Bradley Sowell, a 6-7 320-pound offensive tackle, has patience. And time is on his side.
The young OT knows Michael Oher is a senior and his turn - if everything keeps working out - is coming soon.
"I'm just trying to get better every day," said Sowell. "The coaches are getting me ready to play in case something happens this year to one of the starters and I'm trying to stay ready and keep progressing in my game. I'm working on my technique and working out four times a week with the freshmen.
"It's tough sometimes, but I know it will pay off. The coaches are telling me I'm athletic enough to be a big time player so that's what my goal is."
Bradley says he has had to have patience in this journey.
"It's tough sometimes on Saturday knowing you probably aren't going to play, but I'm a team guy and I know my time will come," he said. "Michael Oher, Maurice Miller and Darryl Harris are seniors, so there will be three openings next year for sure. If I don't get much action this year, I feel sure I'll be in the lineup next year. I just have to pin my ears back and keep working to make sure I'm ready when my time comes, whether it's this year or next."
Sowell believes he progressed rapidly in two areas.
"My bending and my knowledge of the game have gotten much better since I have been here," Bradley continued. "What I need to improve is getting stronger in my upper body and playing more physical."
Sowell came to Ole Miss with a reputation of a headhunter in high school. So far, he said, that demeanor has not surfaced yet on the college level, but he's confident it will.
"It's so much faster on this level. Everyone is good here and there is a lot to learn. I think you have to evolve into playing meaner as you feel more comfortable with doing things the right way - that's number one," he noted.
Sowell is more comfortable on the left side of the OL, but he's also learning the right side just in case the coaches have in mind to move the veteran John Jerry to LT and shift him to the right side.
"I'm more comfortable on the left side because I've done it for so long. It's just reps though in making the adjustment to the right side," he added. "If I rep it enough, I'll be fine on the right side if that is the coaches' choice."
Sowell said the adjustment from Art Kehoe to Mike Markuson as the OL coach has been smooth for him and his OL running mates.
"They are a lot alike. Both are great OL coaches and both get the best out of you," Sowell closed. "You know with both of them you have to come to practice ready to work. There are no days off."
Bradley Sowell -
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