Ole Miss Opens Spring Football Drills

Melvin Harris

March 28, 2011



OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss opened its fourth spring football drills under head coach Houston Nutt Monday with a two hour and 15 minute practice in helmets and shorts.

Wet weather over the weekend forced the Rebels into the Indoor Practice Facility for the spring opener, which Nutt said was an energetic workout.

“Our guys had a lot of passion, energy and enthusiasm,” he said. “You can tell it was fun for them to be back out here. I thought we got a lot done, especially in team drills.”

One area of focus this spring is wide receiver, where Nutt noted the Rebels are “thin.” Among the returnees is junior starter Melvin Harris, who ranked second on the team with 30 catches for 408 yards and three touchdowns in 2010.

“We’re looking for consistency,” said Nutt. “If he does that, there’s no doubt in my mind he could be a factor in the SEC. He has an advantage as soon as he steps out of the huddle because of his height. He’s faster than he was last year. He broad jumps 11 feet. He’s got all of the measurables, but he has to do it consistently.”

With four quarterbacks vying for the starting job, the signal-callers will be closely watched this spring. Nutt said the group avoided mistakes Monday, thanks in part to a veteran offensive line.

“The biggest thing with the quarterbacks, there wasn’t a quarterback-center exchange problem today,” he said. “For the first day, that’s really positive. I think that goes back to the guys that played last year on the offensive line, starting with A.J. Hawkins and Evan Swindall.”

Ole Miss continues spring practice Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. on the practice fields, tentatively planned. Practices are open to the public, and daily times and locations will be updated on OleMissSports.com.

Fans must remain in the designated area. When the team practices outdoors, fans are not allowed between the practice fields.

Spring drills will culminate with the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl, April 16 at 1 p.m. at Vaught Hemingway Stadium/ Hollingsworth Field. That Saturday will also include an awards ceremony and panel discussion at 11 a.m. with several former Rebel standouts from the NFL ranks.

Other events surrounding Grove Bowl Week include the inaugural Rebels’ Choice Awards, Monday, April 11 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for Performing Arts and the Chucky Mullins Courage Award Banquet, Thursday, April 14 at the Indoor Practice Facility. Tickets for both are available through the UM Box Office.




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