Peria Jerry was on the mend.
Brandon Jenkins was taking care of academic issues.
Jeremy Garrett was sidelined midway through spring training with minor health issues.
Who would practice at the defensive tackle slots for the Rebels in spring training?
Beyond sophomore Daverin Geralds, who was still learning the postion himself after being signed a year ago as an offensive lineman, there weren't any scholarship DTs participating.
Enter sophomore David Densmore and his running buddy, Ben Benedetto.
Each day afer practice, Coach Ed Orgeron sang their praises. So did DL Coach Ryan Nielsen in his spring-ending interview.
"I really don't know what we would have done without those two. They not only gave us bodies, they gave us competitive, tough, never-slow-down bodies," Nielsen explained.
Densmore, a 6-1 250-pounder, is happy to hear that kind of talk.
"I had a real good spring. I got a chance to play a little more and get some good reps and that led to me understanding the fronts better," said Densmore, from Shalimar, FL. "I was on the scout team in the fall and didn't really get a chance to learn a lot of our defense, but in the spring I did and I think I imrpoved bcause of that."
The experience from spring took away the hesitation he had in the fall.
"If you don't know what to do, you are hesitant and a little hesitation is all it takes to give an offensive lineman an edge. I got ove the hesitation in the spring," he expressed. "I can now read offensive linemen and anticipate things I couldn't before."
Densmore knows he is an undersized DT, but he feels he has attributes that can make him successful.
"I work hard and I always try to know my assignments. I bust my butt and get after it. That's a big key for any defensive lineman," he added. "You have to do everything right when you match up with someone like John Jerry or some of the 300-pounders we have. If you don't, you go for a ride.
"It's a technique thing. If you have the right technique when you come off the ball, you are going to win some of the time. You are going to lose sometimes too, but with good technique you won't get blown off the ball. Being undersized, I have to do everything right or it's trouble."
David feels like he can put on more weight, but he feels it will be a slow process.
"I have to lean up a little and then put on weight slowly. I think I can be 260-265 when the season rolls around, but I want it to be good weight," he explained.
Does David feel he made a statement for some playing time in the fall?
"I don't know, but I think I showed the coaches what I can do if given a chance," he stated. "Ben and I played a lot of plays and we hustled on every play. I think we showed the coaches we will give them all we've got."
Densmore went to South Florida out of high school, but he wasn't real happy there.
"I had a friend who went to college here and he told me how great a place it was. My Dad made a few calls and here I am," he said. "I love it here. I had to sit out last year, but I'm ready to go now.
"Ole Miss is everything I thought it would be. I'm looking forward to the next three years."
You may not see #99 on the field a lot in 2007, but he's already made a major contribution to the team.
And if his number is called, he's confident he can produce.
"I will give it all I have. I know that and the coaches know that," he closed.
David Densmore -
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