Spring Practice Report 04.08

D.T. Shackelford

April 8, 2011


OXFORD, Miss. – Coming up on the second scrimmage of the spring, Ole Miss had a light and disappointing workout Friday evening on the practice fields.

The Rebels’ ninth spring football practice was in shorts and shoulder pads and lasted just 90 minutes after head coach Houston Nutt cut the session short.

“It was a horrible day,” Nutt said. “You hate to waste one like that. We didn’t get anything done for really the first time this spring. Bad body language, bad focus, bad everything.

“D.T. Shackelford tried to say a few things to the team. We’ll see how they return tomorrow and see if there won’t be some effort given.”

As has been the case all spring, the first player’s name out of Nutt’s mouth was Shackelford, who has continued his growth entering his junior year. After an SEC All-Freshman performance in 2009, Shackelford followed up with a team-high 5.0 sacks, which ranked 13th in the SEC, and finishing second on the squad with 9.0 TFLs a year ago.

“His high school coach told me he is the best player he ever had,” said Nutt. “Not only on the field, but the best practice player, best person in the study hall, best person in the classroom and best person in the community. A lot of coaches say that, but D.T. has proven that day in and day out. I’m just really, really proud of him, especially with (Kentrell) Lockett not here and some good seniors hurt on the sideline. He has really taken over that role.”

All eyes will once again be on the quarterbacks at Saturday’s scrimmage, as all four signal callers are grappling for position. Nutt said consistency is the major trait he is hoping to see.

“Take care of the ball, make good decisions,” Nutt said. “I understand you can’t complete every pass, but don’t throw it to them. It’s the guys that stay away from disaster. Hand the ball to Brandon Bolden, Jeff Scott and Enrique Davis, and throw it up to our guys. It’s really simple.

“I understand they’re bringing different blitzes and your mind gets spinning a little bit. But you can’t panic at that position.”

Action will get underway at 10:45 a.m. in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, and fans are instructed to enter and sit on the west side.

In one week, the Rebels will wrap up spring drills with the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl, April 16 at 1 p.m. at Vaught Hemingway Stadium/ Hollingsworth Field. Tickets are $10 general admission, $40 for the southzone club level and free for Ole Miss students, faculty and staff. All proceeds benefit the M-Club's J.W. "Wobble" Davidson Scholarship Fund.

Tickets are available by calling 662-915-7167 or visiting the athletics ticket office in Tad Smith Coliseum 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. On gameday, tickets are available in The Grove and at the ticket office on All-American Drive, next to the Starnes Athletics Center.

That Saturday will also include an awards ceremony and panel discussion at 11 a.m. with several former Rebel standouts from the NFL ranks, including Mike  Wallace and BenJarvus  Green-Ellis.

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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