We're hearing. . .

It's the time of the year when you can hear just about anything and can confirm little. (Kidding, sort of.) As the football season approaches, the following are some things we are hearing. Read about it inside.

* We've heard. . . Signee Q. Mireles, a speedster from Florida who, at first, was supposed to be at Ole Miss in January, still has not been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Seem odd? Indeed. Here's the rub, and somewhat a rehash of old news. Q. attended multiple high schools, including a charter school that had never dealt with athletic scholarship issues. Apparently, it took a long time for Q. and his camp to get all his ducks in a row to get his information in. That is understandable, to a certain extent. But he's had his "stuff" in to the Clearinghouse now for well over a month and still no response from the eligibility powers-that-be. What could take so long? Beats us, but that's where it stands. No decision yet.

* We're hearing. . . Sophomore Wide Receiver Pat Patterson, suspended from spring training due to some off-the-field indiscretions, has changed some of his behavioral patterns satisfactorily, but he's got to pick things up in the classroom in order to take the field in the fall. The ball is in Pat's court. He's in the offseason program, by the way, which is a good sign.

* We're hearing. . . Things seem good on the rehab front for the most part. DT Justin Smith, who had a stress fracture in his foot last August, seems to be on the mend after his second surgery. He's currently running in the training room pool and is no longer in a walking boot, but the key phrase is still "taking it easy" in the rehab. Smith is expected to be ready for August. (Arkansas QB Ryan Mallette is going through the same thing right now - a re-break and second rehab. Stress fractures are pesky and tricky.) DE Jason Jones' knee that was operated on last summer is fine, but the hamstring issue he had the first day of spring training is still giving him some issues. QB Raymond Cotton is doing well in his shoulder rehab program which includes light throwing. There's a story there in time of the rehab program he's going through, but in the meantime his progress has been very good. DE Kentrell Lockett had his knee scoped and a sports hernia fixed after spring training and is currently going through rehab. His progress has been good and he's expected to be 100% in August. DT LaMark Armour also had his knee scoped after spring training and is expected to be fine when fall camp comes around. WR Markeith Summers and OLB Allen Walker both had sports hernia surgery prior to spring training and were limited until the end of spring drills, but they are fine now.

* We're hearing. . .Some tidbit updates on the newcomers, to wit, some first impressions. OL Jared Duke, as is the case with most freshmen linemen, is having to work double duty on his conditioning, but the raw material first look has been pleasing. Big, strong and might be even more athletic than was anticipated. Jared has been very receptive to extra conditioning work on his own. . . . OL Terrence Hackney is in the same boat as Duke - big, strong, athletic (for a freshman), but has to pound the pavement, so to speak, in conditioning, which is expected. Both he and Duke have taken getting in better shape seriously to this point. . . FB Martez Eastland, we're hearing, has the right demeanor for a fullback - works extremely hard and does whatever is asked of him without question. He's said to be strong but working on his flexibility to match that strength and want-to. . . QB Randall Mackey, who we've also been told has a strong, accurate arm and a quick release, is extremely athletic and works hard. . . S Brishen Mathews has been the most impressive of the newcomers to this point because he reported in SEC shape, so to speak. He's said to be agile and strong for a freshman. . .DE Carlos Thompson is, by all accounts, a Kentrell Lockett clone. Tall, long, lean and strong for his size (220-225). Like Lockett when he was a frosh, Carlos just needs weight and it will come because he's also said to have Kentrell's attitude - excellent toward work. . . . DS Will Denny is already reminding folks around the program of Preston Powers - same body type, good strength levels and same hard-working approach to the task at hand. . . One walk-on is also earning a buzz - S Sam Noblin - due to his work ethic. Apparently, he's setting the work pace for the new guys and setting the bar pretty highly. . . More on these guys as the summer progresses and next time, we hope, it will be expanded eyond "we're hearing."

We'll keep our ears to the ground and relay more of what we're hearing on the message boards and in story form as we hear it. . . .

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