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Ole Miss Houston Nutt

Nutt lays out plans for a run offense; talks about new staff on hand for Rebels in upcoming season

By Angie Ledbetter
New Ole Miss head football coach Houston Nutt met with a small group of media on Thursday, January 10, to discuss his staff, his search for an offensive coordinator and his recruiting.

“The first thing you see is they are classy guys, but I am partial,” Nutt said of his staff. “I know them all very well and they love what they do. They love making a difference to an 18, 19, 20-year-old. They are professionals. I am very excited they are here. It was kind of lonely here without them. Anyone who runs an organization will tell you that if you go without your co-workers for a few days you will know how much you miss them and how much you appreciate their work. I now know that feeling. It’s a good feeling being in that room and putting names on the board and evaluating kids. We are having our first recruiting weekend this weekend. Then we’ll go full speed from there hitting the road.”

Nutt said they are close and most have worked together before, with the exception of a couple.

Nutt and Mike Markuson have worked together for 15 years.

“He was a graduate assistant when I was a coach at Oklahoma State,” Nutt said. “I knew he was going to be a great coach. He’s a great teacher and a very fundamental football coach. He loves his work and is very dedicated and a very solid person. We have a real bond and believe in the same things.”

Nutt is taking his time with the offensive coordinator search.

“We had Hugh Freeze in and he did an excellent job,” Nutt said. “I knew him at the high school level. He’s a very good person and did a very good job in his interview. I had Kent Austin, a former player here, in and he did a terrific job, too.

“I am not going to put a timetable on it,” Nutt said. “It’s about chemistry. You can’t fool a kid. When the parents are fighting, they know it. So we want to keep the family very close.”

Along the same lines, Nutt is looking for a very good quarterback coach. That person has to be a very good teacher and someone who can bring something new to the table.

“We have a core of ideas we want to do,” Nutt said. “But that person needs to be able to bring some things of his own to the table in the passing game or wherever. It’s tough right now with a recruiting weekend on top of us and the returning players slipping in. They are peeking around the corner trying to get to know their new coaches. I am not in a hurry and there is no reason to be.”

As far as having someone else – anyone else – in mind for the position, Nutt said no.

He hopes to name someone by the middle of this week.

When asked if he had recruits waiting to see who the offensive coordinator is going to be, Nutt said, “Some, but the main position would be the quarterbacks. I’m sure they are very anxious to see who’s going to be coaching them and what we are going to do. I can tell you right now what we are going to do. We are going to be a good running team with play action and a team with balance. A team that is going to mix in screens, draws, slip screens, spread and stretch the field. We will not stray far from that, but we also want some new ideas and we want someone who is real good in the box on game day.”