Cutcliffe: Rebels need to take it to the next level'
By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
May 3, 2001
Football season may not kick off until Sept. 1, but to Ole Miss head coach David Cutcliffe, now is the time when foundations for championships are laid.
Cutcliffe, heading into his third season as head coach of the Rebels, was in town Wednesday, visiting with Ole Miss alumni and supporters. He noted that Ole Miss is the only SEC West Division team that has been to a bowl game every year for the past four season, but added that it was time to take it a step further.
That's easier said than done, considering that Ole Miss plays in the always tough Southeastern Conference.
One of the big question marks going into spring training was replacing the multi-talented tailback Deuce McAllister, who was selected last week in the first round of the NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints.
Leading the pack will be Charles Stackhouse, back for his senior season at fullback, and Joe Gunn, who started three games last year while McAllister was injured. In 1999, Gunn led the team in rushing with 951 yards on 182 carries and was named first team All-SEC.
Other backs to watch include junior Toward Sanford, voted the "Most Improved Offensive Player" during the spring drills; and redshirt freshman Rick Razzano at fullback; and Robert Williams and Tremaine Turner at tailback.
The quarterback position is another point of interest for Rebel fans as all eyes are on Eli Manning, the son of the legendary Rebel hero Archie Manning.
Ole Miss will also be sporting a new defensive scheme with the arrival of new defensive coordinator Don Lindsey.
Overall, Cutcliffe says the Rebels will be playing a lot of young players who don't have a lot of game-time experience.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.