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: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 539829

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798271529
Mobile41261809
Madison35132506
Tuscaloosa25915455
Shelby25294249
Montgomery24705593
Baldwin21392310
Lee15987172
Calhoun14569319
Morgan14422280
Etowah13918353
Marshall12275225
Houston10641282
Elmore10147206
Limestone10065151
St. Clair9946245
Cullman9761194
Lauderdale9457243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8339176
Walker7260278
Autauga7001108
Jackson6836112
Blount6771139
Colbert6320135
Coffee5578118
Dale4876113
Russell445138
Chilton4369113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394777
Chambers3590123
Dallas3568153
Clarke351461
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302698
Winston275773
Bibb264564
Geneva254078
Marengo249665
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale223978
Butler219069
Fayette212662
Henry189643
Cherokee184645
Randolph182442
Monroe178141
Washington167739
Macon161150
Clay157157
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143236
Lowndes140553
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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High pressure will continue to dominate our weather forecast for the end of the weekend. We will see our area filled with plenty of sunshine but clouds will be on the increase into the evening hours. There will be some changes for the start work week in our weather forecast as low pressure brings back some chances for showers and thunderstorms.
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