Freeze praises Rebels

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, left, autographs the jersey of fan Forrest Rowe at Meet The Rebels at the University of Mississippi's Indoor Practice Facility in Oxford, Miss. on Saturday, August 17, 2013. Fans were able to get autographs from the university's football, soccer, volleyball, rifle and spirit squads. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, left, autographs the jersey of fan Forrest Rowe at Meet The Rebels at the University of Mississippi’s Indoor Practice Facility in Oxford, Miss. on Saturday, August 17, 2013. Fans were able to get autographs from the university’s football, soccer, volleyball, rifle and spirit squads. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)

By Parrish Alford
Daily Journal

OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze proclaimed his team’s second major scrimmage of August camp a success.

The Rebels worked for about two hours just prior to fan day activities on Saturday morning.

Freeze praised the intensity of his players, something that can get away from them when consecutive practice days are stacked one on top of another, he said.

“I thought our kids responded extremely well to 18 days straight of practice. The energy was tremendous. It was very competitive,” Freeze said. “I really didn’t manufacture it, and it went down to the end.”

Without getting into too many specifics Freeze had good things to say about wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, running back Kailo Moore and tight end Evan Engram. All three are freshmen, and all are expected to play a role this season, perhaps Treadwell the largest.

Rated last year’s No. 1 wide receiver recruit, he’s been running with the first team since junior starter Vince Sanders sustained a broken collarbone on the second day of camp.

“He’s going to have an immediate impact,” offensive coordinator Dan Werner said.

Freeze also had good things to say about senior reserve quarterback Barry Brunetti, who shared second-team reps with freshman Devante Kincade during the past week.

Part of Freeze’s good mood was owed to the fact the Rebels appeared to leave the scrimmage with no new injuries.

A number of players have missed practice time the first two weeks with various ailments, but only Sanders has been ruled out of the Aug. 29 season opener at Vanderbilt.

He is expected back for the fourth game of the season, Sept. 28 at Alabama.

Most injured players who figure to be starters or in the mix to start – barring further setbacks – should be available when focus turns to Vanderbilt on Tuesday. That includes freshman defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who participated in

Saturday’s scrimmage, and junior end C.J. Johnson who did not.

Junior cornerback Senquez Golson, a returning starter, remains out, while senior Charles Sawyer, the starter on the other side, has been back at practice for a couple of days.

“I didn’t see anybody leave. It’s been 18 days, and you know they’re a bit fatigued. I think we’re OK,” Freeze said.

The Rebels will take today off then return to work with a walk-through Monday morning followed by an evening practice.

parrish.alford@journalinc.com