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Rebels begin first day of voluntary workouts

Rebels begin first day of voluntary workouts

OXFORD — Ole Miss football players began their first voluntary workouts Monday, and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Wilson Love talked about what it feels like to get back with his Rebels after the long absence following the cancellation of activities this spring due to coronavirus.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Love began.

You missed those guys for so long and, you know, you only get seven weeks with them in the winter, so to finally get to see them and just be around them is just an incredible experience. You really do love those guys and miss them so much.” 

Head strength and conditioning coach Wilson Love

If you’re wondering what, exactly, “voluntary workouts” means….it’s sort of what it sounds like. Coaches cannot require players to participate; however, that being said, it is doubtful any of the Rebels will be skipping the workouts. It does not mean players will be on their own. While on-field coaches are barred from working with players, Coach Love and his strength and conditioning staff are allowed to supervise the activities.

Coach Love says he and his staff took advantage of the time away from the team to explore other ways to improve their program.

“It was almost a blessing in disguise,” Love said, “because you kind of get to rethink things and question certain things you’ve done in the past, and you get to read so much different material.”

“So I challenged the staff every week to hit certain things…..maybe not just strength conditioning, maybe mindset training,” he continued. “You don’t really get those opportunities much. You don’t get that kind of time to really rethink things and make it the best program for the kids that you can,” Love explained.

When Love was asked if he sees an attitude of enthusiasm from the players or one of uncertainty of what’s to come, he quickly replied: “Enthusiasm. The kids are awesome. They’re happy to be here, and I’m just blessed to be part of it because we’ve got some work to do. You’ve got to go 1-0 every single day.  That’s all that matters; go 1-0 every single day.”

What to Expect 

If you’re excited by the resumption of football activities, you’re not alone. But keep in mind, NCAA rules prohibit any videos, pictures, or promotion of student-athletes participating in voluntary workouts, so there won’t be much coverage — although we do hope to hear from Coach Love occasionally. Here is video of Coach Love after Monday’s workouts, courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics.

Whatever we do or don’t hear this week, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the team is back together in Oxford for the first time since March — music to the ears of Ole Miss fans everywhere!

Hotty Toddy!

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over a decade, 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--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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