OXFORD – Hugh Freeze says he’s concerned about his depth at cornerback, and a fellow Tate Countian is working hard to help the Ole Miss coach feel better about that position.
Getting Nick Brassell eligible was a long shot, and Freeze announced on the day that players report-ed that the Rebels would not have the highly talented cornerback.
In addition, the Rebels have been without starters Senquez Golson and Charles Sawyer throughout this first week of camp.
Ole Miss will be back on the practice field at 12:15 p.m., today in the first major scrimmage of camp. It is the last workout that will be open to the public.
“I’m still concerned,” said Freeze of his cornerbacks. “We’re really shallow there, real thin there. Really need to get Senquez and Charles back.”
Sawyer is working his way back from off-season surgery, while Golson is nursing a hamstring.
The starters throughout this first week of camp have been sophomore Quintavius Burdette, who recently moved to the position, and senior Dehendret Collins, who played the position early last season before moving to Huskie.
Burdette attended Senatobia High School as did Freeze many years before him. Burdette played safety last year.
While he has taken some lumps from junior wide receiver he’s also taken some instruction.
“It’s great going against Donte Moncrief and Ja-Mes Logan. Those are great SEC players, and I’m getting great experience every day,” Burdette said.
“Me and Donte talk after every route.”
Freeze would like to see Burdette and all his defensive players maintain better focus when fatigue starts creeping in.
Quarterback Devante Kincade and wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, both freshmen, stood out in Friday’s work.
Defensive end C.J. Johnson – coming back from a broken leg in the spring – again ran with the first team. Senior D.T. Shackelford remained at end on the second team after moving to there from linebacker earlier in the week.
Senior Cameron Whigham, a returning starter at one end, remains out while going through concussion treatments.
The defense has shown a tendency to put its eyes in the wrong place later in practices.
That was the case again in Friday’s work.
“They’re giving up some cheap stuff when they get a little tired. The eyes get bad. They gave us some easy throws and catches that resulted in some nice plays for us,” Freeze said.
Maintaining focus is part of what Freeze wants to see today.
“Offensively we want to take care of the ball and stay on schedule. When you do that good things usually happen,” he said. “Defensively, just continue to pursue it like crazy like we’re doing, and to be more sound.”