Going to a bowl game is a reward for a job well done, but don't believe that bowl practices are all fun and games.
Besides preparing for a tough game against Oklahoma State in the January 2nd Cotton Bowl, tt's a dead serious time to get better and to get a jump on spring training and the 2010 season, where the younger players are given plenty of attention and opportunity.
The Rebels worked in full pads in the Indoor Practice Facility on Saturday in full pads and to give you an indication of the intensity level expected, Coach Houston Nutt got the players' juices flowing with a brief bull-in-the-ring session to get things started.
"As I said yesterday, we really appreciate this extra time. There are a lot of teams that don't get this extra time - they are putting their shoulder pads up, but we get to practice and get better," said Nutt. "We had a very good practice today."
Another "new" face popped up today and impressed Nutt.
"WR Ja'Mes Logan stood out today. He came in here at 170 pounds and is now at 195. He did real good in one-on-one drills," Nutt closed. "And as I said, Marry looked real good in middle drills for his first day."
* There were some brand new participants in the fold Saturday. S Tig Barksdale, DE Cameron Whigham, LB Mike Marry and C Evan Swindall joined the squad and got in some drill work while trying to get acclimated. "It's fundamental time for them," said Nutt. "It's too early to tell much, but we already know Tig has a world of ability. I was proud of how he looked today. We'll scrimmage him a little tomorrow afternoon. He can be a kick returner, play safety, tailback and he will be on all special teams. Mike Marry is a big body we need. He moves pretty well too for a 250-pounder. He's not shy. He looked real good in middle drills. We think he could play other positions as well. Evan can snap the ball, he can bend and he's physical. Those are three good characteristics to start with. We are going to put him in the microwave and speed things up for him now. We'll see how he catches on. It was really good to see them out there. They looked good."
* TB Brandon Bolden sat out Saturday's practice session with a pulled groin. No word on when he will return but the good news is that there is no game for three weeks and there's plenty of time for him to heal. No need to rush his return.
* C Daverin Geralds remained sidelined with a case of bronchitis/pneumonia but he was "much better" Saturday and expects to return to practice soon.
* OLB Patrick Trahan remains on crutches and in a walking boot, but he's optimistic he'll return for the bowl game. As was reported yesterday, Patrick will travel to Jackson Monday to get some more doctors to check out his foot to see if a further diagnosis/recommended treatment will get him going back in the right direction more quickly.
* FB E.J. Epperson missed Friday's practice with a light concussion, but he returned to action Saturday.
* DT Justin Smith did not practice Saturday due to his foot, which he broke early in August practice, acting up a little. He expects to be back soon.
* Sunday's practice will be closed to the media. Monday, the Rebs will have a weight room workout, but no practice. They will resume practice Tuesday and carry it through until they break for Christmas next Saturday. As we printed yesterday, they will all meet back up in Dallas on December 26th.
* Logan drew Nutt's praise and was appreciative of the compliments. "Thanks, Coach Nutt," he laughed. "I just came out and worked hard like I do every day. Coach (Don) Decker has helped me put on some weight. I have gained 25 pounds and I'm now 195. You have to get bigger in the SEC. I feel the same speed-wise as before. I'll just keep working and hopefully impressing my coaches."
Saturday Practice Report
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