The M-Club Alumni Chapter never fails to deliver when it comes to the Grove Bowl.
Saturday, April 17th, when the results of spring football training will be unveiled with the 1 p.m. Red-Blue Game featuring the 2010 Rebels, will be no different.
With beautiful weather forecast, the day will begin at 10 a.m. in the Grove with a food court, t-shirt sales and a game area for kids, followed by the team making their Walk of Champions through the Grove at 10:45.
At 11, Tim Brando will host "Path to the Draft: Ole Miss to the NFL" on the Grove stage.
Dexter McCluster will headline a group of former Rebels that will also include Chris Spencer, Charlie Anderson, Jesse Mitchell and Jason Cook.
"It's an honor to be mentioned in the same breath with those guys," said McCluster. "Seeing those guys come back to the Grove Bowl shows they haven't forgotten where they came from, and that's something I want to do. I'm ready to come back and show the fans how I much I love them and that I bleed Red and Blue."
There will be Dexter posters available at the event.
McCluster, you will recall, is the first player in SEC history to rush for over 1,000 yards and have over 500 yards receiving in one season, a feat he accomplished in 2009 when the Rebels went 9-4 and defeated Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.
"There's nothing like former players coming back," said Coach Houston Nutt, who will take part in the event. "The fans want to see them and our players are excited to see them. It's going to be an awesome atmosphere leading up to the game.
"I didn't get to coach Chris, Charlie and Jesse, but I coached against them and know first-hand they were terrific players and Rebels. I'm looking forward to getting to know them better and welcome them back home. I was fortunate enough to have coached Dexter and Jason and they were outstanding players and ambassadors of our university.I think it's common knowledge what those two have meant to Ole Miss, our football program and me personally."
Spencer was taken in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft and has started 54 games the past four year with the Seattle Seahawks. A 2004 draft pick of the Houston Texans, Anderson is entering his seventh NFL season and third with the Miami Dolphins.
Mitchell had his pro career abruptly ended with a knee injury and is now an attorney with Baker Donelson in Jackson, MS.
Cook is now working in the Ole Miss FCA as the football chaplain after a brief stint with the Baltimore Ravens.
Nutt will give Rebel fans a glimpse of the upcoming football season in the Red-Blue Game.
During spring training, the Rebels have worked diligently to replace such stalwarts off the 2009 team as McCluster, Marcus Tillman, Jevan Snead, Shay Hodge, Patrick Trahan, Kendrick Lewis, Daverin Geralds, Reid Neely, Josh Shene and John Jerry, to name a few.
Early in spring, the Rebel defense, which has six returning starters, was dominant and gave the offense, that's replacing seven starters, fits.
As spring wore on, however, the offense picked up some momentum and started making more plays and moving the ball more frequently. Consistency has been an issue, but the offensive players started playing with more confidence and swagger.
As it stands, it appears the defensive front seven led by Jerrell Powe, Jonathan Cornell, Kentrell Lockett and newcomer Wayne Dorsey, will be a strength of the team.
"We've been very happy with the direction the defense is going and we've seen improvement from our offensive players," Nutt said. "We're looking forward to the spring game and the offseason and summer session as we continue to develop."
The format for the game is currently set to be the ones against the rest.
Tickets for the Grove Bowl will be available in the Grove.
All proceeds of the day go to benefit the J.W. "Wobble" Davidson Scholarship Fund, which aids children of former Ole Miss letter winners who need financial assistance to attend Ole Miss.
On Thursday night, the annual Chucky Mullins Courage Award Banquet will be held at the Indoor Practice Facility at 7 p.m.
As every Rebel knows, the Chucky Mullins Award is given each year to the defensive player who displays courage and leadership in spring training.
This year's finalists are SS Johnny Brown, MLB Jonathan Cornell, DT Ted Laurent, DE Kentrell Lockett, DT Jerrell Powe and OLB Allen Walker.
"Any of those guys would be deserving and that's why they are finalists," said Nutt. "That's an outstanding group of student-athletes and young men who will be among our leaders next year."
The 2010 football season promises to be exciting and action-packed.
For the first look at our team, don't miss the Cellular South Grove Bowl.
Grove Bowl Saturday!
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