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News and Notes from Last Week’s Practices as Rebels head into new week

News and Notes from Last Week’s Practices as Rebels head into new week

OXFORD, Miss. –  With the 2017 right around the corner, the Ole Miss football team is preparing for its season opener against South Alabama on September 2. As we head into a new week, here are some observations from last week’s practices on some of the Rebels’ key areas:

Running backs

With running back Jordan Wilkins still out with a minor knee injury, the position is being manned by D’Vaughn Pennamon, D.K. Buford, Eric Swinney and Eugene Brazley. Last week, Pennamon and Buford took turns with the first team, while Eric Swinney and Eugene Brazley both worked out with the second team.

Receivers

As expected, A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Markell Pack, and DaMarkus Lodge continue to be quarterback Shea Patterson’s four primary targets at wide out. Senior Trey Bledsoe and junior Alex Weber practiced with the second team as the two primary hookups for JUCO transfer Jordan Ta’amu.

Sophomore Van Jefferson, who has not been practicing due to minor surgery this summer, is ahead of schedule in rehab, according to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Phil Longo. Last week, Longo said Jefferson should be ready for the Rebels’ opener against South Alabama.

Quarterbacks

Coach Longo continues to be impressed with the play of quarterback Shea Patterson throughout fall practices. “Shea’s been Shea,” Longo said of the nation’s top-ranked pro-style quarterback in the 2016 signing class. “Shea has, impressively to me, just every day been getting 24 hours better. That’s all I can ask of him right now.”

As for Ta’amu, Longo noted the Pearl City, Hawaii native has grown more comfortable as he has received more reps with the offense.

The Ole Miss offensive line puts some work in last week’s practices. (Photo credit: Josh McCoy)

Offensive line

The offensive line continues to be one of the deepest, most experienced units on the field for Ole Miss. On the first team o-line last week, Rod Taylor was at left tackle, Alex Givens was at right tackle, Daronte Bouldin and Jordan Sims took turns at right guard—-until Sims sprained an ankle on Wednesday—and Sean Rawlings was at center and Javon Patterson at left guard.

Injury updates

  • As of Friday, sophomore left tackle Greg Little was still out of commission going through concussion protocol.
  • Jordan Wilkins was in attendance at practice but didn’t participate in drills for precautionary reasons after he tweaked his right knee Monday. Throughout practice, Wilkins was seen riding a bike, trying to loosen up the stiffness in his knee.
  • Jordan Sims didn’t practice on Friday as he’s dealing with a sprained ankle.
  • Defensive tackle Herbert Moore was out on Friday with an injury.

Defensive news and notes

Of the linebacker position, defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff mentioned Jarrion Street, Josh Clarke, Donta Evans, Brenden Williams, and DeMarquis Gates, saying they are doing a great job staying alert in the middle. Tayler Polk, Willie Hibbler, Mohamed Sanogo, and Detric-Bing Dukes (who’s been practicing with the third team following his suspension for game one of the season) are also in the mix for playing time at the linebacker position.

Linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto has been pleased with the growth of the linebackers, and mentioned he will likely play six of them over the course of the season. Peveto also said he was hoping to close in on who the six might be in the scrimmage held last Saturday before Meet The Rebels Day.

“We’re rolling a lot of guys,” Peveto said. “All of them are getting their chance.”

DeMarquis Gates and Jarrion Street have been swapping out reps on the first team, while Willie Hibbler and Brenden Williams have been swapping in and out with the second team.

Free safety

Ken Webster (Photo credit: Josh McCoy)

It looks as if junior C.J. Moore has a slight lead over C.J. Hampton at the free safety position; however, it is worth noting the defensive staff insists they continue to make a lot of positional changes to create more competition in particular areas.

Ken Webster and Deontay Anderson are also in the mix at the free safety position.

Cornerback

D.D. Bowie, a true freshman, has been the talk of fall camp. Last week he worked with both the first and second teams at corner.

Defensive tackle

Sophomore defensive tackle Josiah Coatney worked out with the one’s on Friday, while Breeland Speaks worked with the twos.

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)

About The Author

Courtney Smith

Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men's basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.

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