Mike Marry at SEC Media Days

Here’s Ole Miss linebacker Mike Marry from his Tuesday appearance at Media Days.

How well will this latest recruiting class fit in, how quickly will they need to help out?

We need the help now. They came in, we let them know from the first time we met them that we’re expecting them to play this year, not redshirt until next year. I feel like the majority of them are coming in, that’s the way they’re preparing – not as high schoolers, but as somebody that’s been here before. They’re coming in, they’re competing just as much as the older players. I feel like that’ll help us a lot this year.

How do you beat Alabama?

Eliminate your own mistakes, because we lose, it’s because you beat yourself, because you made mistakes, not because of what the other team’s done. That’s just the main thing, eliminate mistakes.

Turnovers vs. Alabama:

Turnovers, things in general, missing a tackle. … Doing your job and not trying to do someone else’s job. Another main thing is game planning, preparing before the game, because playing the game is only half the battle. The most important thing is preparing for that game.

How do you manage expectations after last year?

Just focus on the team and not what’s going on on the outside, and not what people expect us to do. Just play each week, because you never know what’s going to happen. You never know if a team will get injuries or if a team is just not going to play good or they’re overlooking you. We’ve just got to come out and play the game.

What part of your game do you need to work on to reach next level?

Speed and using my hands, that’s the main thing. I’ve got to use my hands more.

Defensively, where do you think y’all will improve this year?

Eliminate a lot of the simple mistakes, because we understand the scheme and the defense more this year. That’ll help us play faster and more physical.

What’s Freeze like as a coach?

Just a family man. He makes you feel like he’s a part of your family. There’s never a time where he just walks past you and doesn’t speak or hold a conversation and ask you about your family or how your day is going. That makes it feel better to be around him that much.

What stands out about assistant coaches?

The same thing – they all care, and they all put in tons of work as if they were about to play the game. They’re putting us in the best situations. They make you feel like they’re a part of your family.

Your expectations for Robert Nkemdiche?

I think he’ll be a great player. He’ll come in and help us a lot, immediately. Not from what he did in high school, just the way that he prepares. The little time that he has been here, he works hard every day, and he always wants to get better, always asking questions. I feel like he’ll be a great player.

Does he remind you of anybody you’ve seen?

Just watching his film from high school, he reminds me of Clowney from South Carolina. I feel like he’s going to be a whole different type of player. Pretty soon people will be comparing other players to him and not to somebody else.

Lost some games in fourth quarter, did you learn something?

You’ve got to finish the games. Just because you might be up at one point in the game doesn’t mean you’re going to win the game. You’ve got to come out and finish the game and don’t look back when we do get ahead.

Are y’all where UK would like to be, and what’s the secret?

Just work hard and believe in what your coaches are saying, try to get better every day. Because if you don’t get better, you get worse. To try to improve your game in some kind of way every day.

Handling bigger expectations:

We try not to think about it. We go in every game trying to win every game. We’d love to win 12 games and go to the national championship, so that’s our goal each and every week. Whether things go good or go bad, we try to win every week, every game.


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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