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Five Rebels To Watch In Spring

Five Players with the most to gain over spring practice: Part one a look at QB Barry Brunetti

Seph Anderson, Sportswriter to The South, focuses his sports writing and photography skills on covering timely Ole Miss and SEC news, among all things sports across the South.


Follow @SephTalksSEC for Ole Miss news from an Ole Miss guy

Senior Barry Brunetti must take full advantage of spring practice.  Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Senior Barry Brunetti must take full advantage of spring practice.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

While there is a boatload of talent headed to Oxford this summer in Hugh Freeze’s No. 5 recruiting class (ESPN), spring practice provides the perfect opportunity for current Rebels to show coaches what they’re capable of doing in 2013.

With starting Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace sidelined following a recent shoulder surgery, QB Barry Brunetti may just have the best opportunity of anyone wearing the red and blue this spring. A senior in 2013, Brunetti needs to find a place to consistently fit into the offensive scheme for the Rebels.

Beyond the backup senior QB, there are a host of Rebels who also stand to gain a lot from spring ball with solid performances. Some other players to keep an eye on this spring include QB Mikhail Miller, WR Collins Moore, TE Christian Morgan and DE Channing Ward.

Let’s see why these men have so much to gain during spring practice.

 QB Barry BrunettiStarting QB Bo Wallace will be out over spring practice, as he recovers from recent shoulder surgery.Outside of the 6’0”, 202-pound Barry Brunetti, no other QB on the Ole Miss spring roster has any real experience. That explains why Hugh Freeze signed two solid young QBs in his 2013 class: Ryan Buchanan and Devante Kincade. However, neither of the two freshmen will be on campus until the summer.Therefore, expect Brunetti to be the starter this spring in Oxford. The other man he’ll likely share snaps with will be sophomore QB Mikhail Miller. The 6’2”, 240-pound Miller has only attempted six passes in his career at Ole Miss. On the other hand, Brunetti has gone 42 of 71 through the air for 340 yards and one score. On the ground, he’s rushed 93 times for 387 yards and three touchdowns.A highly touted QB out of high school and as a transfer from West Virginia, Brunetti hasn’t really lived up to his billing the past two seasons in Oxford. With true freshmen Buchanan and Kincade arriving on campus this summer, not to mention the return of Wallace, the chances of Brunetti even being the top reserve QB for the Rebels this fall is doubtful.So what can he do this spring to position himself well heading into summer and fall?More than anything, Brunetti is a physical, athletic football player. While his chance to see significant playing time behind center in 2013 is unlikely, he remains a great fit within Freeze’s dynamic offense. Where exactly Brunetti can fit in on a consistent basis remains to be seen. Nevertheless, spring practice is a perfect time for the senior, sharing QB snaps with Miller, to get some true looks at various positions within the Rebel offense.The coaching staff is well aware of the potential QB situation this fall, which may not even involve Brunetti. So while he will likely be the spring QB by default right now, the coaching staff will be keeping a close eye on the senior to judge not only his potential in various alignments but also his attitude.With the physical RB/WR Randall Mackey graduated, Brunetti could end up fitting in like Mackey did for Ole Miss in 2013: Playing various positions in any given contest.

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