Freeze praises newcomers on first day of Rebels' training camp
One year after attracting the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class to Oxford, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze welcomed another class of newcomers to campus when the team held its first training camp workout Saturday.
This year’s class of recruits was ranked just No. 17 in ESPN’s rankings, but Freeze praised his new players to the media following what seemed to be a promising workout.
“I really like the class we just brought in,” Freeze told HottyToddy.com. “There are a lot of talented kids in it. If we can do a good job of helping them understand how we want to do things and what they are to do, I think we’ve got some guys that can perform. I don’t want them to get too far behind where they can’t play fast.”
Freeze mentioned a handful of newcomers by name, but none of those names was listed on his first depth chart of the summer, which he released in July.
One of the names he mentioned, defensive back Tee Shepard, was recently declared academically eligible according to a report by the Clarion-Ledger. Shepard – a former ESPN 150 recruit who began his career at Notre Dame in 2012 and played at Holmes Community College in 2013 – will have every opportunity to make the two-deep depth chart by opening day after flipping his commitment from Mississippi State to Ole Miss on National Signing Day.
The Ole Miss secondary finished in the bottom-half of the conference in both passes defended and interceptions in 2013.
Another newcomer who flipped a commitment to land in Oxford, wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow, also earned praise from Freeze following Saturday’s workout. Stringfellow’s change in commitment from Nebraska to Ole Miss after transferring out of the University of Washington was the subject of much scrutiny this week after Nebraska coach Bo Pelini questioned Freeze’s tactics throughout Stringfellow’s recruitment.
Ole Miss applied for a waiver which would allow Stringfellow to play this season rather than sit out until 2015, but no decision has been made to this point.
Freeze also name-dropped former Callaway High School stars Dayall Harris and Rod Taylor, as well as A.J. Moore, C.J. Moore, Jeremy Liggins, Kendarius Webster and Sammie Epps.