Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace took a shotgun snap in practice Monday night. He made his read, stepped into the play and … did everything but throw.
That’s what Mississippi’s reigning Conerly Trophy winner will not do this spring as he works to get back the strength in his surgically repaired shoulder.
Wallace played the last nine games of 2012 with the shoulder weakened by a hit he took a Tulane.
Full recovery is expected, but as the Rebels continue through spring drills Wallace is limited to the “mental reps” of the workouts, just watching and analyzing. It’s a different approach.
“It’s hard for Bo to stay focused whatever it is. I think he’s doing a good job out there. He’s encouraging. He’s talking to the other quarterbacks about what he saw. I think he’s maturing some,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.
With Wallace out of the picture right now the physical reps are going to sophomore Maikhail Miller and senior Barry Brunetti. Freeze has judged both players to be inconsistent.
Brunetti is kind of a known commodity. Freeze is getting to see more of Miller’s athleticism.
“He’s got some good tools. His arm strength is as good as you want. He’s just inconsistent. He’s still a young kid, and we’ve got to keep coaching him. He and Barry both have been inconsistent,” Freeze said.
The physical reps are better than the mental ones. In theory, when you’re getting the physical reps, you’re getting the mental reps first – then putting them into practice.
Improving in the mental area of quarterback could help Wallace cut down on his turnovers. He threw 17 interceptions last season, a number that kept a very good debut season from being outstanding.
“The knock on him last year, the thing that we were most frustrated with would be some of his decision-making. He certainly can be working on that right now,” Freeze said.
And Wallace appears to be working on that.
“Every rep he should be thinking about here’s my call, here’s what I look for in the coverages, here’s where I go post-snap. Hopefully he’s doing all that mentally. It’s not as important obviously as getting all the physical reps,” Freeze said.