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Preseason Football — Freshmen Report

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt met with members of the media Thursday afternoon after freshmen and transfers arrived. 

Nutt told those gathered that everyone except defensive back Denzel Nkemdiche and defensive end Kameron Wood reported to camp.

Nutt said he expects Nkemdiche to report soon.

“It’s just some little school stuff," Nutt said. "We thought he was cleared. He went to summer school all summer (at Ole Miss), so I feel real good about it.”

Wood has a shoulder injury, which is being looked at, and he might not enroll until January.

“We are looking at Kameron Wood’s shoulder," Nutt said. "Doctors are looking at him and we will see how that goes. He is definitely going to be here, but we will decide rather or not he will be here now or wait till January.”

Despite missing those two players, Nutt said he is impressed with the incoming class.

“This is the best I have ever had, really academically, when you have this many guys that all make it and I am real excited about that," he said. "That helps our numbers a great deal.

"Plus our older guys that we signed, that’s really been beneficial to us - guys like Ivan Nicholas, Gilbert Pena and now you have (Aaron) Garbutt and Jamal Mosley. We got an older group of guys, which we really needed at certain spots, so that really helps.”

Nutt said he was most impressed by the dedication the incoming players had in the offseason, with many of them arriving to campus by May 27 in time for the first summer session of classes.

“This class is very important," Nutt said. "We asked all of them to get here by May 27. That is hard to do. To graduate May 23 or 24 and to get here for the first session shows the drive they had to get here, to get the papers filled out, to get your high school transcript officially filled out and get here and be a college student and work out with Coach Decker. 

I think that sends a huge message when they are working out the first session like that. They know we are counting on them. That’s the way we recruited them.”

Nutt said there were several positions where he could see freshmen coming in and add immediate help and depth.

While all of the talk has been about C.J. Johnson when discussing the freshman linebackers, Nutt said to also keep an eye out for Keith Lewis and Sederius Bryant.

“Keith Lewis is 230 pounds," Nutt said. "He looks the part. He runs and is quick. Serderius Bryant doesn’t have the length, height or weight of C.J. (Johnson) or Keith Lewis, but turn on his film and he is tough. He is a tackler, he will hit you. It’s going to be a fun group to watch.”

Wide receiver is another position where freshmen should help immediately, Nutt said. With Donte Moncrief, Nickolas Brassell and Tobias Singleton, Nutt said the position gets a major boost in speed, catching the ball and they can also contribute on special teams. Nutt said he hoped to have the receiver rotation set after the first 10 days of practice were done.

The head coach said he was planning on using Brassell in certain defensive packages, put in to play for certain situations.

Senquez Golson had a decision to make this summer after being drafted in the MLB draft. After talking to the Red Sox, Golson decided to come to Ole Miss.

“I thank him and his family every day," Nutt said. "They had an opportunity to go accept money and go play baseball and they didn’t do it. He wanted to come to Ole Miss, so I am very appreciative. 

This guy is so talented, he is physical, he is more mature than I think any freshman corner that I have seen in a long time and it is just a blessing he is here. If you didn’t have Senquez, you would be hurting on depth.”

Varsity players report Friday Aug. 5,while fall camp begins Saturday Aug 6. The first week of practice will be open to the public, scheduled for 4:30 p.m.