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Ole Miss football begins first full week of work

The 2019 Ole Miss football team strapped on the shoulder pads for the first time Monday morning to kick off the first full week of fall practice.

Posted: Aug 5, 2019 9:08 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – The 2019 Ole Miss football team strapped on the shoulder pads for the first time Monday morning to kick off the first full week of fall practice.

Following Monday's practice session, head coach Matt Luke, along with defensive back Montrell Custis, offensive lineman Michael Howard and defensive end Tariqious Tisdale, met with the media to provide the latest updates from inside fall camp.

CUSTIS' COMEBACK
Montrell Custis had an outstanding start to the 2018 season and was just settling into a key role in the Rebel secondary when he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Now, the senior out of Jonesboro, Georgia, is working his way back onto the field and hopes to be ready to go by the end of fall camp.

"I'm feeling good, getting back in shape. Rehab is going great," Custis said. "We've got great trainers and great doctors out here, they say my knee is re-structured, so I've just got to beat the mental part now."

DRAWING THE LINE
Last season, Ole Miss had the luxury of a veteran offensive line, laden with upperclassmen. Several members of that unit are now gone to the professional ranks, and the eldest returner, senior Alex Givens, is limited this fall recovering from back surgery. The youth, coupled with the uncertainty, has Luke spending a little extra time around his O-Line unit during practice, but he likes what he's seeing so far.

"They realize all the talk that's out there," Luke said of his offensive line. "They just have to go prepare with a sense of urgency and a chip on their shoulder. Some of the young guys have to get ready a little bit quicker, and some of the older guys have to step up. Michael Howard is one of the guys who has really stepped up there, the added weight has helped him. Been very pleased with Royce Newman. Eli Johnson has been fighting in there at center. Bryce Matthews has been playing some center, some tackle. Royce is playing some guard, some tackle. Jalen Cunningham has shown some flashes. Nick Broker and Jeremy James, a couple of freshmen, have been in there with the twos and competing. We're looking at a bunch of different lineups. They're working and understand that sense of urgency."

Howard has been one of the most crucial pieces of that O-Line group during fall camp, filling in the starting right tackle role with Givens sidelined. Howard, one of the most hard-nosed players on the Rebel roster, has played primarily on special teams throughout his career. The redshirt senior came to Oxford in 2015, weighing in at 232 pounds and has fought to pack on weight throughout his career. He played at 257 last season but is now tipping the scales at 280 as he looks to contribute along the offensive front.

"Everything I saw, I ate," Howard said. "If it was there and was edible, I had to eat it. It was just a mindset that I have to get bigger and be there to back my guys up. I really worked hard this offseason with a lot of the guys, especially people who have been in games. Being heavier helps, but you have to be a technician."

3-4 FITS
While the offensive line is breaking in a host of new personnel, the defensive front will benefit from a large contingent of returning players. However, that defensive line will have a new look as well as it transitions to the 3-4 defense, comprised of three down linemen and four linebackers.

Early in the install, the Rebel defenders are enjoying the switch. Defensive end Tariqious Tisdale, who played in a 3-4 scheme in junior college, spoke Monday about the growing comfort in defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre's new scheme, as well as the mindset of the defense coming into the 2019 season.

"I feel like it fits me and fits us better having our guys who are big but aren't so big to play D-Line, like Qaadir Sheppard and Charles Wiley, play linebacker," Tisdale said. "We've been ready to get back after it. We all have it in our head that last year is not going to happen again. We all have the same goal and mindset to go out and compete."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
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