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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rebels lack some bounce in first open practice

BLOG — Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss’ first-year head football coach, was upbeat about his team’s first full practice of the summer but added the fresh legs he saw Friday night in drills weren’t quite the same Saturday on the practice fields.“I didn’t think we had as crisp legs as we did last night. We came out and did all our drill work (Friday) night so that the young kids knew what we were doing. It was an extra practice we didn’t have scheduled. I just didn’t looked liked we bounced back as well with our legs,” Freeze said. “I thought the attitude was very good. I thought they were coachable and that’s a positive, but we’ve got a little more bounce in our step.”

Freeze was asked about the play of the newcomers, freshmen like Trae Elston and running back I’Tavius Mathers, who showed his speed and vision on more than once during the practice session.

“We’ve got some good ones,” Freeze said about the freshmen. “Obviously they don’t know what’s going on at this point but I’ve been impressed with I’Tavius Mathers, Jaylen Walton, Cody Core, Quntavius Burdette, Elson, all those guys. They’re going to be good players.”

Sophomore cornerback Senquez Golson, who missed spring drills to play with the baseball team, saw considerable action with the first-team defense.

“He’s an SEC athlete. You’ve got to have that type of speed,” Freeze said. “He didn’t go through spring with us so we’ve made a conscious effort to catch him up. We definitely think he’s what you’re looking for (in an cornerback).”

Freeze said that he felt like junior college transfer Bo Wallace did a better job of taking care of the ball in practice than his main competitor, Barry Brunetti, who Freeze said was a little tentative in his decision making.

“Until you can get pads on, it’s hard (to tell who is better),” Freeze said. “We can’t pass pro right now even in our slot protection. We’ve got a back on the (defensive) end and the end’s going to come free and we were kind of sloppy. Barry got some balls knocked down that could have been good plays but just reaction without watching film, I thought Bo did better.”

Ole Miss returns to practice Sunday morning. For more from Sunday’s practice, see an updated blog and Monday’s Sports section. (August 4, 2012)

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