27 days till kickoff | Ole Miss Sports

Heading to Oxford soon for Day 2 of camp. …

Covering the Rebels’ first August practice of the Hugh Freeze Era I was reminded of a couple of things yesterday.

One, it’s pretty hot out there. Two, I’m watching football and taking mental reps, so to speak, so it’s not like working construction on a deadline.

That being said, I wondered how I was going to handle the stadium steps at Southern Miss in 1991. Following the wreck that June I spent most of the summer in a wheelchair and at the beginning of August was still getting around on a walker.

The wreck was June 15, 1991. I mark the date every year not with fanfare but just by the recognition that God has been so good to my family and me since that day more than 21 years ago. I could have died then, but He fully healed me. This particular summer we drove down to Destin for vacation, a trip that always brings memories for my wife Laurie and me as the route takes us through the scene of the wreck on US 45 South just north of Citronelle, Ala.

That summer was a series of small victories through the rehab process made possible by the goodness of people around me.

I remember Southern Miss football coach Curley Hallman and basketball coach M.K. Turk calling my hospital room in Mobile to check on me, sports writers Robert Wilson, then of the Clarion-Ledger, and John Bialas of The Sun Herald driving over to visit.

We didn’t cover camp then the way we do now, which turned out to be a good thing. When media day came a younger co-worker, Rocky Higginbotham, drove me to Hattiesburg, and I was able to get around and do what I needed to do. The walker was in the trunk if needed. The knees were stiff, the process slow, but it got better from there.

I’ll be able to get around the practice fields this morning and won’t need a walker.

Practice is at 9:45. Notes on the blog later.