NOTEBOOK: Rebels aide Aplin knows Malzahn well

Ryan Aplin, now an administrative intern at Ole Miss, beat out Bo Wallace for the quarterback job at Arkansas State. He was MVP of the Bowl in January. (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews) 

Ryan Aplin, now an administrative intern at Ole Miss, beat out Bo Wallace for the quarterback job at Arkansas State. He was MVP of the Bowl in January. (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)

By Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

OXFORD – The exact impact Tyler Siskey’s press box presence had on the outcome of the Ole Miss-Alabama game may never be known.

This much is clear right now: Ryan Aplin won’t get the chance to help the Rebels at Auburn, at least not from upstairs.

Aplin played quarterback for both Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State and was hired this summer as an administrative intern at Ole Miss.

Aplin was the Sun Belt Conference player of the year at Arkansas State for both Freeze in 2011 and for Malzahn who followed Freeze at Arkansas State in 2012.

“I had a conversation with Ryan early this week, told him I know he’s very close to both of us, and I do not want him to feel uncomfortable at all with anything that’s going on,” Freeze said. “We won’t put Ryan in that position. We’re actually going to move him down from the press box to the field for this game. He’ll be involved in helping us for sure. We want him to feel good about the way everything goes about.”

Aplin, a Tampa, Fla., native, works closely with Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner.

Auburn also has staffers who played for Freeze at Arkansas State.

Aplin’s cemented position at quarterback at ASU was a factor in Bo Wallace’s decision to transfer to East Mississippi Community College, a path that led to Ole Miss.

“He would pick me up, and we’d go to practice together. It was that kind of relationship,” Wallace said.

Injury update

Defensive end C.J. Johnson has a sprained ankle. Freeze did not address the severity but did not say Johnson will miss playing time.

He said freshman Robert Nkemdiche, who sustained a broken finger, will not miss any time.

Wide receiver Donte Moncrief has a sprained shoulder but practiced Sunday.

Defensive tackle Carlton Martin, who did not make the trip to Alabama, is expected back this week.

DTNkemdiche grades high

Freeze said Robert Nkemdiche graded out at 82 percent in his first start at defensive tackle after three starts at end.

Missed assignments were few, but Nkemdiche went without a tackle for the first time.

Sanders glad to be back

Wide receiver Vincent Sanders said he felt a little rusty in his 2013 debut but was glad to be back on the field with his teammates.

Sanders missed the first three games with a broken collarbone sustained the second day of practice.

“I felt pretty good for the most part,” Sanders said. “There was a little bit of rust. There was one pass I dropped. If I was on schedule I would have completed that catch. Hopefully it will be better this week.”

Sanders was targeted a couple of times but did not have a catch in the game. Last year he was third on the team with 39 receptions, second in touchdown catches with four.

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  • Kevin

    Coaches in press boxes have a little something to do with the game, but they don’t play it. With or without Syskey, Ole Miss would have lost last week because the Laundry Detergents just have better players. Case in point, they neutralized Nkemdiche. Good teams do that.

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