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Emptying Out The Ole Miss Notebook From Hoover

Last updated: 07-20-2019

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Emptying Out The Ole Miss Notebook From Hoover

Emptying of the notebook from Ole Miss' appearance at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

Ole Miss was without entirely or at least partially of the services of several defensive players during spring practice. Among the walking wounded were defensive linemen Benito Jones and Josiah Coatney, defensive backs Jaylon Jones, Montell Custis, Armani Linton and Vernon Dasher.

"It's good to see those guys all out there in conditioning," Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke said.

Luke talked specifically about the return of defensive back Jaylon Jones.

"I think physically he's fine," Luke shared. "Mentally, he'll have to get over those full-speed cuts and the first time he gets tackled on a kickoff return...the first time he changes directions full speed in a game. But he's looked great, so far. Pat Jernigan and our medical staff has done a good job of getting him back."

Luke confirmed the Rebels plans are to still use Jones, who tore his ACL last season, on kick returns.

Matt Corral is still getting peppered with questions about his part in the ruckus that broke out between the Rebels and Mississippi State last year in Oxford that prompted SEC commissioner Greg Sankey's peace summit between the athletic directors at the respective schools.

"I just believe I'm a passionate player," said Corral, "especially in that type of game right there and that type of environment. Between those white lines I'm not going to back down from anything. I know my teammates aren't, either."

Does Corral have to work to control his emotions on the field?

"You've got to know when to stop. Really, just know when to stop and keep your calm. There's a difference between being competitive and being passionate and being just ignorant."

Corral and Company aren't taking kindly to the preseason predictions of four or five wins for this team.

"I have that posted right in my locker for that. I look at it every day," said Corral.

"Everyone calls us inexperience, everyone calls us young. Really nobody knows what type of potential we have except the people inside that building."

"The Memphis (game). They have us losing by seven...and I see it everyday," Corral smiled.

All 31 signees in the 2019 recruiting class are good to go from an academic standpoint, according to Luke.

"So far, everybody's been cleared to work out and to play. I don't foresee there being any academic casualties," said Luke.

True freshmen Jerrion Ealy and John Rhys Plumlee both plan to play baseball and football at Ole Miss. Both could also be important parts of the Rebels' offense this fall...Ealy at an all-purpose running back position and Plumlee as the team's No. 2 quarterback.

Luke said he has talked to both players about their duel-sport roles.

"They kind of knew what they were getting into," Luke said. "Coach (Mike) Bianco and myself both talked to them in the recruiting process about that. They're both special young men, and we'll work through that as we move forward."

Punter Mac Brown and kicker Luke Logan have been put on full scholarship with the transfers of linebackers Kevontae' Ruggs and Josh Clarke. Ole Miss is currently sitting at 84 scholarship players on its roster.

Redshirt freshman Matt Corral is Ole Miss' starting quarterback. There is no question there. Things are very foggy, though, when it comes to who will be Corral's primary backup. Luke and staff will have to pick from one of three true freshmen (Grant Tisdale, Kinkead Dent, John Rhys Plumlee) when Corral is not in the lineup.

"It will be a great competition. I thought Tisdale and Kinkead...they did a very good job in the spring. I think you saw them get better. Now we have John Rhys Plumlee coming in that wasn't there in spring practice but has done a great job this summer. I think it will be a great competition," Luke said.

There had been some speculation that the extremely athletic Plumlee could potentially play defense, as well. Luke, though, squelched that thought on Tuesday.

"No, he's going to be at quarterback," he said.

Matt Corral was asked and he answered. Which freshman receiver has stood out to him this summer?

"Jonathan Mingo," he deadpanned. "That kid is going to be the next big receiver at Ole Miss."

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