Ted Laurent ready to wear the "Red" jersey

Big Ted came into Ole Miss as one of the more accomplished defensive tackles in years for the Rebels.

He was selected to the prestigious Atlanta Journal Constitution's 2006 Super 11 team and had offers from most of the big time programs throughout the country.

But as many freshmen learn, your high school days are just that once you arrive to the collegiate level.

"Man, I really did not know what to expect to be honest," added the always thoughtful and well spoken, Ted Laurent. "Everybody is an all-star up here. Probably the best defensive lineman I saw in high school is not on the level as the eight of us. It is pretty amazing at what we got here. I guess it is that way at all of the schools, but it would be hard for me to imagine that they are as talented as we are. I said I was starting off as a zero once I got here, but I did not know I literally was going to be one."

Ted has these thoughts on media day.

"It feels good. It feels great to be known. I really did not think anyone would know who I was being from Georgia and all, but the Ole Miss family has just welcomed me with open arms. It feels good. It really does."

Laurent reflects on the first day he put on the helmet for the Red and Blue.

"I was like I am here, you know what I am saying. I was like I did it. I am here with the Ole Miss Rebels. Practice that day was a great feeling, a great feeling. I do not think I have ever been that happy to run around in a 100 degree weather."

Speaking of the weather, was Laurent surprised that it was this hot in Mississippi?

"No, I had no idea it was like this (laughing). I talked to my cousin who lives over here, and I asked him if it was hot, and he said it was hotter in Georgia. I am here to tell you, it does not get this hot in Georgia (laugh)."

Does the heat have any effect on him during practices?

"No, it is just my weight. The heat does not have any effect on my play, just my weight. I am getting there though."

Where is Ted, condition wise, after the first two weeks of practice?

"It is getting there. I have lost around 10 pounds since camp reported. I need to lose another 15 to be where I need to be."

The biggest surprise for Ted coming from the high school to the college level was what?

"The tempo is so much faster, from the players, to the coaches, to everything. You can not take a play off here. The guys are bigger, stronger, faster. What I did in high school you have to put it in the past. All that means zilch here. Everybody was the man in high school. You have to start a new chapter up here."

Is Laurent making strides in getting into the rotation?

"I think I am making some moves, but I do not have that Red jersey on yet. That is my goal. I want that Red jersey on."

Ted talks about the talent that the Rebels have at defensive tackle.

"We have a lot of talent there, a lot of talent. We have some talented returnees like Peria Jerry, Brandon Jenkins, Jeremy Garrett. Marcus Tillman is an all-american. Greg Hardy is as talented as any lineman I have every competed with or against. Then we have all of us that are freshmen like (Jerrell) Powe, Justin (Sanders), Lawon (Scott) and myself. We have a lot of depth on our defensive line."

What are Ted's impressions with the defensive linemen he signed with?

"Well, Jerrell is pretty strong. He is really strong and quick for his size. That is what I like about Jerrell Powe. And Lawon Scott and Justin Sanders, they are about the same as me. They get off of the ball quick and provide a good pass rush. They just know how to play the position. We are a very talented group in my opinion."

Ted has some pretty simple personal goals for his freshman season.

"Personally, I want to get a starting spot and get to a bowl game. Well, I really want to win the SEC championship and then go to the big bowl."

The Ole Miss coaching staff is long in experience for the defensive line, and so far, Laurent has soaked in everything he can learn from them.

"Coach Orgeron told me when I first got here that he was going to teach me the finer things about becoming a great lineman. I never really learned much in high school. It was all just on my natural ability. But I feel like Coach O is going to turn me into another Warren Sapp. That is why I signed with Ole Miss because I wanted to be taught by the best, and in my opinion, Coach O is the best defensive coach in America."

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