Ole Miss Football: Day 7 Practice Report
Aug. 9, 2018

Watch Nix Interview | Watch Swinney Interview | Watch Donelly Interview | Watch Corral Interview

OXFORD, Miss. -
Rain sent the Ole Miss football team indoors for Day 7 of fall camp, but the Rebels continued to work now just shy of three weeks away from the 2018 season opener in Houston.
 
After practice, running backs coach Derrick Nix, running back Eric Swinney, defensive tackle Ross Donelly and quarterback Matt Corral met with the media to reveal how the Rebels have looked through the first week of camp.
 
D-Tackle Competition Heats Up
Depth on the defensive line is never a bad thing, and the Rebels are shaping up to have a solid two-deep at defensive tackle. Josiah Coatney, Benito Jones, Austrian Robinson and Donelly have all spent time in competition for the two starting spots on the interior.
 
"I feel like the competition has been going great, but I don't really look at it that way," Donelly said. "I look at it like we're all getting better to benefit the team. Iron sharpens iron. So the better we get, the better the team gets."
 
The group of big men in the middle will be tasked with spearheading a run defense revival. The Rebels struggled to stop the run at times last season, but they're determined to flip the script in 2018.
 
"We were ranked very low trying to stop the run last year, and we don't take that lightly. We're making it a point of emphasis this camp that we will be a dominant run defense. We're working on stopping the run and being a physical run-stopping defense."
 
Swinney Back in Full Swing
Replacing a 1,000-yard rusher in Jordan Wilkins looked to be one of the toughest tasks out of any position group on the Ole Miss roster, but already this fall, Nix's group has shown that it could be one of the team's strengths.
 
"Everybody is coming out and competing every day," Swinney said. "It's really competitive in the room. Everyone's grinding, trying to get some playing time."
 
Swinney has gone through a grind himself just to get back on the field. The junior out of Riverdale, Georgia, redshirted in 2015 after having surgery on a stress fracture in his right leg. His 2016 season was cut short as well after suffering a knee injury on the first carry his collegiate career. He saw time in 11 games last season, but he's just now getting back to the quick, powerful back he's used to being.
 
"I was really out of football for almost two years," Swinney said. "I feel like I'm getting back to myself. Working out during the summer helped me get back right. I'm feeling quicker, lighter, stronger. I'm around 215, 220 now. I feel good. I feel like I have my speed, power and quickness back."
 
Corral Feeling at Home
Coming to Oxford from Ventura, California, in the spring was a bit of a culture shock for Corral. Now, he's feeling like a regular Mississippian.
 
"It's my home now," Corral said. It seems like I haven't been back to California in forever. I love it. I'm comfortable. No complaining on my part."
 
While he has become comfortable off the field, he's also growing more and more confident within offensive coordinator Phil Longo's offense. The more repetitions Corral has behind incumbent starter Jordan Ta'amu, the better he'll be.
 
"I'm feeling a lot more comfortable than in the spring," Corral said. "Being around the offense, learning behind Jordan, Coach Longo taking me through it step by step. It's less thinking now and more just reacting. The less thinking I do, the faster it'll be, that's what Longo wants. As soon as I get to that point where I just react, I'll be there. If you put it up on the board, I know it like the back of my hand, it's just repetition and going through the progressions every day with defenders and lineman in your face. I feel like that's where I am right now and that's why I need to get better at."
 
To purchase tickets for the 2018 season, visit OleMissTix.com or call 888-REB-TKTS. Follow Ole Miss Football on Twitter (@OleMissFB), Facebook and Instagram


 

 

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