After 10 straight games without a break, Ole Miss Center Corey Actis has finally been able to reflect back on his 2006 journey.
"We are getting a little needed rest, but we don't need to get out of the groove. We still have two games to go," said Actis. "The 10-week stretch, right on top of summer camp, has ben tough.
"When you first start the season, the coaches will tell you to rest all you can and eat right and take care of yourself because the year will be tough on your body, but you don't believe it fully because you are so young and feel you heal quickly. I'm here to tell you, 10 games in a row takes its toll. I have fingers broken, aches where I didn't no I had places. My toenails even hurt, but we get this weekend off and will be able to heal up and get back after it. Ten weeks in a row is brutal, but we knew it coming in and have kept a good attitude about it."
The year has been a challenge for Corey. A brief recap showed he did not have a very productive spring in his transition from JUCO ball to Division I.
But Actis evaluated what he needed to do to improve and went about doing it in the offseason and summer months.
When August ball started, he showed the coaches immense improvement and earned the starting berth at center, which he has kept all year.
"I worked hard to change my body and to learn everything I had to learn to be the kind of player the coaches thought I was when they signed me. I had to make the adjustment to this level in spring and it was harder than I thought, but I adjusted in the offseason and did what I had to do to get on the field," he assessed.
Corey said he has been amazed with the talented noseguards he has faced this year, but he's fared "OK."
"Coach (Art) Kehoe and Coach (Ed) Orgeron challenge me every week because it seems every week we face another big, bad nosetackle," he smiled. "And against LSU, I will be facing a potential first round draft choice.
"I watch the films of these guys and sometimes I'm amazed at their talent, but so far whenever the games against them have started, I have held my own," he stated. "I still have things to learn and things to improve, and I have been beaten some this year, but I have proven to myself that I belong.
"I can't wait until next year when I know more and have a year's experience under my belt. Then maybe they'll be looking at me on film the same way I look at them."
Actis is proud of the progress the offensive line has made this year, especially in the run game.
"Coach Kehoe has taught us how to be aggressive and how to make our running plays work. If we can just tighten up with our pass protection, we feel we will be a complete line. That's our goal in the last two games - to be complete," Actis closed. "And we'd also like to help BenJarvus Green-Ellis get to 1,000 yards rushing.
"Even though we don't get the headlines, we will know we helped get him there and that will be good enough for us."
Corey Actis -
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