By Hayden Sowers Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – The impact of a bowl game this season is not lost on the Ole Miss players.
“When you make it to a bowl game you can still work out and you can still practice. You’re not off and sitting around a lot,” junior cornerback Charles Sawyer said after Thursday’s light, hour-long practice. “This bowl is really benefiting us and the fact that it is a later bowl really benefits us.”
Ole Miss meets Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham on Jan. 5. Thursday’s workout was the last for the Rebels until next week.
Senior running back Randal Mackey took a different approach when he was asked about the benefits of a bowl game for him. “I’ve been here for three years and this is my first one to go to. I’m real excited about all the gifts and stuff that comes with it like that.”
the next step
After the bowl game Mackey, who arrived at Ole Miss as a quarterback, hopes to get a shot in the NFL.
“If not, I’m just going to keep working harder and harder until I make it there. I’m not stopping right now.” Mackey said. “I’ll play whatever position they tell me to play. I’m comfortable at both receiver and running back, but I’ve mainly just been working hard to try to make it to the NFL.”
Sawyer, a junior, still has a year left, but Rebels coach Hugh Freeze said Sawyer plans to file his paperwork with the NFL draft advisory committee.
“It’s just to see where I am,” Sawyer said. “I talked to coach Freeze before I did it and with next year being my last year I just wanted to see where I would land if I went this year. It mainly will just help me see what I need to work on as I prepare for the draft after next season,” Sawyer said.
Freeze said junior running back Jeff Scott plans to go through the same process as Sawyer.