Mico McSwain

Sophomore Mico McSwain was the leading rusher for the Rebels last year in his first crack as a tailback. He gained over 600 yards and set a freshman rushing record at Ole Miss, but with BenJarvus Green-Ellis now on board and eligible after sitting out a year due to transfer rules, Mico will be moved out wide. That's fine by the mercurial McSwain - he just wants to be on the field.

Ever since he first set foot on the Ole Miss practice fields, it's been obvious sophomore Mico McSwain is one of the best pure athletes to come on board the Rebel ship in a long time.

He's been clocked in the high 4.3s in the 40 yard dash. His vertical jump is right around 40 inches. His hands are superb. His body fat is in single digits on his 6-1, 205-pound frame. And he loves to play football.

Despite his ability to play any skill position on either side of the ball and his tremendous athletic prowess, what sets him apart is his willingness to move to any position for the benefit of the team.

"I just love to play the game of football. I don't care if it's defense, wideout, tailback, or as a return guy - I just want to be on the field," explained Mico. "If wide receiver is where I can help the team the most, that's where I want to be."

There is still some uncertainty about his exact role, but the coaches have told Mico to be prepared to play "some tailback and some wide receiver."

"I've been working mostly on wide receiver this summer - trying to learn all the routes and reads and playing WR in 7-on-7," he said. "It's been difficult because my mind has been focused on TB for nearly a year now, but I'll get the WR position down before the first game.

"I played wide receiver here for a brief time, so the position is not totally new to me, but I have to learn the differences in the system. A route is a route in any system, but learning the reads and when to run what route in this system is different. It's just a matter of studying and repetition."

Mico is very confident in his ability to master the physical side of playing wideout, but what he's scrambling with a bit is the mental side.

"I have some catching up to do, but that's when having some discipline in the summer comes in play," he noted. "I know I can run, jump and catch as good as anyone, the unknown is the mental side, but I'll get it down."

McSwain had a spring-ending injury the final couple of weeks of spring training, but he's fine now.

"It was a freak accident. We were in a no-pad, half-speed drill and I got hit from behind by three defenders. I landed wrong and tore the muscle from my (left) shoulder down to my chest," he explained. "It was pretty painful, but I knew it would heal with rehab and time. I'm 100% now."

Mico laughed when he was asked about the rehab.

"Around here, you'd rather be on the field practicing than rehabbing. I think injured players work harder than the guys practicing," he smiled. "I understand it. You have to keep the rest of your body in shape while you are healing or you will be out of shape when you come back.

"I haven't been very lucky with injuries to this point, but I take them in stride because that's just part of the game. I would like to see what I can do with a full year of not being injured though."

And so would everyone else.

Mico's season was cut short last year when he missed the last two games due to injury. But before the injury, Rebel fans got a good look at his "home run" ability.

"He's a guy who can take it all the way anytime he touches the ball from any position," said Coach Ed Orgeron after spring training. "We just need to get the ball in his hands as many times as possible. We know Mico can score from anywhere and from any position."

Whether it's at wide receiver, tailback or in the return game, Mico is ready and willing to give it a shot.

"Like I said, I just want to be on the field," he closed.

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