By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Beginning a third year in Hugh Freeze’s offense has its advantages, but perfection is not one of them.
While Bo Wallace is healthy physically and comfortable in his knowledge of the offense as the starting quarterback for Ole Miss, his familiarity can feel limited because the system doesn’t stay the same.
“We add stuff every single year, and we change stuff all the time,” Wallace said. “The only time I have to adjust is when we do that.”
As camp winds down, Wallace says he had no problem with the shoulder that has plagued him for most of his first two seasons.
He’s roughly a year and a half removed from shoulder surgery and unlike last season has the benefit of a full off-season of strength and conditioning.
“He still makes mistakes that you scratch your head and say, ‘I know he knows better than that.’ The difference in when that occurs and a couple of years ago … He’ll be the first to be angry with himself and say, ‘I can’t believe I just did that,’” Freeze said.
While Wallace is settled as the Rebels’ quarterback there’s been a lot of action around him.
Freeze still has not named a center, and the competition between junior Ben Still and third-year sophomore Robert Conyers could linger into the first few games.
Both will play early on, Freeze said.
At receiver junior Cody Core has emerged to challenge sophomore Quincy Adeboyejo in the slot. They were sharing first-team reps at Monday’s practice.
Freeze has praised the athleticism of Adeboyejo – a four-star prospect from Dallas – while saying he needs to be more consistent in catching the ball.
“You can call that a competition but as soon as one runs a route the other one’s coming in,” Freeze said. “Cody’s had a little more consistent camp with everything that’s asked of you there, but we’re excited about the year Quincy could have also.”
Wallace said he’s noticed increased confidence in Core, who has five catches in two years. Adeboyejo had seven catches for 81 yards last year, one of them a 24-yard touchdown reception against Troy.
“They’re battling,” Wallace said.
It’s been no battle this camp for Wallace. In fact his taking very few reps these days as Freeze takes a look at his backups, Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade, both redshirt freshmen.
Wallace’s reps will increase soon as the Rebels get closer to their Aug. 28 opener against Boise State in Atlanta.
His focus is on minimizing mistakes and making sure his teammates know he’s a leader they can rally around.
“It’s my team. It’s my offense. I’ve said in years past that I have to be more vocal. This year I’ve done a lot better job of that, letting those guys know I care about them,” he said. “I’m going to be around them, and I want those guys playing hard.”