Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rebels begin Preseason Practice

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt got his first look at the 2008 squad, as the Rebels opened fall camp on the practice fields adjacent to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Monday afternoon.

“There is nothing like getting out on the field,” said the Rebels’ first-year mentor. “I was really excited about their effort and their listening skills. We threw a lot at them today. There was a lot of great carry-over from the spring. Our freshmen and newcomers were impressive. They don’t look like little freshmen. They are physically ahead of the game. I was really proud of our first day. We have a long way to go, but there is nothing like it.”

Nutt was impressed with the play of sophomore quarterback Jevan Snead, who sat out last season after transferring from Texas.

“He had a couple of interceptions, but not all of them were his fault. He threw the ball well, especially early. His release is so quick. He is a real winner. We just have to help him and all get on the same page. He has a short memory and that’s what you have to have to play quarterback.”

Nutt also announced on Monday that freshman signee Kermit Tyler would not be able to continue his football career due to a medical condition, but would remain in school and assist with the football staff.

“It is really a shame, because he worked so hard this summer. You hate to lose a lineman like that, but we may have saved his life. Pete Boone did a good thing by honoring his education and his parents are very relieved and they will be ambassadors for Ole Miss for life.”

Marshay Green, who moved to cornerback in the spring, continued to impress Nutt, as did rest of the cornerbacks.

“We had great competition and that’s what Marshay brings to the table. Dustin Mouzon has a lot of experience and Cassius Vaughn as well. The young guys like Brandon Sanders, Marcus Temple and Derrick Herman are really competitors. You also have to love the height and length that Demareo Marr has.”

Nutt also praised the off-season work of linebacker Jonathan Cornell.

“He is smart. He watched a lot of film this summer. It seemed like every time I came in he was watching film. He has been a good leader for us. I’m really proud of him.”

Nutt was also pleased with the accuracy and poise of freshman quarterback Nathan Stanley.

“We got us one there. He looked very, very good. He has a quick release, he is accurate with the deep ball and he is tall and athletic. He was spinning that ball today. What I loved was we put him in on a third-and-eight situation and he didn’t flinch. That’s when you find out about a true freshman.”

The Rebels will hold their annual media day tomorrow at the IPF on the Ole Miss campus. Nutt will start the day with a 9:30 a.m. press conference, while players and assistant coaches will meet with the media at 10 a.m. Fans can watch Nutt’s press conference free on RebelVision.

Ole Miss will hold its second practice of the fall on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on the practice fields adjacent to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Practice is open to the public through the remainder of the week. The Rebels kick off the 2008 season against the Memphis Tigers on August 30th at 6 p.m. in Oxford.

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