BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze says he thinks his Rebels are a talented football team and they are. The Rebels were vying for the national championship until a late slump ended the Ole Miss run at cracking the final four teams.
Freeze said, "Our theme this year is take a stand, and the first thing we're talking about today is being teachable. That goes for our coaches as well as for our young men, having teachable spirits that we recognize that each is a reflection of the others in that room. Hopefully our young men will grow together."
One of the first priorities for coach Freeze is to find a starting quarterback. Entering preseason training camp three players are in the hunt. Ryan Buchanan, a sophomore from Jackson Prep, sophomore DeVante Kincade from Dallas, Texas and junior college transfer Chad Kelly, who guided East Mississippi to the National JUCO Championship in Biloxi.
Freeze said, "We'll certainly rotate them. Ryan will take day one. He'll take the snaps with the 1s, and well just rotate. We may even rotate drills on day one. We'll talk about some more tonight, but he'll take the first snap."
He will chart everything the young men in camp and will evaluate the film to see how they do in the scrimmage situations.
Freeze says he's been pleased with the way Kelly has adjusted to his new surroundings since signing with the Rebels following the 2014 season at East Mississippi.
"The guy had a 4.0 GPA this summer, had a 3.6 in the spring. One of the strength staff's favorite kids, finishes first in every drill. He's just like a lot of us, has made some mistakes in the past and is ready to hopefully move beyond them. I think he deserves that opportunity now."
Freeze said besides finding a quarterback he wants his Rebels to establish an identity in the run game.
"We look at our running schemes, and gosh, we've got every blocking scheme known to man, "stated Freeze. "I told our guys the other day, let's just find the three that work for us. I think those would be the top two, and then developing chemistry that really separates us in the touchy feely moments of college football that we talk about that captures the heart and the mind outside the lines. I really want to separate ourselves in that regard.
Laquon Treadwell is ready to hit the practice field after he suffered a serious leg injury in a last second loss to Auburn last season.
"I like his demeanor right now, "stated Freeze. "He's lost some weight, feels better about that, not that he was heavy in my eyes, but i feel better bout it."
Freeze says the Rebels have changed their brand since he arrived, becoming a factor and said Ole Miss is going to continue to identify people that fit into the Rebels program and that means going after the best talent in the nation.