FOOTBALL: Media Day notebook

Hey guys. I had hoped to have some notes up quicker, but there were internet issues on campus this morning, and I’ve driven back to Tupelo to work. Here are some items of interest from media day. Check djournal.com and the print edition tomorrow for more on media day. I’ll have an update from the afternoon practice here this evening.

Running back Enrique Davis

Freshman running back Enrique Davis is the highest-rated player in Houston Nutt’s first recruiting class.

Davis signed with Auburn in 2007 but ended up at Hargrave Military Academy and picked Ole Miss in recruiting’s second go-round.

He spurned Auburn the second time for the same reason the same reason the Lynn Haven, Fla., native spurned his home-state Gators the first time.

“Auburn switched to the spread offense, and that was a big reason I didn’t go to Florida,” Davis said. “I wanted to go to a place that runs 50-50. I didn’t want to take the chance of going to Auburn and not knowing exactly what they were going to do.”

Davis said watching Nutt’s rushing teams at Arkansas was another reason he signed with Ole Miss.

“I knew his history,” Davis said. “Right now I’m learning the plays. I want do bring whatever I can to the position and help the team.”

Rocker likes approach to camp

Ole Miss defensive line coach Tracy Rocker won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award back in the days of two-a-day practices and sometimes three-a-days.

He isn’t so married to old-school philosophy, however, that he can’t appreciate the modern approach.

“We don’t want guys like Jamarca Sanford cramped up all day. We need those guys getting reps, getting better and learning how to play,” Rocker said. “That’s the biggest thing about our schedule, and the way it’s done.”

The Rebels have meetings and walk-through sessions indoors in the morning and get on the practice field in the heat in the afternoon. Their late-afternoon start time of 5:20 gives them a little bit of a break with the heat, especially in the second half of the practice.

There were few instances of cramps at Monday’s first practice.

“Everything is demanding, everything is full-speed and in detail,” Rocker said. “And sometimes it might be called a walk-through, but I call it a run through.”

Austin likes staff chemistry, expects balance

Kent Austin says returning to his alma mater as offensive coordinator was more about timing career advancement.

He wanted his kids in American schools, but he also wanted to be in a place that had an opportunity for success.

“Just look at his record,” says Austin of his new boss, Houston Nutt.

Austin was his own boss last year when he led the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the CFL’s Grey Cup as head coach.

Billed as an innovative offensive coach north of the border, Austin said he never had any indication that his approach and Nutt’s, whose Arkansas teams were often run-oriented, might clash.

“You don’t do what he’s done without being smart,” Austin said, as he stressed that the Rebels will use the talent on hand and will be balanced on offense.

Tyler’s scholarship

Ole Miss freshman signee Kermit Tyler, an offensive lineman, will remain on scholarship in spite of the discovery of a rare illness that will end his football career without him taking a snap for the Rebels.

Head coach Houston Nutt says Tyler will count against his scholarship total, but that’s a temporary setback and a small problem in view of doing the right thing for Tyler.

“There will be some paper work involved, but eventually we’ll be able to get a medical deal,” Nutt said. “Initially it will count against us, but that’s OK. We’re in good shape numbers-wise. With the way our scholarships are, we weren’t going to be close to 85 in our first year anyway. We wanted to have 25 (freshmen) ready to go, and we just about got there. This was a very freak incident. I’m just glad that our doctors and Tim Mullins (trainer) studied it, got the blood work done and found this thing.”

— PA

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7 Responses to “FOOTBALL: Media Day notebook”

  1. rebnutt Says:

    Thanks for the updates–I ‘m an alum based in NC, and look at several sources, but wanted you to know how good, detailed, etc I think your blog is–the more info. the better, so keep it up, please! Also, how do our tight ends look? And, finally, how about the Tupelo highschool standout–has he shown any interest in UM?

  2. jwbreb Says:

    Now, all this said and done, it’s time for the Rebels to get down to some serious to work. (1). A winning season.
    (2). A bowl trophy to Ole Miss

    I promised my good State friends that I would not pester nor irritate them any more as long as the Rebels beat them. “Stressville” has been deleted and replace with “land of Opportunity”, next to Oxford.

  3. djrebel Says:

    Rebnutt, thanks for posting. Ole Miss is recruiting Chad Bumphis, but I don’t hear that he’s shown much interest. That could change, I suppose. I figure the tight ends will play out with David Traxler being more of a blocker and Gerald Harris more of a pass-catching threat, though Traxler had a nice catch yesterday.

    — PA

  4. rebelgator Says:

    PA, do you expect them to use Hardy on some offensive plays like they did last year?

  5. djrebel Says:

    I do not. Offense has not been mentioned to Hardy. The feeling I get is they want him to go full-speed on defense, and that will be enough for them.

    — PA

  6. va reb Says:

    PA, don’t you think that if we have a winning season that in-state (Dandy Dozen) recruiting will improve drastically? Larry

  7. djrebel Says:

    Probably. That goes hand-in-hand to some degree, but as State and Ole Miss have each had cycles of success I’ve never thought either of them dominated the state to the level they would have liked.

    — PA

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