BLOG — Ole Miss’ heralded recruiting class got its first chance to impress coach Houston Nutt and fans in attendance of the first football practice session of the year on Saturday.Nutt couldn’t say enough good things about the freshmen, including the wide receivers led by South Panola’s Nick Brassell, Tobias Singleton and Donte Moncrief.
“I don’t read the paper that much but whatever you’ve written about them, you can see (why they’re good). The first time you see these (guys), as athletic as they are, you see a Donte Moncrief, Nick Brassell made plays on both sides of the ball,” Nutt said. “Donte Moncrief, I could swear the ball was going out of bounds, and then I look up and he’s catching it. He had to get 5 yards reel quick and then he just flipped his hips and got the ball.”
Nutt also praised the play of WR Collins Moore and Northwest Mississippi Community College tight end Jamal Mosley.
“Man he makes a difference,” Nutt said of Mosley, who started his career at Oklahoma State. “That’s a great, big body with soft hands. He’s a good blocker.”
On defense, newcomers such as Senquez Golson, Cody Prewitt, Chief Brown, Keith Lewis, C.J. Johnson and Serderius Bryant caught Nutt’s eye.
“We got a good group. This is really a good group,” Nutt said.
A standout freshman from last season, safety Brishen Matthews, saw some time at linebacker. Nutt said he was still a safety first but the plan was to mix things up and have him get reps at LB.
“He’s a guy that is very physical. He’s playing the ball better, but we know he’s a physical hitter,” Nutt said. “We’ve got to get him involved, but he’s still a safety. Right now one of the good things we have is a good carryover in terminology. I just like the way they’re moving.”
Nutt said he thought the quarterbacks were off a little bit at the start of practice but came on as the session went on. Barry Brunetti took reps with the first team, while Randall Mackey and Zack Stoudt took reps with the second and third teams respectively.
“I was very proud of how they handled two-minute (offense) today for the first day,” Nutt said. “They got us in and out of the huddle. They had one delay of the game and then Barry threw a beautiful ball there to get his team in the end zone. That was really good to see.”
Ole Miss will continue preseason practice on Sunday at 4:30. (August 6, 2011)