Aplin Reunites With Freeze, Wallace At Ole Miss
Administrative intern and former Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin

Aug 27, 2013

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. — During the 2010 football season, Hugh Freeze, Bo Wallace and Ryan Aplin were together at Arkansas State.

Three years later, they have been reunited at Ole Miss, with Freeze as head coach, Wallace as a second-year starter at quarterback and Aplin, a two-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, as a recently hired administrative intern.

Aplin, a native of Tampa, Fla., led Arkansas State to back-to-back conference championships and completed his four-year career with more than 25 combined single-game, season and career school records and as the conference’s all-time leader in completions, passing yards and total offense.

From Arkansas State, Aplin competed in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game, and then as an undrafted free agent, he participated in rookie mini-camps with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins. Neither signed him, so he moved on to the Canadian Football League.

He got looks from three CFL teams, even participating in preseason workouts with the Montreal Alouettes, but between timing and a logjam of other quarterbacks on the respective teams, it didn’t work out for Aplin, so he turned his attention to his former coach, who he stayed in touch throughout the whole process and always told him, if he ever needed anything, to let him know.

“During this whole process, I called Freeze and told him I wasn't sure what was going to happen,” Aplin said. “He knows I still want to play, even now. If not, I would love to be with him coaching.

“After Montreal, it was so late, and Canadian football starts so early that I needed to find a job. I needed to find what I was going to do for the next year, so I called Coach Freeze, and he immediately went to work and see what he could do for me. A couple of weeks later, he told me he could get me a spot, and here I am.”

As an intern, Aplin works with co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner, whether that’s charting data, analyzing film or performing other administrative duties.

From his starting quarterback for two seasons, to a member of his coaching staff, Aplin said Freeze has remained the same person. The biggest difference, Aplin joked, is he’s not the guy getting yelled at out there.

“One thing that outright amazes me is for me to see him be the exact same person he was at Arkansas State, from my position coach and offensive coordinator at Arkansas State, to the head coach at Arkansas State, to the head coach at an SEC school,” Aplin said. “To see him be himself and the same person, and not change, that really shows his character.

“To have somebody who can be themselves the whole time with all of the adversity that you have to face at this level, it's amazing. A lot of people don't see what he goes through. It's not easy. Everything is magnified by 100, 200, 1,000 times, from where he started to where he is now.”

When Wallace transferred from Arkansas State, Aplin remained in contact with him throughout and said Wallace has grown up a lot from his redshirt season with the Red Wolves.

This season, Wallace enters his second year as the Rebels’ starting quarterback, coming off the second-most total yards, third-most passing yards and fourth-most touchdown passes in a single season in school history.

“I wouldn't say he is my little brother, but that is how it felt at Arkansas State,” Aplin said. “I hosted him on his recruiting visit. He's somebody, who as a freshman, I tried to bring up under my wing. I had been there for a couple more years than he had, and it was his first time in college.

“I always tell people, when Bo first got there, he ran like a baby giraffe, like his legs were going everywhere. You could tell he was real young and still growing into his body. Now, you see him breaking 50-yard runs against LSU, one of the top defenses in the country. To see where he has come and the hard work he puts in, day in and day out, shows how much he has grown up not only as person, but also as a player.”

In 2010, Freeze’s first season at Arkansas State, then an offensive coordinator, and Aplin’s first season as starting quarterback, the Red Wolves finished 4-8.

The next season, with Freeze as head coach and Aplin in his second season as starting quarterback, Arkansas State won the Sun Belt Conference championship and finished with a 10-2 overall record. Freeze was named Coach of the Year, and Aplin was named Player of the Year, while the Red Wolves set school records for passing offense and total offense.

In year two at Arkansas State, Aplin noted, he and his teammates played faster and knew exactly where to line up, so Freeze was able to broaden the offense with new and different wrinkles.

He sees a lot of the same things at Ole Miss in Freeze’s second season, and it’s about comfort level, for both the coaches and the players.

“You have to be comfortable to be successful,” Aplin said. “In the second year, the transition was a lot easier. You know your guys. They have a lot better chemistry. You can see the guys starting to come together.

“Bo is throwing the ball when all four guys are coming out of their breaks because he knows where they are going to be. Bo is lined up, and he is seeing the blitzes and checking to them and getting his guys in good situations and calling routes that work against certain defenses. You can see the comfort level has skyrocketed. You can tell the guys feel really comfortable.”

Capturing the players, capturing their hearts, to get their attention to where they are going to come out every day and give you everything they got, Aplin said, is the biggest thing he has learned as an administrative intern under Freeze.

“To have a relationship with them on a personal level, know about his family life and be someone they are comfortable coming and talking to, not just about football, but about anything,” Aplin said. “And once you can capture them as person, you have guys going out there and playing for you 110 percent, and not playing for themselves. That's what makes great teams.”

At times during practice, Aplin said it’s been hard to watch the game from the sidelines. And after this season with Ole Miss, he will give professional football another shot.

“Coach Freeze and I have talked about it,” Aplin said. “I'm going to coach this year, which is big test for me. I want to be here. It is something I have always wanted to do. I have always wanted to be a coach, and this is something I have never dreamed I would ever be doing, being in the SEC my first year out of college helping out. But next spring, I'm going to give it one more run and try to play.

“When you're playing, you don't realize how much you enjoy the game, but when you don't have it, you realize how much you miss it. I'm definitely going to give it one more run in the spring because I'm not ready to put the ball down yet.”

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller


 

 

    • Former Rebel Coach Ron Aldy Honored at Kirk Academy

      Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - Women's Basketball

      Former Women's Basketball Head Coach Ron Aldy and his family at gym floor dedication at Kirk Academy today. pic.twitter.com/Ruyc9TFui5-- Holmes Athletics (@holmesathletics) January 14, 2017 p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px... read more

    • Tunsil Named AFC East Rookie of the Year by ESPN

      Monday, January 16, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Miami Dolphins offensive lineman and Ole Miss' former blind side protector Laremy Tunsil was named AFC East rookie of... read more

    • Three Rebel Coaches Among Top-20 Recruiters Nationally

      Friday, January 13, 2017 - Football

      With the hiring of Jacob Peeler as wide receiver coach, #OleMiss now has three asst coaches ranked in @247Sports '16 Top 20 best recruiters.-- Brad Logan (@BradLoganCOTE) January 10, 2017 Ole Miss football bolstered its coaching staff by adding coaching... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Georgia

      Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - Men's Basketball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Georgia (10-5, 2-1) KenPom ranking: 61 Best win: at No. 103 Auburn Worst loss: at No. 79 Oakland Ole... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Auburn

      Saturday, January 7, 2017 -

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Know the Opponent: Auburn (10-4) KenPom ranking: 105 Best win: No. 28 Texas Tech Worst loss: No. 172 Boston... read more

    • Longo Named FCS Coordinator of the Year

      Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #333333; -webkit-text-stroke: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; min-height: 17.0px} p.p4 {margin:... read more

    • Freeze to Join Finebaum Film Room During Peach Bowl

      Friday, December 30, 2016 -

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Helvetica; min-height: 16.0px} ESPN is providing fans multiple ways to view the College Football Playoff, and Ole Miss head coach is playing... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Kentucky

      Thursday, December 29, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} Know the Opponent: Kentucky (10-2)KenPom ranking: 4Best win: No. 3 North CarolinaWorst loss: No. 13 UCLAOle Miss opens up... read more

    • Know the Opponent: South Alabama

      Thursday, December 22, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: South Alabama (7-5)KenPom ranking: 218 Best win: at No. 187 UNLV Worst loss: at No. 303 Stetson Ole Miss has one final tuneup before conference play begins and it comes in the form of South Alabama. South Alabama on Offense:... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Bradley

      Monday, December 19, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Bradley (5-6) KenPom ranking: 235 Best win: at No. 222 Eastern Illinois Worst loss: No. 253 Delaware Ole Miss faces Bradley in the second-to-last nonconference matchup before SEC play begins. Bradley on Offense: Bradley has not been great this season on... read more

    • New Coordinators Help Address Critical Areas

      Friday, December 16, 2016 - Football

      Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze had specific deficiencies that he wanted his coordinator hires to address. On offense, he wanted to improve the rushing attack, third down efficiency, and red zone scoring. On defense, Freeze wanted his new coordinator... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Murray State

      Thursday, December 15, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Murray State (5-5) KenPom ranking: 162  Ole Miss returns home to face Murray State in its first home game in nearly two weeks in a matchup of two strong offenses.Murray State on Offense: Once again, Ole Miss... read more

    • Haynes' Return a Boon for Ole Miss Defense

      Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.4px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #292f33; -webkit-text-stroke: #292f33} p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Virginia Tech

      Sunday, December 11, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Virginia Tech (7-1) KenPom ranking: 36 Ole Miss faces one of the most well-rounded teams in the nation Sunday in Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech. Va Tech's offensive efficiency ranks 24th nationally, while their defensive efficiency also strong at 67th.... read more

    • Archie to Receive Gold Medal from NFF on Tuesday

      Monday, December 5, 2016 - Football

      Ole Miss legend Archie Manning will be receiving the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame Gold Medal on Tuesday, December 6, at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner. The highest and most prestigious award presented by the National... read more

OFFICIAL STORE

GET SOCIAL

Twitter

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Instagram

Facebook