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Preseason Football – Stoudt shows improvement, Nkemdiche debuts


Ole Miss had its fourth practice of camp on Tuesday, and head coach Houston Nutt came away pleased with how his quarterbacks played.

“I thought the quarterbacks threw the ball really well today” Nutt said. “Zack Stoudt threw the ball really well today, I think at one time he was about nine of ten (on throws). (Randall) Mackey threw the ball well today, hit a couple of touchdowns. Barry (Brunetti) hit a couple touchdowns, so they are getting better, and we just have to keep going.”

Stoudt, a junior, had the best performance of the three quarterbacks on Tuesday. And Nutt was proud of how far he has come after being in the “doghouse” toward the end of spring practice.

“Well, it started in the summer,” Nutt said. “He went to every class and learned a valuable lesson, school-wise. He has just worked hard to try and win his teammates over again with leadership and work ethic.”

With the quarterbacks continuing to perform well, the challenge of naming a starter is becoming tougher by the day for the Ole Miss coaching staff.

‘We’ve got three guys that you’re not afraid to put any one of the three of them in the game,” Nutt said. “That’s a good feeling.”

Nutt said having that many guys ready to go at quarterback is not something he has ever had before.

“It’s going to be interesting in that first scrimmage and then the second scrimmage will come right after that pretty quickly on Wednesday,” Nutt said. “It’ll be interesting to see which two separate themselves.”

After an issue with the NCAA Clearinghouse, freshman defensive back Denzel Nkemdiche finally got on the practice field for the Rebels and played well in his first day.

“It was good to get Nkemdiche out here,” Nutt said. “He couldn’t go through everything, but he’s out here. He has to go without pads. He’s a day behind us, so we’ll bring him along slowly, but he looks good.”

Senior defensive end Kentrell Lockett sat out of practice Tuesday after experiencing soreness in his patella tendon as he recovers from an ACL injury.

“We also rested Lockett today, which was our plan,” Nutt said. “He will probably go every other day. When you have had the number of surgeries that he has had, you try to watch the swelling in this heat.”

Junior fullbacks H.R. Greer and E.J. Epperson sat out practice Tuesday as well. Greer was walking around in a boot with what is hoped to be only a bad ankle sprain. Epperson has a mild concussion and should be back in a couple days.

Ole Miss suits up in full pads for the first time Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. on the practice field, and it will be open to the public.