BLOG — Four weeks ago, Ole Miss sophomore linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche was told it was possible he could be back on the field at No. 1 Alabama. After going through his second full practice of the week Wednesday, Nkemdiche had it in his mind he would be lining up to try and stop the Crimson Tide Saturday evening.
“I feel great, I feel great. I feel good to run around and to be getting ready to play the No. 1 team in America, it’s exciting,” said Nkemdiche, who suffered a torn meniscus against Vanderbilt and has been recovering from the injury ever since his surgery Aug. 31. “This was the game that (medical staff) said was possible. They said it could happen and I said if that’s our goal, we got to be aggressive, we’ve got to push.”
The push to get better for Nkemdiche meant going to rehab two or even three times in a day. He added he really started to think he could play when he went through drills with linebackers coach Tom Allen on Monday.
“We’ve done everything possible in order to get back and it happened,” said Nkemdiche, who didn’t think he would be limited in the amount of snaps he could go. “I’ll get good reps this week and they’ll see how I do see what happens come Saturday. They feel like I’ve been doing good and everything looks good.”
Nkemdiche was a preseason All-Southeastern Conference selection before the year started. Last year he led the Rebels with 82 total tackles. Against Vanderbilt in the opener, he was credited with five stops. For more on Wednesday’s practice, complete with thoughts from head coach Hugh Freeze, see Wednesday’s print edition of the EAGLE. (September 25, 2013)