Spring Practice Report: 04.14



April 14, 2011



OXFORD, Miss. – On Thursday, Ole Miss held the first of two light practices leading up to the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl, which kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m. at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Despite practicing in helmets and shorts, head coach Houston Nutt said it was a productive day for his team.

“I think we got a lot of good work done today, being out here in shorts,” he said. “I thought we came out and really had good focus. We kept the ball surrounded. Nobody got on the ground. We had a goal for everybody to stay up, to play the game, and have good football position.”

At the end of the workout, the players split up into their designated Grove Bowl teams. For the first time in Nutt’s four springs in Oxford, a draft was held to determine the squads.

“We look at the lineups and they look really even,” said Nutt. “It’s the first time we’ve done it where we divide it right down the middle. We’re very, very thin, so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully nobody gets hurt and we keep everybody healthy.”

On Wednesday, the Rebels received word that junior quarterback Nathan Stanley has decided to transfer. Nutt said he is grateful for Stanley’s contributions to the program.

“After talking to him yesterday, I just really appreciate everything he’s given to us,” Nutt said. “He’s always been a class act, always done what’s right in school, and he’s just really been a class example. He’s been raised the right way.

“Quarterbacks, they want to play, and it’s hard when you have just one ball. We’re going to help him every way we can. I really wish Nathan all the best.”

After Thursday’s practice, the Rebels attended the 22nd annual Chucky Mullins Courage Award banquet, which saw linebacker D.T. Shackelford become the first junior to receive the honor. The emotion-filled evening was highlighted by former Ole Miss head coach Billy Brewer’s passionate speech.

On Saturday, the Rebels will wrap up spring drills with the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl. 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.

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