When did the 2006 AJC Super 11 selection find out that he had been cleared to start practice?
"I found out yesterday that I was good to go to start practice. It was a big relief, big time. I had a lot of people who did not believe in me, if I was going to qualify or not. Then I did it, so it was like a monkey off of my back. I am just ready to play now."
Did the fact that Ted's academic status was in limbo all summer take a toll on the 6' 1", 330 pounder?
"Yea, it really did. I just kept telling myself to keep working harder and harder in my studies. This has been a long process for me, but it was worth the wait. I feel like a million bucks now."
Did Laurent ever give it any thought about where he might go if he did not qualify?
"Yea, my junior year in high school, I was like oh my gosh. Things did not look good. But you know I did it. I thank God that my family was on my side and supported me the whole way through it. Coach Neilsen and the staff were right there with me the whole time. That meant a lot, a whole lot. They just kept giving me the motivation to keep working hard in the classroom. Every day, I would get a text telling me to stay on top of things, but in a supportive way."
How important will it be for Ted to get in on time for two a days?
"It is real important
because I am not in good shape. I got here around July 9th so being here the first
day for fall practice, by the time the season starts, I am going to be good to
go in good shape and everything. It was important for me to start the first day."
Laurent did get a chance to practice with the returning and incoming players during the summer conditioning period.
"There is just a big difference between the high school and college level. In high school, I was amazing, and right now I am like a zero so I have to start over, but I am going to get use to it and learn what the veterans like Peria (Jerry), (Brandon) Jenkins, and Jeremy (Garrett) are doing. They are going to make me better so by next year I should be one of the top (defensive tackles) at Ole Miss."
How long does Ted anticipate it taking him to get into "game day" shape?
"It should not take me long, really. Give me a week or two, and I should be where I am suppose to be."
There will be one thing that Laurent will be focusing on from here through two a days.
"My conditioning. That is it. They all told me I have the strength. I just needed to work on my conditioning. They said I am not up there with the guys ahead of me, so I need to start running a lot. That is all I am concerning myself about, my conditioning."
Does Ted feel like he has a good chance to play as a freshman?
"Yes, if I just keep working hard, I should be on first team defense when I get back in shape."