By Ole Miss Media Relations
OXFORD – Ole Miss put on pads Monday for its first full-contact practice of spring football drills.
The Rebels labored for over two and a half hours on the sunny practice fields, working in position groups before some full-squad action at the end.
In his third spring in Oxford, head coach Houston Nutt noted too many mental errors after two good days of non-contact drills.
“It’s amazing how good you look in shorts, and you put the pads on and revert back to the old ways,” he said. “You just can’t do that. You have to keep your fundamentals strong, and you have to get back at it tomorrow and get better.”
As has been the case through the first two practices, the defense was “miles ahead” of the offense, but Nutt said even that talented veteran unit can get better in certain areas.
“They can improve too,” said Nutt. “They’ve given up a couple of plays I know Tyrone (Nix) won’t be happy about. That’s why there is always room for improvement.”
Among the additions to the squad this spring is junior transfer Damien Jackson, a safety from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, that caught Nutt’s eye on Monday.
“He’s really physical,” Nutt said. “That’s what you like to see. A lot of guys can look good in gym class, but now you put pads on, and he doesn’t shy away.”
Nutt also continues to rave about the effort of another newcomer and Mississippi Gulf Coast product Wayne Dorsey. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound defensive end is already take snaps with the first string.
“Wayne has taken a brand new playbook, and he’s caught on and listened,” said Nutt. “The thing that stands out is his quickness.”
Nutt was also pleased with the play of linebackers Mike Marry, D.T. Shackelford, Joel Kight, Jonathan Cornell and Alex Williams, safety Johnny Brown, and on offense, tackle Bradley Sowell.
“Bradley had his best day I’ve seen in a long time, as a tackle being physical.”
Ole Miss practices for the fourth straight day Tuesday at 4 p.m. on the practice fields. Spring practices are open to the public, but fans are asked to remain in the designated area, outside the red line, and are not allowed between the practice fields. Use of cellular phones and cameras are prohibited for fans at practice.
Practice times and locations will be updated daily on OleMissSports.com and twitter.com/OleMissNow.