Actis adjusting to Ole Miss

It's a well-known fact the Rebel football team for 2006 needs help on the offensive line. Immediate help. Enter JUCO signee Center Corey Actis, a JC Gridwire All-American who signed in December with Ole Miss. Read about the early stages of his transition to Ole Miss inside.

Corey Actis came bouncing into the interview room at Ole Miss' IPF with a broad smile on his face.

The 6-5, 295-pound center from Bakersfield (CA) Junior College doesn't have his wheels here yet, but he's loving his new home.

"I gotta get my truck here because I'm walking everywhere right now, but other than that, I couldn't be happier," said Actis, who enrolled second semester at Ole Miss and is currently going through the Rebel offseason program. "All my friends back home in California don't believe me when I tell them about how pretty the girls here are. The girls here put California girls to shame. (laughs)"

Actis is expected to jump right in an take over the center slot on the Ole Miss OL under new Offensive Line Coach Art Kehoe. Last year's starter, Darryl Harris, is anticipated to move to offensive guard, which Coach Ed Orgeron feels is "Darryl's natural position."

"Corey has what it takes to be a starter in the SEC and the anchor of our line," said Orgeron. "He needs to have a good offseason and spring and summer, but everything we saw of him on tape, we liked."

Corey took his official visit to Ole Miss back during the football season and fell head over heels for Oxford, but he was offered by several other schools and did not want to commit before checking out all his options.

"Ole Miss was the leader all the way, but I had to make sure. In the end, the Ole Miss coaches, the campus and the football facilities were the reason I came here," he noted. "I just fit better here than anywhere else I was offered. The coaches recruited me hard through the whole process and everyone wants to be where they are wawnted the most."

Even though Corey made JC Gridwire All-American and First-Team All-State in the Cally JUCO League, he realizes he is stepping up in competition and intensity.

"I've been through similar offseason workouts, but neve anything as intense or as hard," he continued, "but on this level, this kind of effort is what it takes. JUCO ball was competitive and a good brand of football, but I know I'm into an entirely different level of play in the SEC."

Corey has several goals to reach before next September.

"We are working more football-oriented lifts and drills in our offseason workouts. The lifts and drills we do match the movements we make in football and on the OL. They are all about explosiveness. I need to improve my footwork, learn the offensive system, get in top shape and gain a few pounds in order to be at my best by September," Actis explained. "I'm anxious to get with Coach Kehoe and learn all the calls and techniques we will be using. It's all exciting stuff."

Corey played on the OL in high school, but switched to center when he went to Bakersfield JC.

"I love center because you are in the middle of everything and you control a lot of things up front. It's kind of like being the quarterback of the OL," noted Corey. "Right now, I weigh 295 pounds. I'd like to put on about 10 more pounds of good weight before the season starts. 305 is a good weight for me if I put on the right kind of weight."

Corey already feels like he is making progress, but he knows the real test will come in spring training.

"I'm over the soreness of the first offseason workouts," he laughed. "It's all downhill from here. I'm going to be ready to go when March 6 (the first day of spring training) rolls around.

"I'm really anxious to get going and see where I stand and what I have to do to improve my game."

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