New Ole Miss LB coach tossing out last season’s stats

Oct 15, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Austin Allen (8) is sacked by Ole Miss Rebels linebacker DeMarquis Gates (3) in the first quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

New Ole Miss assistant Bradley Dave Peveto is giving Rebels linebackers a clean slate this spring, building the depth chart off of what he sees as opposed to last season’s stats.

When you have a coaching change, sometimes it’s good to have a clean slate,” the linebackers coach told Davis Potter of The Oxford Eagle. “We have two seniors, and they’re both getting their shot right now. With DeMarquis (Gates) out, we started Ray Ray (Smith) for the first two practices. He and DeMarquis shared the (first-team) reps (Tuesday). He’s getting his shot.”

Gates led all Rebels last year with 79 tackles. Peveto’s clean slate could be particularly helpful to returning linebackers Detric Bing-Dukes, Tayler Polk and Willie Hibler, along with redshirt freshman Donta Evans and junior college transfer Brenden Williams.

Coach Hugh Freeze is looking for a revitalized defense with the help of Peveto and new defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff. The Rebels were No. 120 last season in stopping the run.

“You take steps,” Peveto said. “It’s accumulative learning. It’s accumulative reps. It takes time. I told them that I’m not a magician and they’re not either. It comes with hard work, consistency and repetition. If we just keep doing the right things, we’ll be a good linebacker group.”

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