FOOTBALL: Watching Parnell

Last spring when I asked about Jermey Parnell and what he might contribute to the football team, Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt kind of laughed and replied something along the lines of, “He’s a long way off.”

Maybe Nutt was uncertain of Parnell’s interest in football at the time. It doesn’t take long to look at Parnell, who in the spring completed his Ole Miss basketball career, and understand he’s an impressive physical specimen.

But being intimidating on the court where contact is occasional and getting banged on at the line of scrimmage every play are quite different things. There is basketball shape, and there’s football shape.

Parnell is holding his own in these practices so far. More will be learned, of course, after the Rebels put the full pads on Friday evening. Right now, though, Parnell is running second team, and he doesn’t look that far away from helping this team with spot duty perhaps.

Now he’s playing with a defensive line unit that has as much or more depth than any position on the team. That doesn’t bode well for his own playing time. But it could very well be Parnell’s level of understanding and intensity, his general transition from basketball to football, that helped Nutt make the decision to move two-year starter Marcus Tillman inside to tackle in the wake of the injury to Ted Laurent.

Tillman played some tackle as a freshman, so the position isn’t completely foreign. You don’t make a move like that, however, if you don’t have confidence in the players behind Tillman. Ends Emmanuel Stephens, Kentrell Lockett and Greg Hardy have looked good in practice.

So has Parnell, and it will be interesting to see how his season plays out.

— PA


7 Responses to “FOOTBALL: Watching Parnell”

  1. BirdZ! Says:

    Even though I’m a state fan, I’m interested in how Parnell does. A few years ago MSU had a basketball player, Michael Gohlar, play one year of football after 4 years of basketball. He did fairly well.

  2. djrebel Says:

    Gholar was a good kid. He was a lock-down basketball defender. About the time he started playing football was when we changed beats here.

    — PA

  3. stangreb Says:

    He also had a stint with the Fireants here in Tupelo.

  4. jwbreb Says:

    Years back, Ole Miss did have some football players on the basketball team. Can’t remember any of the basketball players on the football team. The baseball team used players from both teams. Guess it had something to do with scholarships. The basketball team back in those days were desperate for players. Cobb Jarvis, Cobb Jarvis, and Cobb Jarvis, and others to fill in.

  5. akrebel84 Says:

    PA, how much eligibility does parnell have on the football team? will this be his only season? also have they ever thought about playing him any at TE?

  6. djrebel Says:

    AK, I don’t know exactly how the eligibility question was resolved, but he’s listed as a senior. I’ve not heard him mentioned for any position other than defensive end except for kicker. (Just kidding. I’ve only seen him used at end, and that’s the only position I’ve heard his name associated with.)

    — PA

  7. Bacchus815 Says:

    This is Parnell’s 5th year of NCAA eligibility.

    Anyone else remember Shay Hodge’s cameo on the basketball team?

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