By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Sort of like opening presents on Christmas Eve, Hugh Freeze couldn’t quite wait until Saturday to open his first August camp as Ole Miss coach.
The Rebels worked out for a little more than two hours Saturday, and having been through a shorter workout on Friday night helped players cut down on missed assignments.
It may also have taken away their legs just a bit.
Freeze said he was pleased with the Rebels’ retention from spring drills and from the Friday workout but thought Saturday’s practice lacked some of the same spring in the steps of newcomers and veterans alike.
“The attitude was very good, and they were coachable. That’s a positive,” he said. “I didn’t think we had crisp legs as much as we did last night.”
The Rebels will be back on the practice field this morning at 9:45.
One thing Saturday’s practice did include was Senquez Golson running with the first team.
Grades casualty Nick Brassell is no longer with the team. Freeze called Brassell an NFL corner last spring and has said the Rebels need help at that position. He’s doing what he can now to put Golson in a more helpful position.
Golson turned down a $1.4 million professional baseball contract offer from Boston a year ago to pursue a college football career.
He did not pursue college football in the spring, however. He was with the Ole Miss baseball team while Freeze and his new staff were installing their systems with the football team.
A guy like Senquez, he’s like a junior college player or a freshman coming in for the first time. His head’s spinning, and he doesn’t know what’s happening out there.
Co-defensive coordinator Dave Wommack says so many possible defensive contributors missed time in the spring – linebacker Keith Lewis, and tackles Bryon Bennett and Uriah Grant along with Golson – his side of the ball will look very different than it did in April.
“I’m really, really anxious to see what our kids will do,” he said.
Saturday it looked like most of that interested centered around Golson.
“He’s an SEC athlete,” Freeze said. “You’ve got to have that type of speed. He didn’t go through spring with us, so we’re making a conscious effort to try and catch him up.”
Elsewhere, Freeze credited Bo Wallace with a little better day than Barry Brunetti as those two compete in the quarterback race.
Wallace had a nice connection with freshman receiver Cody Core who caught a deep ball while guarded by two defenders. The play generated excitement even though Core was ruled out of bounds on the catch.
Repetitions were spread around at running back with former quarterback and receiver Randall Mackey, freshmen I’Tavius Mathers, Jaylen Walton and others in the mix.