Building depth on the OL

The quest for depth on the offensive line continues this spring, and OL coach Matt Luke may not really find it until the freshmen arrive in August.

The Rebels are enjoying a long Easter weekend right now, a three-day break made longer by the fact that they practiced early Thursday morning and won’t return until late on Monday. The next workout is Monday night at 8.

Tackle Robert Conyers and guards Justin Bell and Jared Duke seem to be the players next to be judged “game-ready” by Luke, who relied heavily on his starters for most of 2012.

The four freshmen include the nation’s No. 1 OL prospect in Laremy Tunsil. He’s a true tackle, and the Rebels return starters at both tackles in Emmanuel McCray and Pierce Burton.

If Tunsil is as good as projected he could find his way to early playing time. That would mean as a young guy he’d be learning a new position or that McCray or Burton would move inside to guard.

“That’s something we’ll have to look at. My job as a line coach is to get the best five on the field, and if that means one of them doing that, we certainly will,” Luke said.

For now, Luke doesn’t see any of the freshmen as players he has to have for the group overall to be successful.

“You never know till you get them here, put the pads on and go to work. You can’t count on them, I know. You want them to come in and contribute. If they do it’s a bonus. The good news is we’ve got a lot of experience coming back, so if they don’t, we’re OK,” he said.

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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  • JB

    PA are you in Gainesville for the Weekend games? JB

  • Parrish Alford

    JB, sorry I’m late on the response. Did not go to Gainesville. I’ve been away from the blog for a couple of days. Getting back in routine this morning.

    • JB

      That’s OK,PA, you needed to spend Easter with your family. Rebels hit an unexpected stumbling block down there, but their baseball season is far from over. I have seen them bounce back many time when it looked like it was all over. I believe they will return to form soon. JB

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