Ole Miss inches closer to summer camp

Ole Miss football players are officially eight days away from reporting for summer camp.

There are a few that will not be able to start practice, for various reasons. Prior to his time at SEC Media Days last week, Hugh Freeze updated the injury status of his roster heading into summer drills for local media members.

Wide receiver Collins Moore was injured at the start of last week and he was expected to miss four to six weeks, which would mean Vanderbilt would likely be his first action of the season.
Safety Chief Brown was injured earlier in the year during workouts and will not be with the team, to the dismay of Freeze.

“Obviously losing Chief Brown was difficult. What a wonderful kid, and we needed him,” Freeze said. “You finally get your secondary where you think it’s really solid, two-deep. Then you have injuries. That’s part of the game. That’s why you have to go recruit depth and one reason we do feel better. We have better depth at most places than we’ve had the last two years.”

Offensive lineman Christian Morris is also recovering from an injured Achilles he sustained back in February. Morris, a transfer from UCLA and a native of Memphis, has been working out, according to Freeze, but may not be released for the start of summer drills. Morris has also not been cleared to play in a game by the NCAA. If he doesn’t obtain a waiver, he will have to redshirt this season.

Tee Shepard was another player that Freeze was hoping to get good news on. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback was set to finish up his coursework at Holmes Community College Friday. Shepard signed and played at Notre Dame out of high school, so he has to obtain a two-year degree to be eligible to play at a four-year school again.

“The whole deal starts about getting grades from the JUCO to the clearinghouse,” Freeze said. “You’re just never sure the time frame of those things, but we feel very confident that he will be a qualifier. Hopefully, he’ll be there right around the start of camp if he finishes the way he’s going right now.”

New players
The 2014 signing class has several prospects that c0ould see action right away, but knowing exactly who remains to be seen and that will only come during the first couple of weeks of practice.

“We’re real excited about the whole class. I think top to bottom, it’s a really solid class,” Freeze said. “Athletically, we haven’t seen what they’re going to do, but the ones that jump out are the ones where we have needs. Receiver depth, we’re a little thin there.”

Freeze said he felt like offensive guard Rod Taylor would play due to the lack of depth on the offensive line. “He’s a good player, obviously. How good he’ll be as a freshman, I don’t know, but we’re in need at offensive line. We need some of those young kids to play. And obviously (JUCO OL) Fahn Cooper, those two are the first that jump off the page.

“We’re going to need one of those receivers– Dayall (Harris) or Marckell (Pack), or Sammie (Epps) – one of those guys to give us some depth at receiver. We’re real excited about those guys.”

Backup QB
Senior Bo Wallace is the starter at quarterback, but who will play behind him? Even Freeze is trying to figure that out; so it appears summer camp is where this race will be decided.

“If we were playing today it would totally depend upon the situation. If we were able to run the entire offense that we have, it would probably be (Devante) Kincade,” Freeze said. “If we had to stand in the pocket and make a drive, throwing the ball down the field, it would probably be (Ryan) Buchanan.

“The good thing about that is they were both redshirted. It’s not like you’re burning a redshirt for a drive. I’m pleased with the progress of both of those guys. It would really depend on what situation we were in.”

Freeze added that he was hoping to play both in games this season to gain experience for Kincade and Buchanan, with Wallace about to graduate.
john.davis@journalinc.com

Twitter:@oxfordcitizenjd



About John Davis

Eighteen years in the business. Dedicated to providing the best local content for sports. Oxford, Lafayette, Ole Miss, youth sports, outdoors and the things nobody else wants to cover.