The Rebels were running late, and we had just a few minutes with Houston Nutt prior to his time in the main ballroom. Here’s what he had to say. …
When do you expect to name a starting quarterback?
I’m hoping coach (David) Lee will have that all figured out within 10 or 11 days of camp.
Is this an important year for you personally?
I feel a lot of momentum right now, really, even though the year wasn’t what we wanted it to be. The momentum started with recruiting. To sign the best players in Mississippi, to sign four Army All-American guys, the Rebel Clubs that I’ve been to, there’s a lot of enthusiasm right now, and everybody is anxious for football. This is an exciting time. I’m excited about this year.
Your thoughts on Brandon Bolden?
Unbelievable commitment. Brandon has really taken care of his body. He’s in the best shape he’s ever been in. He’s excited about his offensive line. I love his attitude. He’s really taken a leadership role. I love the way he’s talked to our younger guys and has just done an outstanding job of leading and really committing to all parts of the game.
What do you need from your offensive line?
I want them to be very physical. I want the chemistry to be so good. This is the biggest offensive line we’ve ever coach, but to have that much size doesn’t mean anything if you’re not physical and know who to block. I’m really expecting a lot from those guys to set the tone in the trenches.
Can they set the tone you need in the run game?
We’ll have to see. I really think we can.
On Kentrell Lockett
No. 1, we missed him last year in the locker room, that leadership, his confidence, it spreads, it’s contagious. When he talks, they listen. And he’s played in this league. He’s so happy and fortunate to have that year back.
After last year’s loss to Jacksonville State, is it important to get off to a good start by winning the season opener?
Coach (Jack) Crowe came up and put it on us and really put our season in a tailspin. It’s very important to get off on the right foot, and we’re playing a great team with a lot of tradition.
What is your take on the commissioner’s quest to increase academic requirements for incoming recruits?
I just heard about it in the last 5-6 hours. I’m unsure about it. We haven’t had much time to talk about it ourselves as coaches. I know this. Commissioner Slive is one of the best in the country. I want to look at that. We’re doing a good job of graduating a lot of people at our school, and I like what we do academically. I want to look at it very hard.