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Preseason Football – Morris pushes for playing time, Quarterbacks perform

 

Wednesday’s practice belonged to the defense.

Thursday could not have been any different, with the offense showing out. Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt was pleased with the offensive performance after practice.

“I thought we competed really hard today,” Nutt said. “We got into some tight red zone today and guys rolled off the ball.”

Nutt mentioned sophomore wide receiver Philander Moore, junior tight end Jamal Mosley and freshman wide receivers Nickolas Brassell and Donte Moncrief — all made several catches. Nutt also mentioned freshman offensive lineman Aaron Morris as another freshman who will be pushing to see playing time this year.

“Aaron Morris keeps pushing himself to play,” Nutt said. “He could play at guard or tackle.”

Nutt said Morris is talented.

 “He keeps turning your head,” Nutt said. “As practice goes on and players start to tire, he keeps pushing himself.”

Quarterbacks impress Lee

 

After practice Thursday, Coach David Lee discussed the impressive day his quarterbacks displayed.

“We’ve been up and down, hot and cold,” Lee said. “We’ve looked good, we’ve not looked good.”

Lee said there are two reasons for that, having young players who are installing.

"This was our 6th installation,” Lee said. “We have 8 installations. We will have another Friday and another one Monday. At this point in time, I can just encourage our fans that we have got some really young talent that can be difference-makers in the fall."

Lee said that he keeps an accuracy chart every practice. In order for a pass to be considered a completion, the ball must hit the receiver in the hands.

Lee said that during Thursday’s practice, sophomore Barry Brunetti completed 13 of 16 passes with one rushing touchdown, junior Randall Mackey was 11 of 17 with three touchdowns and junior Zach Stoudt was 4 of 5 with one touchdown.

Lee said this was the best performance by the quarterbacks to date.

Nkemdiche relieved

Freshman defensive back Denzel Nkemdiche was in shoulder pads again Thursday after being cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse on Monday.

“It was a huge relief,” Nkemdiche said. “I got the news when I was about to pull into Tupelo. I said a quick prayer when I took off from Georgia, and coach called me when I was about to pull into Tupelo that I was cleared, and I just kept coming.”

Nkemdiche said that while he back in Georgia awaiting word from the NCAA, several players were calling to let him know they were ready for him to get back.

"Donte Moncrief and a couple of the other freshmen were calling me and telling me they were getting after it," Nkemdiche said. "They wanted me to be here. Damien Jackson and Wayne Dorsey were telling me they wanted me and needed me to come back. It was tough."

Nkemdiche said he is beginning to feel like he is caught up with the rest of the team.

“I have been staying in the film room and studying the playbook,” Nkemdiche said. “I feel like I am catching up.”

 

Ole Miss will practice Friday at 4:30 p.m. on the practice field, in preparation for Saturday’s scrimmage, tentatively set for 6 p.m. Both Friday’s practice and Saturday’s scrimmage will be open to the public.