The following is Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt's press conference discussing the newcomers reporting for August practice. All expected freshmen showed up with no problems today at the IPF. The varsity reports tomorrow.
Nutt: We are very excited today with the freshmen reporting. They look good and we are excited about them. We're giving them a lot of information and helping them get acclimated with everything. This is your locker, this is where you eat, this is where you sleep - taking it nice and slow with them. The varsity comes in tomorrow and we'll be ready to go.
Q: You say they passed the look test?
Nutt: Absolutely. I wish a couple of them had been here during the summer, but other than that, yes. Bobby (Massie) looks great, but I'm sure he is behind in his conditioning. Frank Crawford is a little thin, but he looks really good. Ryan Campbell also looks good. Z. Mason is really pretty. Those are the ones we didn't have during the summer. I'm excited about all of them.
Q: So you do anticipate conditioning problems for those guys?
Nutt: Probably so. Any time you don't get to work out in this environment in the summer, you are going to be behind. We'll take it slow with them. I've already had a couple come up to me and explain they haven't had a chance to run much and I tell them I understand that. They will be all right.
Q: What is the next step with Tig Barksdale?
Nutt: First, he has to get cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Then he has to get accepted by Ole Miss and we will go from there.
Q: Will he be suspended?
Nutt: We will take it slow with him. He understands what we want. Remember, he hasn't been here with us. He needs discipline and structure. He needs us. He knows that. He knows he made a very poor decision and we are going to help him with that and get him going in the right direction.
Q: Do you expect him to make it academically?
Nutt: I do.
Q: Could you read who has reported?
Nutt: Michael Brown, Ryan Campbell, Tyler Campbell, Raymond Cotton, Frank Crawford, Corey Gaines, Jesse Grandy, Terrell Grant, Dele Junaid, Joel Kight, Ja'Mes Logan, Z. Mason, Bobby Massie, Emmanuel McCray, Korvic Neat, Pat Patterson, Andrew Ritter, Charles Sawyer, Rodney Scott, D.T. Shackelford, Tim Simon, Alex Williams. There is also Logan Clair, Craig Drummond and A.J. Hawkins. It's 25.
Q: Who will greyshirt?
Nutt: Evan Swindall and Mike Marry. I had hoped we could put Mike on scholarship because he's so intelligent and a very good player. I hope we can keep him convinced to greyshirt and go on scholarship starting in January. It's tough on him right now because he's back in Florida with friends who he was better than who are practicing and getting writeups and he's not. Other schools are coming after him. I think he probably wishes he had taken our offer early in the recruiting process when we had some openings, but he waited too late. We'll see if he holds with us. I think he wants to.
Q: What about Greg Hardy's foot?
Nutt: We'll get him going Monday. He may not do everything, but Tim Mullins had OK'd him and we will gradually work him in.
Q: Where do you hope you get help from the newcomers?
Nutt: We desperately need help in two areas - offensive line and secondary. Our numbers are not where we want them there. Charles Swayer, Frank Crawford, Jesse Grandy, who will start at WR, are guys we will be trying to develop quickly, not for the right now, but for down the line. We have 22 seniors and need to have some kids ready at those position for backup and for next year. Emmanuel McCray, Massie, Brown - we need them to get after it early. Those are two of the harder areas to learn. There is a lot on DBs and OL to learn what you have to learn to be ready to play on this level.
Q: Who are candidates to learn quickly?
Nutt: Don Decker has a better feel because he could work them in the summer and we cannot. He likes D.T., Kight, Patterson, Grant, Logan, Cotton, McCray and a couple of more. I don't know, to answer your question. We have no idea idea who is mature enough to handle this task this early, but we will find out. Z. Mason looks beautiful, but he hasn't worked out and we'll see how he adjusts. Same thing with Massie.
Q: What is your plan for Cotton?
Nutt: We will give him a package of things we want him to learn and not ask him to learn the whole playbook. We don't want him flooded with the whole playbook.
Q: Have you thought about who might redshirt?
Nutt: We tell them all to come in here ready to contribute and let's see what happens. Don't worry about redshirting or not. OL are most likely to redshirt, but the rest we want to come in here to play. We need the best 11 starters and backups on offense, defense and special teams, so some of them will have an impact. Don't worry about your number, your position or if you are going to redshirt. Just come in and play. Here's your locker. Here's where you get cake. Here's where you practice. Don't worry about anything else. It will take care of itself.
Q: Who are Wild Rebel candidates?
Nutt: Bolden is next in line. Cotton, Scott, Patterson. We said yes to a lot of them in the living room and the ones who have the desire to learn the position will get a chance to. Let's see what you can do and if you can handle it. If they can, let's roll.
Q: Any multiple position guys?
Nutt: Maybe Grandy. He could play CB or WR. We'll see.
Q: Do you see D.T. on inside or outside?
Nutt: I'm not sure. He's so smart he could play either. We will start him inside and see where that takes him. He may end up outside.
Q: How much did Hornsby's loss hurt you?
Nutt: He was the older guy who probably could have helped us immediately. He was a mature guy who we could have used. Tig, Junaid, Crawford may take a little longer than he probably would have.
Q: What was the conversation with Tig like after his incident?
Nutt: I could tell by his voice he was shaken up and concerned. I let him know quickly that you can't be foolish and throw things away. Foolish decisions cost. It was a one-way conversation. He just needs some good old discipline.
Q: If Tig is not cleared, who is next?
Nutt: Mike Marry is on deck.
Nutt welcomes Rebel frosh
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