Week 2 of Ole Miss football spring practice began Tuesday as the team met on the practice fields outside of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
The Rebels wrapped up Week 1 this past Saturday with an open practice at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Fans and media took their first looks at the 2022-23 Ole Miss squad, including one of college football’s top transfer classes.
“So many new guys, it’s almost a training camp feel,” Kiffin said. “It’s really valuable to have a lot of returning guys to then have all these new guys. It’s challenging, so it’s exciting. There’s more to do than when your culture is already set and the kids know expectations. These kids don’t know how we tape for practice, how we finish practice—all kinds of things. That part is good, and it’s challenging for all the coaches to make sure they’re going back to step one.”
Some of those newcomers do arrive green, just months removed from the end of their high school football careers. But others arrive in Oxford already as grizzled veterans, ready not only to contribute but to lead.
“The portal guys are not a hit and miss like high school guys, because you’re seeing them play college football,” Kiffin said. “We didn’t really take a lot of guys who were at a major place but weren’t playing. That’s more of a wild card because you’re getting them and you haven’t really seen film. Most of these guys played.”
UP FRONT SHAKE-UP
Perhaps no one embodies the phrase “grizzled veteran” than the Rebels’ newest offensive tackle, Mason Brooks. A First Team All-Conference USA lineman out of Western Kentucky, Brooks has 42 career games played under his belt, and his arrival has allowed Ole Miss to reconfigure its offensive front.
“It’s gone really well,” Kiffin said. “The addition of Mason over there has allowed us to do that, really started the dominos of moving people. I think it’s good so far.”
The coaching staff approached right tackle Jeremy James after the end of the season about moving to left tackle. The Rebel left tackle, Nick Broeker, slid to left guard, his projected position at the next level. James is excited about what the duo can do side by side.
“It’s awesome. It’s weird, but it’s awesome. I love playing next to him,” James said. “We think we can do as good as we want to. However hard we work to do it. We were talking about breaking out the “Run Left” hats that Nick broke out last season.”
That left the right tackle slot open for Brooks. At the center of it all is another experienced returner, two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week, Caleb Warren. James also reported that Eli Acker has looked strong at right guard after claiming a starting role late last season.
Ole Miss returns to the practice field Thursday for a closed practice followed by media interviews.
The Rebels will once again hold an open practice at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday, April 2, April 9 and April 16. Fans should park in the Pavilion garage and enter through gate 33 in the southwest corner. Gates will open at 10:45 a.m. and seating will be available in the south grandstand.
Practice times are subject to change. Stay tuned to the Ole Miss football Twitter account for weekly updates prior to each practice.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports