he reported - out of shape, out of football for a year and apparently did not have much weight training in high school. He has improved by leaps and bounds in just two weeks. He has a long way to go, but from day 1 until now, I couldn't believe the difference. I went from shaking my head to having high hopes about his future.

* DE Lamark Armour is a solid-looking kid. It's hard to tell what he needs, but he's basically like all the freshmen - he's a "boy" in a man's world. He will get his hardening soon enough, but I like him on the hoof. (Had a chance to talk with him some at the baseball games - good kid. Pleasant and polite. Already one of my favorites, personality-wise.)

* P Rob Park, WR J.D. Lawhorn and PK Justin Sparks all have nice frames to build on, but I would guess strength will be their number one objective this summer.

Again, it's hard to get much out of two weeks of working out, but the question was asked and this is a fairly accurate answer on some of the ones I have made notes on.


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