By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has addressed his depth concerns at running back by moving one of his top playmakers to the position: Randall Mackey.
Mackey, one of the team’s most athletic players, was a part of the quarterback competition until the middle of spring when he was moved to wide receiver.
The Rebels have an established starter at running back in junior Jeff Scott, but there’s no experience behind Scott and no players who approach Mackey’s ability.
Before the move to receiver, Mackey had been a spread quarterback his entire career.
“This is fun to me. Having Jeff with me, he’s trying to teach me the ropes. I’m looking forward to it,” Mackey said.
Mackey’s move to running back coincides with Tobias Singleton’s exit. Singleton will move back to wide receiver after playing running back the last week of last season under the old coaching staff and in the spring under Freeze and his staff.
Quarterback Barry Brunetti isn’t so sure fans will see Mackey at running back for very long.
“He’s going to be in a lot of positions this year. I’m not expecting Mackey to be at running back. He’ll probably be at running back for camp, and a few games. Next he’ll be at slot. You just never know,” Brunetti said.
Mosely’s road back
Senior tight end Jamal Mosely was arrested in late July on charges of public intoxication and disturbing the peace, and Freeze immediately announced the player’s indefinite suspension.
He stopped short Friday of guaranteeing Mosely’s future with the team but it appears Mosely is making strides in a return to good standing.
“I gave Jamal four things he has to do, and he’s completed two of them,” Freeze said. “As he continues, hopefully, to progress and show accountability, we will reevaluate (his status).”
Shackelford to miss 2012
Linebacker D.T. Shackelford was hopeful he had made enough progress from a February knee surgery to compete this season.
But a report from Dr. James Andrews advised against a quick return to the field. The decision has been made for Shackelford to sit out this season and return to the field in the spring of 2013. He’ll be a rising senior in eligibility then but will be in position to request a medical redshirt from the NCAA and reclaim this lost season.
“The man upstairs has a plan. I don’t know why it’s happened like this, but he got me here for a reason,” Shackelford said.
He has already obtained his degree and will begin graduate school this fall.
Freeze said he has added junior college transfer defensive back Louis Covington to this year’s roster. … It will be feast or famine for offensive lineman Darone Bailey, a mid-year junior college transfer. Bailey sat out the spring with a knee injury. He will go through camp, and if he can win a job, he’ll play this season. If not, Freeze and offensive line coach Matt Luke will discuss redshirting him. … A few position changes of note: Senior E.J. Epperson has moved from tight end to defensive end, and freshman John Youngblood, who signed as a defensive end, will begin his career at tight end.