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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hugh Freeze

Liggins focuses on ‘being the best tackle I can be’

Jeremy Liggins didn’t put up a fight. When Ole Miss’ coaches approached the rising junior about moving to yet another position before spring practice started, one where he would go from having a chance to touch the football on any given play to having no shot, Liggins didn’t plead to stay put. He did what the Rebels needed him to do — and what he may have needed to do for his future. (April 9, 2015, Page 6, 7)

Man killed by police ‘a father figure’ to Ole Miss’ Brown

The man who was fatally gunned down from behind by a police officer in Charleston, South Carolina over the weekend has a connection to Ole Miss defensive end Fadol Brown. Walter Scott, who was shot and killed by Michael Slager while running away from the officer following a scuffle after a traffic stop Saturday, was dating the mother of Brown’s girlfriend, according to a statement released by Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze on Wednesday. (April 9, 2015, Page 6)

Back at WR, Jones a wild card for Rebels’ offense

Derrick Jones is brimming with talent. It’s why Ole Miss’ coaches are determined to get him on the field. And they’ve decided once and for all that his best chance for that to happen is at wide receiver. (April 8, 2015, Page 3B)

Rebels drop weight, transform bodies

Hugh Freeze knew if he wanted more from some of his key contributors while developing quality depth behind them, Ole Miss’ football coach was going to have to trim the excess fat. Literally. With the help of sports dietitian Frank Newell, head athletic trainer Pat Jernigan and strength coach Paul Jackson, the Rebels have gotten leaner this spring and improved their endurance to better keep up in Freeze’s up-tempo practices. (April 6, 2015, Page 7)

Depth breeding spring competition for Ole Miss

Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze likes the numbers he sees when he looks around the practice field. Three full recruiting classes for Freeze and his staff have the Rebels’ roster stocked with the most quality players they’ve had since arriving in Oxford four Decembers ago. The starters at each position — at least the ones that have locked up that distinction — jog off the field after a few reps and are replaced by bodies that are nearly just as big, move nearly as fast and can do many of the same things athletically without much a dropoff. (April 3, 2015, Page 7A)

Ole Miss looking for next man in the middle

Ole Miss is exhausting all avenues in its attempt to find the next man in the middle of its defense. Deterrian Shackelford’s eligibility expired after six seasons last year, leaving a position that’s been stable in recent seasons suddenly surrounded by uncertainty. Shackelford moved to middle linebacker last year to fill the void of Mike Marry, who started for three seasons before Shackelford took over. (April 1, 2015, Page 1B)

Judd gets chance to show power in Rebels’ backfield

Ole Miss didn’t get much power out of its running game last season. Akeem Judd may be able to help with that. The Rebels have amped up the physicality on the ground this spring, emphasizing what head coach Hugh Freeze called “good, dirty runs.” Judd, who’s going through his first spring at Ole Miss, is impressing in that role. (March 30, 2015, Page 6)

Shepard, Bridges lead long, revamped secondary

They wear No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. It’s a fitting number scheme for the expectations Ole Miss has for Tony Bridges and Tee Shepard in its retooled secondary. Bridges and Shepard have been working as the first-team cornerbacks for a majority of the spring, and barring any significant injuries, they’ll stay there this fall. Ranked by varying recruiting sites as the nation’s top junior college cornerbacks in the last two recruiting cycles, the pair is a different breed than what the Rebels have had the last few seasons. (March 30, 2015, Page 6)

QBs turn in clean sheet in Ole Miss’ scrimmage

Dan Werner demands three things from his quarterbacks in Ole Miss’ offense: Protect the football, stay ahead of the chains and go fast. Rattling off that checklist and executing it are two different things, but the Rebels’ offensive coordinator liked he what he saw from his signal callers Saturday in a game-like situation. (March 29, 2015, Page 1B)

Ole Miss’ quarterback competition ‘really close’

There’s been little separation this spring among the candidates vying to take over the reins of Ole Miss’ offense from Bo Wallace. And it doesn’t sound like the race to be the Rebels’ next quarterback will end anytime soon. Rising sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade have been biding their time the last two seasons while junior-to-be Chad Kelly came from the junior college ranks in January to add a third competitor to the mix. (March 27, 2015, Page 1B)

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