Blue roundup: Pundit touts strength of Ole Miss O-line

Published: Thursday, Aug. 25 2011 11:48 a.m. MDT

Mississippi's Bobby Massie goes through a pass blocking drill during NCAA college football practice Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011, in Oxford, Miss.

AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman

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As Ole Miss prepares for its season-opener against BYU, the Rebels have some questions to answer.

Namely at quarterback. Barry Brunetti has been named the starter by coach Houston Nutt after Randall Mackey was suspended after a brush with the law. Zack Stoudt reportedly will also play.

But one of the strengths of the Ole Miss team is its offensive line. According to Phil Steele's college football preview magazine, the Rebels have the second-best O-line in the country, just behind Alabama. Just don't tell that to offensive line coach Mike Markuson, who doesn't want his players to listen to the hype.

"Senior Bradley Sowell (6-foot-7, 315 pounds) is an All-SEC left tackle who is on the Lombardi Award watch list, hardware that goes to the best lineman in the country," writes Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion Journal. "Junior center A.J. Hawkins (6-3, 313) is on the Rimington Trophy watch list, given to the nation's best center. Junior right tackle Bobby Massie (6-6, 325) earned preseason All-SEC mention and has been a rock for two seasons. There's strength on both ends and in the middle, with potential at left and right guard in sophomore Patrick Junen (6-6, 311) and Arkansas transfer Matt Hall (6-9, 340), respectively."

Meanwhile, here's a story from Yahoo! Sports on former BYU star Jimmer Fredette, who says he's eager to answer skeptics.

“The biggest thing is that people want to see how I translate to the NBA game,” Fredette told Yahoo! Sports. “There are a lot of question marks out there. There are a lot of guys who don’t think I can play at this level and I won’t be able to dominate as well as the college level. I’m not expecting to do that at the NBA level right away anyway."

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