Camp 2007 … Powe, Strong first team

This from Aug. 13, 2007. Jerrell Powe’s continuing quest for eligibility included time with the first team in camp.

Remember Chris Strong? He’s here too.

OXFORD — Two newcomers whose arrival at Ole Miss was highly anticipated — and delayed — have wasted no time in moving up the depth chart.

Freshmen Chris Strong and Jerrell Powe ran drills with the first team in the Rebels’ workout Monday prior to media day activities.

Strong, an All-American linebacker at South Panola, was Mississippi’s No. 1 recruit last year, but his path to college football has required him to spend time at Geenesis One, a prep school in Mendenhall. 

Powe’s three-year effort to play for Ole Miss has been well chronicled, twice signing and twice failing to gain eligibility before this season. 

Both players were admitted last week; both are getting valuable practice time; and the eligibility is temporary for both.

Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron thinks it’s a worthwhile risk to give valuable practice time to Powe and Strong even before they gain final clearance. In face, he feels it would be detrimental to take any other approach.

“We expect them to be cleared, and we are not going to hold this team back,” Orgeron said. “Other guys had their chance. Other guys had the red (starters’) jersey and got beaten out. It’s like we’re giving it to them. These guys are earning it, so we’re going forward.”

The NCAA allows provisionally admitted football players to practice 14 times while it reviews their cases prior to certification. 

That’s where both Strong and Powe stand right now. Monday’s workout was their fourth. They’ll have to come off the field if they are not certified by the NCAA before Ole Miss practices 11 more times.

The Rebels open the season Sept. 1 at Memphis.

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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