August 2, 2014 11:19:14 PM
OXFORD -- Preparations for the Ole Miss football season began in earnest Saturday with a two-hour workout on the practice fields adjacent to the Manning Center.
Wearing helmets and jerseys without pads, the Rebels enjoyed the mild temperatures that have characterized this summer.
Coach Hugh Freeze praised the newcomers, who practiced for about 40 minutes before the veterans joined them.
"I really like the class we brought in," Freeze said. "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 was pleased with newcomers Dayall Harris, Rod Taylor, Tee Shepard, Damore'ea Stringfellow, A.J. Moore, C.J. Moore, Kendarius Webster, Sammie Epps, and Jeremy Liggins.
Freeze quipped about starting quarterback Bo Wallace's arm strength. Wallace went through a whole offseason healthy and also spent some time with mechanics guru Tom House.
"He's overthrown two streaks," Freeze said. "We never had that problem before. His arm's definitely stronger."
With special teams aces Tyler Campbell and Andrew Ritter graduated, there will be plenty of competition in the kicking game.
Competing at punter are redshirt freshman Will Gleeson and freshman Gary Wunderlich. The race for placekicking and PATs is between senior Andrew Fletcher, redshirt freshman Andy Pappanastos, and Wunderlich.
"I was pleased with Gleeson. He hit it well today," Freeze said. "I thought Andy had the best day (of the kickers), but Gary had some really good hits, particularly from the left hash. Pleased with Gary's punting, too. We've got two quality punters there. It's a good battle for the PAT/field goals stuff."
Fans may attend the team's practice, weather permitting, at 9:45 a.m. Saturday in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. That will be the only fall practice open to the public.