Ole Miss report
Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2007
FRESHMEN REPORT TO CAMPUS AS REBEL FOOTBALL
GEARS UP FOR 2007 SEASON
OXFORD, Miss. – There was a palpable excitement in the air on Thursday, as freshmen and first-year football players reported to campus and were welcomed by Rebel head coach Ed Orgeron and the coaching staff. Returning players will report on Friday.
Newcomers reported early in the afternoon and spent the afternoon checking into the dormitories on campus and getting their bearings before a group meal in the evening.
“You can feel it in the air – it‚s football time” Orgeron said. “Our coaches are excited. I’m really excited to see all the hard work in recruiting. I think we have a tremendous class, and I’m looking forward to all these guys coming in.”
Friday will be a day of adjustment for the incoming players as it will be used as a mandatory acclimation day and orientation as the players focus on academics ˆ the first priority of a student-athlete. Once the acclimation and academic orientation day is done, the Rebels will take to the field for the first practice of the year on Saturday.
While many players did report, a handful of 207 signees were not on hand as wide receiver A.J. Jackson and tight end David Rue did not report. Defensive back Johnny Brown and linebacker Chris Strong did not report on Thursday, but an answer on their status is expected soon, according to Orgeron.
“A.J. Jackson and David Rue will not qualify,” Orgeron said. “Johnny Brown and Chris Strong will not report today (Thursday). They have not been provisionally admitted. I expect a decision on those guys Friday and I think it will be favorable.”
Orgeron is excited about getting the new crop of players on the field and seeing how things shake out. Competition begins on Saturday with the first practice, and it is an exciting time with the combination of 17 sophomores returning who saw significant playing time as true freshmen in 2006 and the influx of new players.
“The freshmen) see the opportunity to play right away,” Orgeron said. “We use that as a tool. Our depth chart is etched in sand. I would love for an unexpected player to get beat out by a freshman. I think it would solidify the philosophy of our program.
“We think all those guys are going to get the opportunity to play, especially along the defensive front, linebackers and cornerbacks,”
Orgeron said. “We are really short there.”
But the message from the beginning of fall practice is very simple, according to Orgeron.
“Our goal going into camp is to finish. We want to put our guys in a position to learn how to finish. We also need to build depth along the offensive and defensive lines.”
The Rebels will continue with fall camp as the squad prepares for the season-opener against Memphis on September 1. Fans interested in catching up with the Rebels prior to the season-opener will have the opportunity as part of the annual Meet The Rebels celebration to be held Saturday, August 18, on the campus of the University of Mississippi.
August 2, 2007
Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations
Assistant Director, Athletics Media Relations (Baseball, Volleyball)
University of Mississippi