Practice Report: Thursday

The Rebels went through a light practice to conclude this week's open date practices. They will take Friday and Saturday off and then start their game week preparations for Alabama Sunday. Read about it inside.

The Rebels concluded open week practices with a light workout in soft shells that lasted roughly an hour and 15 minutes. Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt was pleased with the week.

"We had a good week. We were very physical this week and the kids responded well. We'll come back in here Sunday ready to go," said Nutt. "Sunday's practice will be longer than most Sunday practices because we'll be coming off two days off and we want to get a big jump on preparing for Alabama.

"This has been a good week because we not only got to give our young players some attention, but hopefully we got better as a team as well fundamentally."

Houston said he's looking forward to the second season, so to speak.

"The first half of the season is gone. Over. There's nothing we can do about it. We have a lot of good games left and we need to be ready for each one of them so we can finish the season strong," he noted.

CB Cassius Vaughn was held out of today's practice with an ankle injury he hurt yesterday in one-on-one drills, but Nutt said it was not a bad injury.

"We held him out for precautionary reasons. He rolled the same one he rolled earlier in the year and we just want to give it an extra day's rest," Houston said.

In Vaughn's absence, true frosh Derrick Herman was getting a lot of the number one reps at Vaughn's corner.

"Derrick is going to be a good football player. I'm glad we signed him. He's gotten used to the speed of the game now, is competing better and is stronger. He's going to be fine," Nutt closed.

Random Notes:

* Only two position coaches were on campus for practice today. The others are out recruiting. DC Tyrone Nix and OC Kent Austin, along with Nutt and the graduate assistants, ran practice today.

* FS Johnny Brown, who suffered a concussion in the South Carolina game, returned to practice today.

* We had an opportunity to talk to a few NFL scouts who were at practice this week observing the Rebs and the following was their "consensus" opinion on how the Ole Miss seniors are projected in the next draft and free agent market. All said evaluations are ongoing and will be altered weekly until the end of the season.

LT Michael Oher: Every scout we talked to believes Michael will go high in the draft based on his athletic ability, but they are continuing to check up on him on a weekly basis monitoring his progress in being more physical. One scout said most are projecting him as a first round pick, but how high in the first round will depend a lot on how he finishes his senior season. "My team wants more punch from him, but we think he can be a great one."

DT Peria Jerry: The scouts loves his motor and the fact that he can play when he's not 100% healthy. The flip side is that he has a history of injury and they are keeping tabs on how he holds up this season. Their projection is top 5 rounds.

WR Mike Wallace: They love his speed and he has a good frame, over 6-0. He will be drafted because of his sprinter's speed, they say, but how high will be determined by how complete a wide receiver and return man he becomes the rest of the season.

OLB Ashlee Palmer: At the first of the year, AP was not getting high marks by the scouts we talked to, but the South Carolina game has gotten their attention. They are anxious to see if he keeps it up the rest of the season. They like him because of his speed, but had given him low marks on production until SC. If he finishes strongly, a good chance to be drafted.

RG Maurice Miller: His size and work ethic will most likely get him a shot at the next level, but it may be the free agent route.

FB Jason Cook: The love his character and work ethic and intelligence, which, they say, is vital to the FB position. Most likely a free agent guy.

SS Jamarca Sanford: Hard-nosed and dependable and could be an asset on special teams. They called him draftable but a likely free agent.

DE Jermey Parnell: As one scout said, someone will take a chance on Jermey simply because of his size. "We would sign him to a free agent contract, put him on our developmental squad and take a chance, despite his lack of experience. You never know and you love his size if he can develop."

MLB Tony Fein: One scout said he loved the way Tony plays - all out, and loves his physical approach to the game. He considers him a definite free agency guy with a chance to stick with a team due to his attacking style.

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