Michael Herrick update -

Redshirt freshman Quarterback Michael Herrick is trying to make the most of summer workouts. The open competition for the starting QB slot

Michael Herrick worked hard last summer when he reported to Ole Miss for his freshman campaign, but he's upped that effort several notches since then.

"Last year, I worked really hard on trying to get bigger and learning the ropes. This year, I'm still doing those things, but the effort level naturally goes up when you have a chance to play," he said. "Last year, I basically knew I would redshirt. This year, I want to be in the mix. All the quarterbacks have a shot to play and that's a good thing.

"There's no rivalry between us, but there is competition and that's positive. Things are going well for all of us. I think we are all getting better."

Herrick's goals for summer include his old "friend" - gaining weight, improved footwork and continuing to learn the offense more thoroughly.

"I's still eating like crazy. My goal is to be 190 by the end of the summer. I think I will make it. I'm in that 185-190 range right now, but it's hard to gain much this time of year because we are doing a lot of conditioning work. I eat constantly. If I do get a chance to play, I don't want to get tossed around like a little kid. Watching from the sidelines last year, it's hard to ignore there are some big boys in the SEC. I have to be physically ready for them," he noted. "I also need to work on my footwork. I was in a shotgun my whole high school career and now I'm having to drop back. Sometimes I don't get back far enough. Footwork is big for me. I need to get stronger in the weight room in my legs so I can push off a little farther with my first step coming out from under center. Basically, I just have to work on it every day and get stronger.

"I'm also doing a lot of film work, trying to get into Coach (Dan) Werner's head, so to speak. Why he's calling what he's calling. If you understand your offensive coordinator, you become a better QB. If I get a shot next year, I want to be mentally ready to produce."

Herrick feels he's in the mix for the starting job.

"You never really know, but I got a lot of reps in the spring and think I did OK," Michael said. "My goal is to be ready if my number is called. I will be ready if the opportunity comes up."

Michael is excited about the upcoming season and the future of Ole Miss football.

"There are a lot of factors involved in winning. Health, chemistry, preparation are some things, but from a physical standpoint, I think we have the athletes here to keep the program going forward. Coach O is bringing in some good athletes every year and we are building on our foundation. We have a good work ethic," he stated. "I think the program is on the way up, but some things have to fall our way. We have to stay healthy while we are building depth. We have to make plays when they are there to be made. We have good chemistry. I like our chances in 2007 and beyond."

And Herrick plans on doing his part in pulling the wagon.

"All I can do is work hard, learn, improve and compete. I will do all those things," he closed.

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