August 5, 2011 8:26:00 PM
OXFORD -- After welcoming a group of heralded newcomers to campus Thursday, University of Mississippi football coach Houston Nutt greeted his veterans Friday as they arrived for the start of fall camp.
"It''s an exciting time," said Nutt, the Rebels'' fourth-year coach. "I always love this time. School is done and it''s time to eat and sleep football for the next few weeks."
The returnees went through a day of meetings with compliance, athletic training, and other areas. The day culminated with a full team meeting, including newcomers, at the Robert C. Khayat Law Center.
Ole Miss will hold its first practice of the 2011 season at 4:30 p.m. today. The Rebels will practice in helmets only before moving to shoulder pads Monday and full pads Wednesday.
"We are a team that is hungry," Nutt said. "We had a very good offseason and are looking forward to the start of practice."
Nutt said senior defensive end Kentrell Lockett, who is recovering from knee surgery, is close to 100 percent, but the coaching staff "would be smart and hold him back a little bit." He also said junior linebacker Joel Kight and senior cornerback Marcus Temple, who both had offseason surgery, are at full strength.
Nutt also addressed how the Rebels will deal with this summer''s record-breaking heat.
"We''ve been talking a lot about the heat," Nutt said. "This year has been totally different. It''s always hot, but when it''s consistently over 95 or 96 degrees, and you put that helmet on, that can be dangerous. The IPF is so valuable, and it will be used. We may go half outside and half inside some days. We may change our times. I hope there will be a break in the weather. We''ll monitor it hard and we''ll keep our guys in mind, but it''s a fine line. We play at 3:45 p.m. Sept. 3, and the players have to be ready."
It was also announced Friday senior offensive lineman Logan Clair is no longer a member of the team.
Preseason drills the first week will be open to the public today through Aug. 13. The first seven practices will begin at 4:30 p.m., while the time of the Aug. 13 workout will be announced at a later date.
The National Weather Service has currently issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Lafayette County. Fans should be mindful of these weather conditions, and are encouraged to visit the website for the National Weather Service for the latest advisories.
Ole Miss will hold Media Day activities at 9 a.m. Monday. Fans can catch full coverage of the event on OleMissSports.com