Spring Practice Report 03.31: Lockett Back For 2011

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March 31, 2011

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OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss received exciting news prior to Thursday's spring football practice, learning that defensive end Kentrell Lockett has been granted a sixth year of eligibility and is clear to play for the Rebels in 2011.

Lockett’s waiver request, which was filed with the NCAA in early January, was granted based on injuries that prevented him from competing in 2006 and 2010. He suffered a shoulder injury as a true freshman, while a torn ACL ended his senior season after playing in just three games.

A native of Hahnville, La., Lockett was a popular preseason All-SEC pick a year ago. He started every game of the 2008 and 2009 campaigns and boasts 22.5 career TFLs and 8.0 sacks.

“It’s really good news,” said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. “I know that’s been a real burden on his mind and our mind. Now there’s no question what he’s going to be doing much harder and that is rehabbing, school and getting ready.

“It’s his experience, lockerroom presence and confidence. I hate to think of not having him next year. I’m just really glad they made the right decision.”

While Lockett will miss spring drills while continuing rehab, his Rebel teammates worked out in pads for the first time Thursday in their third practice of the spring. The squad also trained outdoors for the first time with a chilly two-hour session.

While Nutt noted the players were a “little big slower” in their first day of contact, he was impressed with the enthusiasm of his young linebackers.

“I’m really proud of Mike Marry, Clarence Jackson and Ralph Williams,” Nutt said. “Those are names you haven’t heard that are young and had a really good day today. They made some mistakes but they’re playing with a lot of energy.”

On offense, Nutt continued to praise the development of the wide receivers, and in particular Philander Moore, Terrell Grant and Vincent Sanders. Nutt also saw improvement from the quarterbacks and their ability to pick up the system.

“We’re throwing the whole book at them,” he said. “There is a lot of thinking going on. With all that, I’m excited about it.”

Ole Miss’ Friday practice 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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