Wednesday Practice Report

As the Rebels reached the halfway point of week two, with the second Saturday scrimmage squarely in their path, Coach Houston Nutt is getting some good vibes in most areas of the team. Read about it inside.

It's not just a 60's song by the Beach Boys.

Good Vibrations are happening with the Ole Miss football team as well, in most areas.

Rebel Coach Houston Nutt elaborated on such after Wednesday's practice as his squad rockets toward Saturday's second scrimmage of the fall camp, a scrimmage that will go a long way toward the decision-making process of which players will get playing time and which ones won't.

"We're coming around in a lot of areas," said Nutt. "We still have some work to do on the offensive line, but we expected that, we still need one more receiver to emerge, we still want that fourth safety and fourth corner to come on, we need Mike Marry back at linebacker.

"We still have a laundry list of things that need to be done, but I'm having good thoughts in a lot of areas, and we are only a week and a half into fall camp. We have time to correct a lot of things and for some guys to keep developing."

From today, Nutt put the Rebels through a goal line out scrimmage with the offense starting on their one and trying to get some breathing room.

"That was good work. The defense continues to do a good job - Lockett, Laurent, Powe, Scott, Dorsey, Cornell, Walker, Kight - on the front seven. Kight has done a real good job grasping the starting role. He's tough, unselfish and he has good character. Just outstanding. And I haven't mentioned D.T. (Shackelford) much but we consider him a starter. He hustles, he's playing two positions and he's been outstanding," Nutt noted. "Offensively, we have to be more consistent. We had some some missed assignments and a turnover. You can't turn it over when you are backed up. Cannot have that. Our defense is just awfully hard to go against. They are assignment sound and they can run. I tell you, (CB) Jeremy McGee made two big plays today, Charles Sawyer made a play or two and Marcus Temple did well. We know we have three corners ready for game action."

There was also extensive work on field goals and Houston liked the production of PK Bryson Rose and the whole kicking operation.

"If we went out there tomorrow, Bryson would be our guy. He's much confident and is very consistent right now. I hope he stays right where he is. He's more relaxed now," said Nutt. "He's doing a good job. Richie Contartesi is doing a nice job holding and Will Denny is doing a good job snapping as a freshman, excellent actually."

Nutt was perplexed by too many interceptions thrown by his QBs yesterday, but today he gave them a "much better."

"They did real good in a Red Zone pass scale drill and took care of the ball better," said Houston. "Nathan (Stanley) had a beautiful ball to Jesse Grandy and all three of them had their moments. Randall (Mackey) is very accurate and Jeremiah (Masoli) makes things happen when things do break down."

Random Notes:

* Freshman Running Back Jeff Scott missed Tuesday's practice with a migraine headache, but he was back on track Wednesday, dressed out in full pads and going through all drills.

* TE Ferbia Allen is the proud father of a bouncing baby boy born Tuesday. Ferbia Lynn Allen, III, weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and has his Dad beaming. Speaking of weight, however, the heat at practice has knocked a little off Ferbia. He started camp weighing 242-244 and has lost down to 236, where he has held steady for the past few days. The hope is that between now and the regular season, he will get back in the 242 range when his body adjusts more to the heat and he stays on the preseason training table with an all-you-can-eat menu.

* In 2008, the team motto was "One Heartbeat." In 2009, it was "Unsatisfied." What will it be in 2010? Whatever it is will be "unveiled" Sunday week, we were told. In the meantime, the new slogan for all recruiting functions and materials is "The Rebelution," as in "Join The Rebelution." Catchy, huh?

Ja-Mes Logan

* If Nutt's comments on the offensive line need expanding for clarification purposes, the word around camp is "pretty good in the run game, struggling some in pass protection." Nobody wants to point fingers at individuals not getting it done, but apparently it's an issue that needs addressing, work and resolution in the coming weeks.

* The early word on the two Madison Central products - defensive tackles Carlton Martin and Bryon Bennett - is that the Rebs may have hit the jackpot for that position in the future. As one source said, "both have good size, good pop in their hips and explosiveness - we can work with that." The anticipation is that both will be starters in future years. There has been no decision on whether or not the Reb coaches will try to get them some game snaps this year for experience purposes in correlation to the need at that position in 2011 or whether they will redshirt this year. Right now, the thought process is "glad to have them and we can sort that out later." With four seniors penciled in for the bulk of the snaps, and the return of Justin Smith, the opportunities for quality reps may not be there and that has to be weighed against burning a year over a handful of plays.

* Junior Derrick Herman was moved to wide receiver from tailback earlier this week. The consensus is that Herman will have a role out wide or he wouldn't have been moved. Could he be the receiver Nutt is counting on to emerge? Herman is certainly in that thought process as well as Jared Mitchell. It appears Markeith Summers, Lionel Breaux, Jesse Grandy, Melvin Harris, Ja-Mes Logan, Vincent Sanders and Korvic Neat are getting the type of reps that would indicate early on they are in the rotation, but the hope is for "eight or nine" to be ready and to get game snaps. Why so many? You never know when an injury or two could pop up. For instance, Summers (hamstring) and Breaux (eye infection) were not participating today in practice.

* Besides Summers and Breaux, freshman CB Cliff Coleman (broken foot) is out indefinitely and OLB Mike Marry (hamstring) continues to dress out but is very limited in what he can do at practice other than observe and learn through osmosis.

Carlton Martin

* Freshman DE Cameron Whigham is holding on tightly to the number two DE position behind projected starter Wayne Dorsey. The greyshirt true freshman who joined the team in on-campus Cotton Bowl practices and went through spring training and the summer workout program is now 260 pounds after showing up last December at 242. He reminds one of a young Emmanuel Stephens, who played all-out all the time. Whigham has a similar motor and it's serving him well as he learns the defensive end tricks of the trade. Cameron has gotten not complaints about the physical nature of his play, he's just fine-tuning his pass rush moves and techniques.

* Graduate Assistant B. Brown, a former Rebel DB who is now working with the cornerbacks at Ole Miss, has been in coaching for three years, but this is his first at Ole Miss. He says in his brief stint with the Rebels he has learned "volumes." The biggest lessons so far? "We have coaches here who care about doing the little things correctly and in a league where a lot of the talent is equal, that's the difference in winning and losing."

* 6th LB, 4th safety and 4th corner? Right now our guesses, somewhat educated but still guesses, would be, respectively, freshman Clarence Jackson, freshman Brishen Mathews and redshirt freshman Frank Crawford.

Bobby Massie

* Not that is seems to matter one iota to anyone but depth chart watchers, but senior DT Ted Laurent is still lining up with the first defense ahead of senior Jerrell Powe, but the word is that they are alternating with the first unit in closed team drills.

* A depth chart watch that does matter, however, is at the center position. Today marked the fourth day in a row that true freshman Evan Swindall worked with the first unit ahead of sophomore A.J. Hawkins after Hawk won the job in spring and started out fall camp as number one before experiencing some inconsistencies in center snap exchanges.

* The Rebels practiced in the stadium today due to the practice fields being too wet from yesterday's rain.


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