More from the Tupelo stop of the Rebel Road Trip …
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze says he hopes to have all of his newcomers on campus for the second summer term. The first summer term begins so quickly that there might not be enough turnaround time for some high schools to get transcripts ready for some signees, he said.
“I expect to have all of them by July,” Freeze said. “It’s hard to say where we are right now for June.”
There are four that still have some ground to cover to qualify.
Fahn Cooper and Tee Shepard are finishing course work at their respective junior colleges. Freeze said he expects to have Cooper for June.
Jackson offensive lineman Rod Taylor has the necessary test score. “He’s got to continue to improve the GPA,” Freeze said.
The fourth is Tyrone, Ga., defensive tackle Chris Williams, rated a four-star prospect by ESPN.
Morris’ future: UCLA transfer Christian Morris, a freshman offensive lineman, is still awaiting word on his waiver from the NCAA. If it’s granted he would be immediately eligible this season and not have to sit out the season the NCAA requires of Division I transfers.
Morris’ transfer was announced in late September, but he had not played in a game for the Bruins.
The waiver isn’t his only obstacle right now. He injured his Achilles in a winter workout at Ole Miss and had surgery. He’s expected to be ready in late August or September,
Even if he’s eligible he’d have a lot of work to do to pass Austin Golson, who got the first team reps at right tackle in the spring. Cooper is expected to compete there too.
The best option for Morris, even if eligible and healthy, might be a redshirt.
“My gut says a redshirt would be great for him,” Freeze said. “If we get Fahn in and Rod in and Aaron Morris is back healthy, I would tend to try to redshirt him. I would hope we could get through the year without him.”
Freeze and his compliance director will talk soon to get an idea of where the waiver ruling stands, he said.
“I don’t know how fast those things move or even really where the process is right now. I know they started gathering everything in January. I would think it would be sometime this summer.”
More from Bjork: Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork told those in attendance to stay current with news coverage of possible unions in in NCAA athletics.
“Pay attention to that. It will affect how we move ahead with NCAA governance of scholarships,” Bjork said.
Bjork is hopeful the ruling by the Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board that said football players at Northwestern could unionize will move the NCAA closer to allowing “full cost of scholarship.” If so, that would mean schools could provide more for athletes such as spending money. …
Bjork began his time at the podium by taking a poll of those in the room to see who had Dish Network or ATT U-verse as their television providers. The number was very small. Then Bjork encouraged everyone to call their providers and ask questions about the SEC Network. The network launches in August. …
Even in the modern age of communication Bjork doesn’t envision the Rebel Road Trip going away. It’s still important to get out, look people in the eye and shake hands, he says.
“We’re going to build relationships with as many people as possible to maximize what we’re capable of,” Bjork said.