When fall camp first started, Ole Miss freshman Wide Reciver Kendrick Lewis wasn't what you would call "lost" in his new surroundings.
In fact, he said something rare - we've never heard a newcomer say it before - for a freshman going through his first football boot camp on the college level.
"Camp has been great because it wasn't what I expected," said Lewis. "I thought it would be harder than it's been. I have handled it well, to this point.
"I thought there were going to be some all-day poundings in the heat, but it wsan't like that at all. It was good. It was fun, to me."
Lewis said he started fall camp a little slowly, but has picked things up lately in terms of adjusting to the speed of the college game and learning the Rebel offense.
"Even though I was here all summer competing in 7-on-7 in voluntary workouts against the veterans, things move a lot faster with the coaches out there and all the installation of the plays and your assignments. The speed of the game, mentally and physically, is really fast," Kendrick stated. "But I caught on OK after a week or so.
"I learned how to get open and read coverages. I picked it up on my route-running - you have to be real precise to shake the corners on the college level," he added. "The speed of the game and the reads are the most difficult things.
"In college, you see a lot more variation in the coverages you will face. The schemes are coming right at you and you have to learn to read them instantly. It's all moving real fast and you have to adjust."
Lewis is excited about the Rebel WRs, but he understands the task in front of them.
"We are a talented group, but we are real young. We have a lot to learn," Kendrick noted. "We are all out there giving it everything we have and competing for a job.
"We have dropped some passes we shouldn't have this camp, but I think it's because we are pressing a little mentally and that has gotten in the way of just turning loose and making plays. Our coaches have been very patient. They tell us to just block out the last play and move on. Forget it and go make the play the next time.
"Our coaches stress competing every down. That's fun to me. Competing is what it's all about. If everyone on the team is competing, the whole team will get better as a whole."
Lewis has started gaining more attention from Rebel Coach Ed Orgeron in his post-practice press conferences. At first, Kendrick was rarely mentioned. In the last week, he's getting mention from O nearly every time the subject of the wide receivers comes up.
"I feel I worked hard enough to get on the field. I produced after I got comfortable. I hope I will be in the rotation, but that's up to the coaches. We have a lot of talented WRs on this team - it's up to the coaches to decide who is ready and who isn't," he explained. "I think I'm ready. I hope the coaches do.
"All of us knew there was an opportunity to play quickly when we were being recruited. All the wide receivers were graduating and the team was kind of starting over with those positions. I chose Ole Miss because the position was open. I felt real good about my choice, but I still knew it was going to be hard because this is the SEC."
He said he has learned as much going against CB Trumaine McBride in practice as he has from anything he's done thus far.
"I like going against him. He's been starting since he was a freshman here. He knows all the tricks of the trade and he will help you understand what DBs are thinking. I ask him a lot of questions and he's always trying to help me with pointers," Kendrick said.
Kendrick also said he's bless to be on the field with some talented quarterbacks.
"Brent (Schaeffer) is a real talent. He's a leader and is stepping up to the plate. He encourages all of us. When we drop a pass, he pats us on the head and says 'make a play for us - get the next one.' We all respect him and look up to him. The QB is supposed to be the leader of the offense and he does a good job with that," said Kendrick. "But all our quarterbacks are good. As wide receivers, I think we are blessed. They can all deliver the ball and they all take charge of the huddle."
Kendrick Lewis, depending on who you listen to, is on the cusp of being in the WR rotation when the Memphis Tigers roll into town next Sunday.
Is he ready for it?
"I've worked hard enough and have a lot of confidence in what I have accomplished. I think I am ready," he closed.
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