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Nutt At The Podium

Here’s a rundown of Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt’s comments:

* Nutt said that he was excited by his signing class which included signing the “best” athletes out of the state of Mississippi.  Take that Dan Mullen.

* Nutt said that he felt like he needed David Lee to come in and work with his three young quarterbacks.

* Asked about the SEC’s new soft 25-man signing cap, Nutt said: “Well, it’s the rule.  I’ve always followed the rules.  I sometimes get the name of oversigning.  I’m kind of connected to that. … But that big number only happened one time.”  Nutt said he’s never gotten a letter from “an angry mom” for running off a player.

* On Mike Slive’s suggested academic changes: “I just read about it.  I know this, firmly I believe in Commissioner Slive.  He’s a great man, does a great job for us at our conference.  But I really, boy, I want to look at that and study it.”  Nutt said his football team has a better graduation percentage than the regular Ole Miss student body.

* Nutt said he wishes there was a rule the forced players off campus for 25 days a year.  He says kids go to school year-round now.

* “I want our guys to graduate.  I want ‘em to go to school.  But more and more and more rules are being thrown on our athletes… and now go play 14 games if you get to the championship.  Go play a Thursday night game.  You may play a game on Sunday.”

* Asked about MSU’s billboards across the state, Nutt said: “Now you checked recruiting this past season, right?  It didn’t affect us.  We had the best recruiting in the state of Mississippi.”  He added: “Using your time — valuable energy — on something like that?  It’s a waste of time.  You better be concentrating on recruiting, you better be concentrating on winning and helping your players become a better person and a better football player.”

* Nutt brought up Jeremiah Masoli on his own and said bringing in the troubled quarterback last year was good for both parties.  He said Masoli is a good person and has turned his life around.  He said that because Ole Miss lost last year, the positive outcome of that story was lost.  “We averaged 30 points a game last year, now.”

* Nutt said he wants to be a physical team.  “We’ll always wanna run the football.”  He also suggested that last year’s offense had too many formations and multiple looks.

* Nutt tossed out the usual: “Number one, we first got here we had back-to-back AT&T Cotton Bowl victories.  First time in 50 years, January 1.  Hadn’t gone to a bowl the previous five years.”

* Nutt suggested January bowl wins mean more than billboards: “I know we’re on the right track.  Two back-to-back January 1s, there’s no doubt in my mind that’s what caused these young me to say, ‘Coach, I know you didn’t have a good year this past year, but we’re coming with you… we’re coming, we’re coming to Ole Miss.’  They didn’t have to.  They were heavily recruited, they could’ve gone anywhere.  But they see something at Ole Miss and they think it’s going to be very, very special.”

* Nutt would like to see players get better compensation.

* Nutt said good things about quarterback Randall Mackey, but “if we played tonight — and I’m glad that we don’t — Barry Brunetti would go out there first.”

* “Last year after two seasons of some success, we got into that mood of assuming.  ‘I just assumed I could roll my helmet out there and go through the motions.’  You can’t do that.”  Nutt said he likes his team’s attitude better this year.

* Asked for a third time about Mississippi State coming after Ole Miss, Nutt said, “It’s all about winning.  And the reason they’re loud right now is they won the last two years.  My again, my energy is going to be on what’s going to help us win.  You know that first year we beat Mississippi State 45-0, didn’t think nothin’ about it.  ‘Cause the previous nine out of 10 years we’d beaten them.  I do understand the Egg Bowl.  I do understand how passionate our fans are about that ballgame. … The only thing that you can do is you have to do it in between those lines.  As far as getting into the marketing end of it, I’ve got marketing people that do that.”

* Nutt was typical Nutt.  He had that good ol’ boy delivery.  He was upbeat.  And he remained cool despite one MSU question after another.



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