OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Shortly after practice ended on Friday, the Ole Miss football team learned that one of its biggest recruits, Channing Ward (Aberdeen, Miss.), has been cleared by the NCAA to join the program. The Under Armour All-American joined the team in the afternoon.
The Rebels worked out indoors again at the Indoor Practice Facility as overnight thunderstorms pounded Oxford. The team got in some special teams work at the beginning of practice.
“We work on special teams every day, but today we worked on the transition, getting on and off the field. We’ll hit that again tomorrow in the scrimmage in some situations,” head coach Hugh Freeze said. “We had some good red ball with both sides. Still, the offense had too many negative plays, and the defense gave up some big ones.”
It was loud towards the end of practice as the coaches piped in some crowd noise to get the team ready for the loud stadiums they are sure to play in during the season.
“We will be going to stadiums that will be loud; I’ve been in a few of them,” Freeze said. “We have to find a way to keep our poise. The coaches get to yelling stuff out at them whether they know it or not, and we don’t want them relying on that. We are trying to put them in situations where they’re on their own.”
Freeze was asked about the battle between redshirt freshman Justin Bell and sophomore Aaron Morris at right guard. “I don’t know if I consider that a competition. They’re both going to play. We’re just trying to find eight, nine guys that play up there.”
Meet The Rebels Day activities are set for Saturday at the Indoor Practice Facility. An open scrimmage at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is slated to begin at 9:30 a.m., and Freeze hopes to see improvement from last week’s first scrimmage.
“We want to see fewer negative plays offensively for sure. I didn’t think the energy last Saturday was great. I don’t know if it had to do with us not being in the stadium or from a long week [of practice], but our energy is a little more cranked up. It is game No. 2 of the preseason and an opportunity for us to go through our entire pre-game.”
Following the 9:30 a.m. scrimmage, fans can make their way into the IPF for football, soccer and volleyball team autographs, appearances from Ole Miss coaches and administrators and much more starting at 11:30 a.m.
Saturday's scrimmage will mark the final open football practice of the preseason.
The team announced on Friday that fans that buy season tickets or a Pick 3 mini-pack at the event will receive four free tickets to either the Central Arkansas game or UTEP game. Existing season ticket holders can also receive four free tickets to either game by visiting the UMAA table with a valid ID that matches the season ticket holder.