LOOK: A lot of new (players, practice format) awaits Ole Miss football this spring

On3 imageby:Ben Garrett02/23/24

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Ole Miss opens spring football practices the Monday after spring break in March. 

But the Rebels are already busy at work.

Ole Miss is in the midst of off-season workouts. Now-fifth-year Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and staff put the players through limited on-field instruction. Also mixed in in equal measure is strength and conditioning training under weight-room coach Nick Savage. 

The Rebels, collectively, threw on jerseys and shorts and hit the practice fields adjacent to the Manning Center for a walk-through-like session on Friday. Included are photos provided by Ole Miss Athletics.

“We throw around with them a little bit, then spring ball starts,” Kiffin said Friday, in joining Ole Miss head basketball coach Chris Beard for the latter’s popular ‘Fireside Chats’ series. 

“They have 15 practices you’re allowed to have. We kind of tone down and don’t do as much as we used to. Keeps the guys fresh for the fall, but still a lot of work to do, because so many new guys.”

Ole Miss last season won 11 games for the first time in program history. 

Kiffin led the Rebels to a Peach Bowl win over Penn State in December — their second New Year’s Six in four years. The College Football Playoff next season expands to 12 teams. Ole Miss has been ranked inside the Top 10 in each of the last three.

The Grove Bowl is scheduled for April. However, sources indicate the annual spring game could take on a different form in 2024. Think the NFL’s Pro Bowl Games or similar. No decisions, however, have been finalized and are subject to change.

Ole Miss has 31 new players for the spring, including 17 transfers and a host of mid-year high-school enrollees. Among them is Kam Franklin, a former four-star ranked as the top prospect in Mississippi last recruiting cycle.

“It was a really cool group of players,” Kiffin told Beard of last year’s Ole Miss football team

Kiffin’s Rebels open the 2024 campaign against Furman August 31. Their first SEC game is against Kentucky September 28. The SEC will feature 16 teams next season. Ole Mis plays Oklahoma in Oxford October 26.

Kiffin continued, “That’s not always the case — that just because you put together a good roster, doesn’t mean they’re going to be a good team. They really gelled together, and they were really neat to coach. And now a lot of them decided to come back.”

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin

Rebel star wide receiver Tre Harris

Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart

Ole Miss running back Ulysses Bentley, IV

Florida transfer EDGE Princely Umanmielen

Texas A&M transfer defensive tackle Walter Nolen

Oklahoma transfer safety Key Lawrence

Ole Miss offensive lineman Micah Pettus

South Alabama transfer defensive back Yam Banks

Veteran Ole Miss safety Trey Washington

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