Ole Miss football report: Charles Wiley practices

Published 4:23 pm Monday, August 8, 2016

Fall camp has started for Ole Miss, and the Rebels held their first practice open to the media Monday.

The part of practice media members get to see is heavy on individual drills and light on team periods, but there were a few noteworthy items during the viewing window. Below are some observations.

It’s also Media Day for Ole Miss. Head coach Hugh Freeze held his first press conference on the season Monday afternoon while select players and assistants talked afterward.

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Jeremy Liggins was absent

Liggins, the hometown senior who opened camp penciled in as Laremy Tunsil’s replacement at left tackle, didn’t participate and wasn’t off to the side anywhere either. Freeze said he’s being withheld from camp after not living up to team standards, though the coached didn’t elaborate.

“We’re working with him to get him back out there as soon as we can,” Freeze said.

One of Liggins’ competitors at the position, redshirt freshman Alex Givens, ran with the first-team offensive line while junior Rod Taylor repped at left tackle with the second team. Left guard Javon Patterson, center Robert Conyers, right guard Jordan Sims and right tackle Sean Rawlings rounded out the first-team line. The rest of the second-team line consisted of Tyler Putman at left guard, Jacob Feeley at center, Daronte Bouldin at right guard and Michael Howard at right tackle.

True freshman left tackle Greg Little, a five-star signee, was running with the third team. Freshman quarterbacks Jason Pellerin and Shea Patterson alternated between the second- and third-team offense.

Injured players on the field

Players who dealt with injuries last season were on the field in some capacity.

Conyers (ACL surgery), defensive tackle Issac Gross (neck surgery), safety Tony Conner (meniscus surgery) and wideout Damore’ea Stringfellow (ankle injury) all participated. Conner was wearing a brace on his right knee but wasn’t limited in any of the open viewing periods.

Defensive end Fadol Brown continues to slowly work his way back from surgery on his fractured foot late last season. Though he didn’t go through practice, he was in a practice uniform and wasn’t sporting a boot.

Charles Wiley practices

After being arrested on a domestic violence charge in late July, defensive end Charles Wiley was a full participant at Monday’s practice. Freeze said in a statement following Wiley’s arrest on July 25 the true freshman was suspended from all team activities, but the coach said Monday all the details that had been gathered about the incident warranted Wiley being allowed to practice while the legal process plays out.

Wiley would not play if the Rebels played a game today, Freeze said. Wiley is scheduled to appear in municipal court Aug. 24.

Early returns

Running backs Jordan Wilkins, Eugene Brazley and Eric Swinney, redshirt freshman defensive back Jalen Julius and true freshman receiver Tre Nixon caught simulated punts and kickoffs during the viewing period.

Senior Carlos Davis, who returned punts last year before an early knee injury ended his season, wasn’t back as a returner. It’s early, but Ole Miss is searching for answers there, particularly at punt returner after last season’s struggles.

Scouts in attendance

Multiple NFL teams had personnel taking in practice. Representatives of the New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers were spotted watching.

See Tuesday’s edition of the EAGLE for more practice and Media Day coverage.