Bowl practice begins soon

Ole Miss will soon begin preparations for the BBVA Compass Bowl, the early workouts focusing more on the Rebels than the opponent.

It will be much closer to Christmas, perhaps after, before there’s real work done on Pittsburgh.

Hugh Freeze said there were a number of young players he was excited to get a look at during bowl practice. Near the top of the list was Carlos Thompson, who was redshirted this year as a junior.

There was a lot of buzz for Thompson when he was signed out of Hollandale. Rivals and Scout both ranked him the No. 4 player in Mississippi and among their top 175 players nation-wide. Houston Nutt announced his signing in a very song-like tone as only Houston could do.

Nutt’s staff tried to get more weight on Thompson’s 6-4 frame. The media guide, which came out in the summer, lists Thompson at 250 pounds. The website roster currently lists him at 243. Whether weight or whatever the reasons, Thompson was never able to get on the field and stick.

His high school reputation was one of a fast pass rusher and a playmaker off the edge. In two years he’s credited with one tackle, a sack for a 13-yard loss against Louisiana-Lafayette in 2010. Thompson appeared in seven games that year, just four in 2011.

The Rebels return all but two of their defensive ends, plus D.T. Shackelford after a two-year absence, and are trying to add Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s top recruit.

It will be interesting to keep an eye on Thompson and see if Freeze and Dave Wommack can help him get on the field and become a productive player.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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