Coach Freeze offers updates on Rebels’ progress, injuries at Thursday’s practice
As practice was getting underway Thursday, Coach Freeze met with the media and offered his assessment of the Rebels thus far in fall camp as well as updated the status of several injured players. He addressed when he expects Jeremy Liggins to return to the team and talked about which players are standing out at this point.
On the play of linebacker Rommel Mageo:
“Rommel is a quick learner. I think the speed to which we play may be a little different than how he’s been used to practicing. There’s been some adjustment to that. We’re excited about him. I really love him as a kid. I think he’s a tremendous leader and he’s gonna get us lined up right and get our cleats in the ground and he’s gonna play extremely hard.”
On DL Josiah Coatney:
“Coatney gets better every day. Every day, he starts flashing a little more.”
On when he expects Jeremy Liggins to return:
“I’m expecting it to happen probably toward the end of camp…He’s starting to work out with the strength staff either today or tomorrow. Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.”
On rover Myles Hartsfield:
“He’s been running with the ones mostly. We’re rotating that quite a bit, a lot of rotation there. He knows what he’s doing. Being here in the spring really helped him. He’s a very athletic kid.”
On holding Tony Conner out today:
“We’re holding him out today, not because anything has happened. We’re managing him and (Robert) Conyers and Fadol (Brown)—who are three that we’ve kind of got to manage. With the knee injuries that Conyers and Tony have suffered, we just want to make sure that we manage them in a way where we give them the best chance to have a successful sustainable year.”
Additional injury update:
- WR DaMarkus Lodge took a hit yesterday and they’re just holding him out as a precautionary measure today to make sure he’s ok.
- WR Markell Pack has a tendon issue going on in his hand. Of the injury, Freeze said: “That’s probably the most concerning if there is one that is concerning that could be a lengthy period of time. That’s probably one that concerns me the most.”
- DB C.J. Moore has a strain in his pec.
- Terry Caldwell has a sprained ankle.
On who is “ahead” thus far in practice, the defense or the offense:
“Typically I would say the defense is ahead, but I’ve been pleased with a large portion of our offensive performance, particularly the ones. Chad really has really picked up kind of where he left off at the end of the fall and done some really nice things offensively. Defense has their moments too where they’ve dominated different pods in practice but it’s been a pretty good battle thus far.”
On offensive line:
“I’ve been pleased. I think we have good potential there. Until you get some games under your belt, you’re not quite sure because a lot of the kids haven’t played significant snaps. I think Alex (Givens) has performed well, Greg Little has performed well. Rod Taylor has performed well. Michael Howard, I really like and he’s gained some weight. I don’t know if he’ll be quite ready this year. And then you know the guys that have played snaps for us, (Robert) Conyers and Sean Rawlings and Javon Patterson and Daronte (Bouldin) and Jordan (Sims) are right there. The young guys look good. I think we’ve got a good class.”
On how Rod Taylor looks at tackle:
“Very good, he’s an athletic kid. Probably easier for him to learn there. It’s not quite as much going on as guard, so I think between Alex and Rod and Greg and Sean, you’ve got four pretty good guys and once we get Jeremy back, that gives us a fifth one. I think we’ve got some potential there.”
Update on Fadol Brown:
Fadol started running yesterday. He gave me the thumbs up. Then yesterday he was a little tender, but not bad. He’ll run again today and then I think the plan is hopefully for him to do endo on Sunday, I believe is the plan. We’ll know more after we get him out here and start cutting him some.
Corners who are getting the most reps:
“Jalen Julius, Carlos Davis,Tony Bridges, Ken Webster, Kailo Moore, Jaylon Jones, those are the six guys getting the reps. There have been some big plays given up and some of that you give to some receiver play that’s I think has been good. Some their technique has got to be more consistent in all of them.
“I think Jalen is going to be a player. Carlos has come on. Jaylon Jones is going to be a player. Of course we know that Tony and Ken Webster have had a lot of reps and we expect those two to be leaders out there.”
On the tight ends behind Engram
Taz (Zettergren) and Ty (Quick) know exactly what to do. I think those young ones have potential to be really good. Octavos Cooley, if he can handle the mental curve of learning everything that goes on at that position, he’s got the talent to be a special one.
Two-a-days begin tomorrow
Coach Freeze said two-a-days begin Friday and the team will have a walk-through Saturday, followed by Meet The Rebels Day.
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.