By Adam Brown
Senior linebacker/defensive end Sam Williams returned to the Ole Miss football practice field after a long absence on Monday. Williams has not been with the team since being suspended from all team activities following an arrest in July for sexual battery.
Ole Miss football released a statement Tuesday morning regarding William’s reinstatement to the team.
“With no pending charges, Sam Williams has returned to football activities,” the statement said. “We defer to his legal counsel on questions regarding his case.”
Following practice on Tuesday, Head Coach Lane Kiffin met with the media via Zoom, where he spoke on the return of Williams and the team’s Saturday scrimmage game.
“Yesterday was our first time with (Williams) since spring ball,” Kiffin said. “You can see flashes of why he’s showed to be a really good player at times.”
Kiffin made clear that the team is increasing the intensity of its scrimmage games.
“We tackled for half of it,” Kiffin said. “A lot of guys played 45 to 50 snaps, which were up from the week before trying to get closer to game time.”
However, the Rebels were without a number of players on the field during the scrimmage.
“We were down a number of people,” Kiffin said. “… Had 27 guys out either injury or COVID related. A lot of guys had to play a lot of snaps. Three defensive backs returned from COVID-19. The offensive line and the tight ends are the problems now, should get three (offensive), lineman back sometime this week.”
Unlike past scrimmages in which the offense dominated the game, the defense set the pace on Saturday.
“The defense dominated the day,” he said. “There was four turnovers and the offense was down to like 10% on third downs, so that is obviously great for defense, not great for offense.”
Sophomore quarterback Matt Corral took most of the reps with the first-team offense during the scrimmage as the staff held out John Rhys Plumlee and Jerrion Ealy to avoid injuries.
“Matt has taken all the reps with the ones since Plumlee has been out,” Kiffin said. “(Kinkead) Dent has taken a lot of the two’s and worked Grant and Kade in there some. The position has done some good things, but a lot of consistent work to do.”