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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mason’s future in question; other spring tidbits

BLOG: Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt touched on a variety of topics during his pre-spring practice press conference held this afternoon at the Indoor Practice Facility.First off, HERE is the link to the pre-spring depth chart.

The depth chart looks pretty straight-forward. There’s a couple new guys that are listed, including sophomore Will Martin — a transfer from Southern Miss — on the two-deep at linebacker, redshirt freshman Vincent Sanders at No. 2 flanker, return specialist Philander Moore at No. 3 punt returner and sophomore Corey Gaines at No. 1 defensive tackle, to list a few.

Pretty standard stuff, which John Davis will delve into more in tomorrow’s print edition of The EAGLE.

The news of the press conference, however, was the announcement that former four-star tight end Z. Mason will likely not go through spring drills and is actually looking to play basketball according to Nutt.

“Z. Mason wants to go play basketball and I’m trying to talk him out of that, but there’s only so far that you can go,” he said.

Nutt said Mason was not at the IPF today and he was unsure if he would remain at Ole Miss or transfer.

Mason was considered a fairly high hoops recruit out of Nashville that opted to play football. Since arriving at Ole Miss, however, Mason has struggled to find the field. Nutt often said Mason lacked the flexibility, something he apparently was always working on.

In an effort to help add depth to the position, Alex Williams has once again changed positions and will now be moved to tight end.

Ferbia Allen is listed as the No. 1 tight end and made five catches for 51 yards and one score a year ago. Ole Miss is also hoping former Oklahoma State standout Jamal Mosley, currently at Northwest C.C., will qualify.

OTHER NOTES:
—Cornerback Marcus Temple will miss spring drills due to hernia surgery. It’s an already thin position with the dismissal of freshman Tony Grimes and the graduation of Jeremy McGee, so the injury won’t help. Charles Sawyer is listed as the starting right cornerback with Frank Crawford as his backup. Temple’s backup at left CB is junior college transfer Wesley Pendleton, a player the coaching staff singled out during the recruiting process in large part because of his speed.

—New coach Keith Burns will coach the cornerbacks and recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn will move over and coach the safeties, replacing Kim Dameron. Nutt said adding Burns to the coaching staff “big, like landing a recruit.”

—Ole Miss has four quarterbacks listed evenly on the pre-spring depth chart and according to Nutt they (they being juniors Nathan Stanley, Randall Mackey and Zack Stoudt, and sophomore transfer Barry Brunetti) will all receive equal reps. In an effort to find the best “playmaker,” Nutt said he expects the team to scrimmage more than in the past.

“We’re going to take it one day at a time and see who comes to the top,” Nutt said.

Matt Hall, the 6-foot-9, 340-pound mammoth of an offensive lineman that transferred from Arkansas prior to last season, is listed as the No. 2 right tackle behind Bobby Massie. Nutt said there’s a good chance he moves around and that OL coach Mike Markuson has a lot of flexibility along the offensive front, a position that’s expected to be a strength for the Rebels.

“Matt Hall will be at right tackle, right guard, left guard…we’ll move him around to try and find the right mix,” Nutt said. (March 28, 2011)

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