By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Getting back in pads takes a little getting used to for everyone.
Even the seniors.
Ole Miss put the full gear on for the first time on Wednesday, the fifth day of camp.
“It was what you expect for the first time,” senior tailback Brandon Bolden said. “We’ve got to keep pushing through it. It’s a man’s game, and the best will rise.”
Bolden had some nice runs early in the four scrimmage periods at the end of the 21/2-hour practice.
The first day with pads brought no obvious separation at quarterback where sophomore Barry Brunetti got the first snaps, followed in the rotation by Zack Stoudt and Randall Mackey.
It was not a banner day throwing the football.
“Nobody really jumped out. We had too many balls batted down today,” Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said.
One ball not batted resulted in a 40-yard touchdown from Stoudt to freshman Nick Brassell. Stoudt made a nice throw over the defender, Aaron Garbutt.
Brassell was used exclusively on offense Wednesday.
“Nick kind of picked us up today, he and (tight end) Jamal Mosley,” Nutt said.
Nutt cited freshman Tobias Singleton for his consistency through camp but said he wants to see more of the freshmen advance their play.
One defensive standout was redshirt freshman middle linebacker Ralph Williams. He has been running second team but went primarily with the first team as sophomore Mike Marry was banged up and held out of practice. Williams was in the middle of several plays, once breaking free to drop speedy Jeff Scott at the line of scrimmage. He punctuated that play and others with enthusiasm.
“He’s a physical, hard-nosed player, and he’s really stepped up,” Nutt said. “Overall, it got a little tougher when we put the pads on with the extra weight. We got a little tired at the end. We’ll have to get better tomorrow.”