Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze has had a bit of a roller coaster ride since his team’s victory in the 2016 Sugar Bowl. That ride has seen an NCAA investigation, the injury of his star QB Chad Kelly, the replacement of both offensive and defensive coordinators, and a self-imposed bowl ban for 2017.
Freeze took the floor during Monday’s SEC teleconference to discuss the offseason, and to talk up his incumbent starting QB Shea Patterson.
Freeze on Shea Patterson’s development in high school:
“Shea Patterson was as fundamentally sound as a high school junior as I’ve ever seen. Saw him in the state championship game, he was very polished. Didn’t watch him live at IMG (his senior season).”
What was the thought process on pulling Shea Patterson’s redshirt last season:
“What gives our seniors the best chance to finish strong? I know Shea does but he’s only got three, maybe four games to play. He and his parents were on board. You have to make the best decision for the team. I love the new rule that’s out there, it’s needed… I think it will be beneficial for bowl games, too.”
On the spring:
“Injuries in the defensive backfield hurt us these spring, we still have a ways to go at the safety and linebacker positions but the coaches we hired help to take a step forward.”
On Rawleigh Williams, thoughts on his status (after recruiting him out of high school):
“You hurt for him, you hurt for his family. He’s a very good kid. He’s a kid of faith, his faith will sustain him but you hate to see it for him. He’s a quality individual.
On adjusting to two new coordinators:
“First time I’ve ever had to do that. I have a comfort level with Wesley McGriff, I think it’s going well. Love his energy and the scheme he’s put in. Phil Longo is someone I didn’t have a relationship with but felt he was exactly what we needed. We had some deficiencies that I think he will help add to.”
On the offensive line:
“I’ve said from Day One it would take 3-4 years to build it up… Really excited about the talent there. We are excited about how we’ve built up that group.”