Back half of spring drills

Defense: Confident Corners

Offense: Treadwell close to full strength

With two weeks of spring football left, a few story lines to watch for a long the way.

– Will there be clear separation? There could be, but nobody will say it. I thought all three did good things Saturday, but Kelly looked a little different. It’s not fair to say Kelly is running away with the job. He does throw a nice deep ball, and he was accurate on Saturday.

– What can Akeem Judd do with the added reps this spring? Even with I’Tavius Mathers and Mark Dodson having transferred out of the program the Rebels still look to have numbers and potential at running back. The run game has to improve, and it’s not all on the offensive line. Jaylen Walton is entrenched as the starter. Judd, a juco transfer who redshirted last year, and Jordan Wilkins are bigger backs than Freeze has had before. Judd is a bigger, listed at 220 to Wilkins’ 209. Wilkins is out right now, and Judd’s getting more reps. Freeze is really high on in-coming freshman Eric Swinney, who will join the mix in August. Three, not four, is the more likely number for a rotation.

– Will corners Tony Bridges and Tee Shepherd keep getting better? There’s been a lot of buzz about these two for the first weeks. Freeze has said they’re a little too aggressive at times, and that could show up on deep balls. There’s a lot of potential for this defense. These guys, though, have to be dependable single coverage corners in their first season as starters.

– What happens at middle linebacker? The C.J. Johnson experiment seems to be getting mixed reviews. Defensive coordinator Dave Wommack on Saturday said Johnson will continue to play some at defensive end. If Johnson is going to move around Christian Russell, Temario Strong and Terry Caldwell have got to make strides.

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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