I did not attend practice Sunday, but the accounts I read indicated another strong day for the young defensive players, particularly Nick Brassell.
With the numbers at receiver and Brassell’s early progress on defense, you wonder if there might not be a shift of emphasis coming. Clearly, the Rebels need help on defense more than offense. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt says Brassell is a two-way player but that his primary responsibility is offense and that his defensive education would be in limited packages.
If Brassell continues on the fast track with his defensive learning curve, might that emphasis change. Could it be that he’s thrown the whole book on defense and given just a few pass patterns to absorb? We’ll see.
Certainly the skills are there to do a lot of things. Former Ole Miss coach Billy Brewer was of the opinion Saturday that no one on the roster could turn the hips – a must for a cornerback – as quickly as Brassell. Nick Brassell was a big pick-up on signing day, and it’s apparent now just how big the news was in the spring that he had made a qualifying ACT score.
It’s an uncomfortable position to go into a new football season relying as heavily on so many unproven players as Ole Miss will be. When one of those players shows the potential Brassell has shown early on it eases the tension.
Lots more ground to cover for Brassell and the freshmen, but it’s been a good start in two days.
Media Day is this morning at 9, followed by a walk-through and practice No. 3 this afternoon. The pads go on in the middle of the week. You learn a lot more about players then.