Thursday, August 18, 2022

Ole Miss Football Freshmen Wrap Up Their First Spring Training


Ole Miss’ video footage of DaMarkus Lodge’s incredible catch during spring football practice.

This Saturday, April 9, the spring training for Ole Miss football will officially conclude.

Shea Patterson throwing unmarked.
Shea Patterson throwing unmarked.

The Rebels got their start on the first of March to quickly get their 2016 team on the field, including their new early enrollees of the 2016 class. This new signing class officially concluded on National Signing Day February 2, but behind the hype of what was to come this summer was the 13 new rebels who decided to enroll early January and get to work.

Leading this group is five-star quarterback Shea Patterson. Coming from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, Patterson was used to intense training everyday, but when he finally put on those pads as a Rebel his dreams officially came true.

Patterson said, “The first practice of spring training was surreal and exciting because I’ve dreamt of playing college football ever since I could walk. Officially being a Rebel means a lot and I’m just trying to make this University proud and represent it well.”

The new inside linebacker Donta Evans from Lawrenceville, Georgia, joins Patterson with the “newbie” jitters.

Evans said, “For the first practice of spring ball I was a little nervous and excited. I didn’t want to mess up, but I got over the nervousness quick. To officially be a Rebel gave me a strong since of pride and thankfulness to be blessed with the opportunity to be here.”

Agreeing with his fellow freshman teammates, Myles Hartsfield, a defensive back from Sayreville, New Jersey, made a joyful statement.

Hartsfield said, “My first practice was an eye opener. I never had a practice go at that speed before, but I still believe me first practice went well. I’m glad I’m here!”

Myles Hartsfield defending Shea Patterson at spring practice.
Myles Hartsfield defending Shea Patterson at spring practice.

Although they have been eager and a little nervous, these new Rebels put their heads down and got to work. They knew that in order to make their mark within the team and on the field they would have to focus on their training, which is exactly what they did.

Patterson said, “With spring ball wrapping up I’m positive that I’ve made my mark and wouldn’t want to be a part of any other team then Ole Miss. I will play my role and do anything for us to win.”

Evans agreed with Patterson in that he believes he also made the right decision in joining to be a Rebel and especially joining the team as soon as he could.

Evans said, “I know I’ve made the right decision by enrolling early. It’s allowed me to get bigger and faster, while also getting used to the speed of football on a high level like the SEC.”

Not only have these freshman early enrollees made their marks on the team, but one season veteran freshman, DaMarkus Lodge, has also put in a tremendous effort to be noticed during spring ball.

Lodge said, ” I feel that I have learned the offense a little better and now I’m able to play faster. I’ve made a couple big plays, but there’s still a lot of things I have to work on to be able to play in this aggressive league… Many key players have left, but we have a lot of talent to fill in those spots.”

Donta Evans catching at spring practice.
Donta Evans catching at spring practice.

The Rebels are feeling confident as spring ball comes to an end. They only have their eyes on what is next as they keep up the hard work to get there, according to Hartsfield.

The rest of the 2016 signing class will join the team this summer and are hopefully ready to get to work as soon as they arrive. These freshmen have set a strong striding for the rest of the recruits to match towards the desired goal: a national championship.

Patterson said, “Our goal as a team going into summer training will be competing against each other every single day and keep working towards our ultimate goal, a national championship.”


Meghan Snell is a senior broadcast journalism major at The Meek School of Journalism and New Media. She can be contacted at mesnell@go.olemiss.edu.

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