Ole Miss Freshman Notes

The incoming freshmen at Ole Miss are regarded as one of the more talented classes in the country.To read about what they are expecting out of themselves and the team, read below.

The following are quotes from the mini-interviews conducted during a recent media opportunity with various freshmen:

* WR Kendrick Lewis on the transition from high school to college: "It has been wonderful. I am learning a lot more things. The whole transition is full speed ahead right now. It is at a faster pace than this summer. I am just adjusting with it right now."

* Lewis on the adjustments he has to make to get his play to the SEC level: "My biggest adjustment is that I have to learn a few more things on how to beat different defenders so I can get to that SEC level."

* Kendrick on what he hopes to accomplish during two a days: "I just want to get a spot on the field. I want to get prepared so I can be able to play as a freshman."

* Lewis on what he does well: "I am competing, just going after it. I am working hard out there and getting our defense better."

* Kendrick on what it felt like to put on the Ole Miss jersey for the 1st time yesterday: "It felt great. I felt like I was just about to get ready for a game. It makes me feel like I am officially a part of the team. It is something I have always looked forward to. Like I said, I worked hard to earn my scholarship. I signed, now I am coming in here with the mindset that I am going to do anything I can to keep it (scholarship)."

* Lewis on Brent Schaeffer: "It is wonderful. He puts everything on the nose. All of the QB's are doing well, not only Brent. He is our starter, and he is throwing the ball pretty well. He was a big part of my decision to come here."

* CB Cassius Vaughn on what he believes will be his impact on the team: "I know I can help this team, but my contributions will be more from a team standpoint than an individual standpoint. I can fill in where needed. I can help on special teams if they want me to. I can help, but I'm not thinking about me right now. I'm thinking how can I help the team. The way I can help is to make myself better and try to fill in wherever the coaches think I fit. I'm playing corner right now behind Trumaine McBride and Terrell Jackson. Turmaine has helped me a lot. He's showed me some little things and he's teaching me patience at the position. He's also helping me understand the concepts of corner in this system. I've played corner before, but the speed of the game is so much different that you have to play with more technique and be a lot smarter. Foot speed is not a problem with me, but I'm having to speed things up mentally a lot."

*DE Marcus Tillman on his first impression of college ball: "I feel I'm coming along all right. I have to get used to using my hands and the techniques to beat bigger guys on the line of scrimmage. Most of it is coming to me pretty naturally, but I've got a lot of work to do too. I'm weighing 262 now and that's a good weight, so I feel good physically. Where I have to catch up is in recognition of what the offense is trying to do - I have to react quicker. I feel good where I am right now, but I can see where I need a lot of repetitions to be able to compete effectively on this level."

* WR Shay Hodge on the adjustments he has had to make from high school to college: "I have gotten up to the speed of the game. Now I am trying to learn the plays."

*Hodge on the goals he has set for his freshman campaign: "I am playing the X position, and I am trying to make sure I am #2 (on hte depth chart) behind Mike Wallace. He has his spot, and I am trying to make sure I am in the rotation."

*Shay on what he currently does well: "I run good routes and catch the ball pretty good. I am also a fast learner."

*Hodge on his Ole Miss experience: "Seeing the guys who came in with me. I was thinking that we were going to change things. I think we are going to make us a better team. I feel like before we leave here, we are going to win a championship. I feel like we are coming together as a team.

*Shay on his basketball aspirations: "I have not spoken to Coach Kennedy yet, but I have spoken to Coach White. I still plan on playing both sports here."

* WR Dexter McCluster on his progress: "My plan was to come out and make an impression on my teammates and coaches. I wanted to show them my work ethic and that I am a team player who will do what it takes. I think I have done a lot of things well. I'm catching the ball very well and I'm retaining what Coach (Matt) Lubick is teaching me, I think. I watch a lot of film. I know I am young, but I feel like I am making steady progress."

*DE Kentrell Lockett on how practice is going. "It is going pretty well. I am getting use to everything. I am learning everything, the plays and all. I think I am doing well. I am progressing, day by day, practice by practice."

*Lockett on the speed differential from high school to college: "It was a big difference at first, but now that I am use to it, I am back in the flow of things. I am back in football shape. I am back in rhythm of football, so it is all good right now."

*Kentrell on what he hopes to accomplish during two a days: "I really want to prove myself. I want to show them I can play. I am small, but I really can play. Size has nothing to do with it. It is the size of your heart that matters the most."

*Lockett on what he does best: "Get after the passer and just playing football."

*Kentrell on what he needs to most work on: "Just basically learning the playbook and getting up to 230. I am at 220 right now, so I have 10 pounds to go."

*Lockett on why he choose Ole Miss: "It was close to home. I did not want to be that far from home. I am kind of a momma's boy, but it is still far enough away for me to experience something different. And plus, I got a lot of people from my neck of the woods that I can relate to and talk to."

*Kentrell on the differences between a high school and college player: "Intensity. In just walking around and talking to them, they are way more intense. They are much faster and bigger too."

*DE Cecil Frison on his new position: "I moved from offense (tight end) to defense (defensive end) to help the team and I'm excited about it. I'll give anything a try to help my team. If the coaches tell me I need to punt, I'll ask for a kicking shoe. That's just the way I am."

*Frison on why he was moved to DE: "Our tight ends are experienced and our defensive ends are mostly young and we are thin there. I understand it and just hope I can help. Who knows what will happen later? I might move back, if the coaches want me to, in years to come. I like both positions."

*Cecil on his expectations for this season: "It's been a big adjustment from high school to college so far, but I'm up for it. I realized real quickly I'm not the biggest guy on the field or the fastest. In high school, I felt like I was the best athlete on the field most of the time. Now, I realize the importance of technique and doing things the right way."

*Frison on the team: We're all excited about the team because we know the effort we have put in and the effort we are going to give. That's one of the first things I noticed when I got on campus - everyone working hard. We feel we can be a good team. We feel we can go to a bowl and do some good things to continue building for the future."

*Cecil on the mental adjustments he has to make to succeed on the SEC level: "In college, it's all about watching film, learning your assignments, learning what everyone else is doing on a call. There is a lot more preparation involved. I'm looking forward to getting into all of that. I think I'm a good student of the game. We'll see, for sure."

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