Coach O: This was the first day of two-a-days and we got in a lot of plays and a lot of work. It was kind of a back and forth day. Our run game made some improvement, Dexter McCluster made some big plays. Defensively this morning Greg Hardy made a lot of sacks and LaDerrick Vaughn, with his speed at DE, had three QB sacks this morning. Some good things are happening. We went in shells this morning and full pads this afternoon.
Q: There used to be a lot more days of two-a-days. There are only five now. Does that hurt, help or doesn't matter?
Coach O: It is what it is. I like two-a-days. Times have changed. We have them all summer and they now come into camp better conditioned. Back then, camp was for conditioning.
Q: Where did Dextrer make his plays from, WR or RB?
Coach O: All from the X receiver slot.
Q: Did you ahve two new faces - Jerrell Powe and Chris Strong - out there today?
Coach O: We were very excited to see #57 and #53 out there today. They were just in helmets, but they went through some drills and looked very good. It was a big boost for the team to have those guys. What a great story of persistence and loyalty to Ole Miss. I can't say enough about Jerrell, his family, his belief in what we are doing here and wanting to stay in his home state. I'm so glad it finally happened, even though he still has to get cleared by the NCAA. Also, Chris - the number one player in the state. He really worked hard on getting his grades and he will provide a big boost to our team as well.
Q: What was it like to see them put those helmets on? For Jerrell, it's been so long.
Coach O: It is a moment we have all been waiting for. It was special to see them come out on that field.
Q: What did you do with Jerrell today?
Coach O: Very fundamental, basic stuff. Stance, alignment. Same with Chris.
Q: Are your expectations for them as high as the fans' expectations or do you have to be more realistic as a coach?
Coach O: We have to get them in teh system first. I coached Warren Sapp, Cortez Kennedy, Russell Maryland and Mike Patterson and a lot of people think they stepped off the bus with an 'S' on their chest, ripped their shirts off and tore it up. Very few were ready-made. They all needed some work. Yes, I am really fired up about those two we have now and I think the end result will be fantastic just like we all expect, but there are things that have to be fixed, no doubt.
Q: What about their conditioning?
Coach O: We'll see. It's obvious they have done some work, but there's nothing like football work. They have to get used to the conditions, I'm sure.
Q: Where do you plan on playing Chris?
Coach O: We will start him off at linebacker - middle linebacker. He's a little lighter than he was in the summer. I don't know what he weighs, but he looks good. We need a MLB. I like Tony Fein, but I think Chris may be the whole package. We'll see.
Q: What does it mean for the defense to have two more guys like that?
COach O: We need them. Both those guys are quick-twitch guys. They can get it. We need speed on our defense and both of them are very big and fast. We lost speed from losing Patrick in the middle on our defense and hopefully those guys can bring some of that element back in that way and in other ways.
Q: What was getting both those guys on the same day like?
Coach O: Like Christmas. Better than Christmas, no doubt about it. I'm really happy for the team. You could see it in the eyes of the team when those guys came out and in the eyes of Jerrell and Chris. They wanted to be Ole Miss Rebels. There's a unique difference in guys who come from Mississippi and they fight and claw to be here. I think you will see the difference in their play because of that.
Q: Do you think it will mean more for Jerrell with all he had to go through to get here?
Coach O: Yes. He had a lot of opportunities to give up, but he didn't. That shows you his character that he never gave up.
Q: How about your communication with him during all this time?
Coach O: I could call him once a week. We never gave up on him because you could hear the desire in his voice. The odds of a young man making it after two years are not good, but it shows you what he is made of.
Q: What about Brent Schaeffer?
Coach O: He moved back to QB today. I told you all along it may not be permanent. It's not that big a deal to me. He met with us and said he felt he'd help the team more at QB. H emay want to be a receiver tomorrow, I don't know. (laughed)
Q: What about Lionel Breaux?
Coach O: He stayed at wide receiver and did well. He's a nice young man and a good athlete.
Q: How did the secondary look today?
Coach O: Dustin Mouzon is having a real good camp. Kendrick Lewis showed up better at free safety. We are still not solid at the other corner. We moved Terrell Jackson ahead of Cassius Vaughn, but we are getting inconsistent play there right now.
Q: How about the QBs today?
Coach O: OK, but nothing really shining or catching your eye much.
Q: Who does Jerrell remind you of? Chris?
Coach O: Cortez with the girth. Huge frame and can move. Cortez was hard to block, but he cam to us at 350 and got down to 285. He had a great senior eyar. I don't know on Chris yet. Chris is unusual. He's so big and fast. I hope he reminds me of Chris Strong. (laughs)
Q: When do you get your intersession guys back?
Coach O: To be real honest with you, that is not high on my list right now. Those guys were supposed to report with their team and when they come back, and if they come back, they will have to earn their way back on the team. It really hasn't crossed my mind about their return.
Practice report, Day 6
OM Spirit Top Stories
Tuesday Ole Miss Recruiting RoundupScout released their "trending" meter for the top 300 uncommitted prospects in the country. Where does Ole Miss stand with their key players off of this list?
OM Spirit11:58 AM
Which SEC School will Labryan Ray Select?Labryan Ray has come to the conclusion that he will play in the Southeastern Conference, but for which school? The No. 9 defensive end in the country discusses his recruitment here…
Scout Football11:21 AM
Patterson Confident in Line Despite InjuriesOle Miss Spirit correspondent Kate Robison recently spoke to Ole Miss guard Javon Patterson about injuries on the offensive line, the progression of freshman Greg Little and facing…
OM Spirit6:00 AM