Spring Practice Report 03.29

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Charles Sawyer
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Charles Sawyer
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

March 29, 2011

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OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss stayed indoors again for the second of its 15 spring football practices Tuesday with another two hour-plus workout in helmets and shorts.

Head coach Houston Nutt said it would be the Rebels’ final non-contact day of spring drills, as players will put on the pads next time out.

“After we give them a day off tomorrow, we’ll put the pads on and get a little physical with them and see how they hold up,” said Nutt, who noted the team will only scrimmage for a handful of plays at the end of Thursday’s practice.

Nutt said the quarterback race will heat up as the pads come on, and praised the play of all four passers – Nathan Stanley, Randall Mackey, Zack Stoudt and Barry Brunetti.

“They got a little bit better today,” Nutt said. “They made much more completions today. They threw it to our guys a little more often where it was catchable.

“Everybody has their moments, but things will be much more interesting now as we get into really competitive times with the pads and see who can handle the live situations.”

The group that most impressed Nutt Tuesday was the secondary, where he sees growth in the young players and particularly sophomore cornerback Charles Sawyer.

“Charles Sawyer is a lot different than he was last year,” said Nutt. “I know he is a year older, but you can just tell his maturity. I love the things that he is doing.

“I’m glad we have Wesley Pendleton. That was a good signee. Damien Jackson made an interception today. Brishen Mathews was around the ball. He had his hand on the ball yesterday about three times. We just have to keep bringing Cliff Coleman, and it will be really good when we get Marcus Temple back in the fall.”

On offense, Nutt singled out Ja-Mes Logan as the Rebels’ “most consistent” receiver through the first two practices and noted the progress of the wideouts overall under first-year position coach Gunter Brewer.

“Coach Brewer has done a good job of keeping a little pressure on them,” Nutt said. “Melvin Harris and Ja-Mes Logan have been very steady. Now you see signs of a Terrell Grant and a Vincent Sanders growing up a little bit. I’m anxious to see them take another step when we put the pads on.”

Ole Miss’ Thursday workout is tentatively planned for 4:05 p.m. on the practice fields. 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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