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Ole Miss defense adds JUCO linebacker

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Ole Miss defense adds JUCO linebacker

By Marlon W. Morgan

August 22, 2006

Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron will feel a little bit better about his defense when he shows up for practice today.

That's because junior college transfer linebacker Rory Johnson was admitted into Ole Miss on Monday and will show up for his first practice today. Johnson's arrival had been anxiously awaited by Orgeron. The 6-1, 235-pound native of Vicksburg, Miss. will immediately challenge sophomore Quentin Taylor for the starting weakside linebacker position.

''We're happy about that,'' Orgeron said after learning of Johnson's acceptance into Ole Miss. ''He brings a lot of speed to the linebacker position. He's going to help us right away. He'll start at the WILL (weakside) linebacker position and we'll see what he can do there. I'm anxious to see him get going.''

Johnson's arrival at Oxford was delayed after he had to complete summer courses at Hinds (Miss.) Community College, then have his grades reviewed by Ole Miss.

During his sophomore year at Hinds, Johnson was rated the No. 47 juco player in the country by Rivals.com. He originally signed with Mississippi State in 2004 after being named a second team All-American by USA Today. He was rated the No. 10 linebacker in the country that year after picking up 80 tackles, eight sacks and eight fumble recoveries as a senior.

With Johnson in a Rebels uniform, Ole Miss now awaits the clearance of defensive tackle Jerrell Powe, offensive guard John Jerry, and receiver Terry Levy by the NCAA Clearinghouse. They have also filed for a waiver for former Manassas defensive back LaDerrick Vaughn, who was denied clearance by the Clearinghouse.

Orgeron said he expects to hear word on Powe either Friday or Monday. The last day students can register or add classes is Sept. 1. The Rebels open the season Sept. 3 at home against Memphis.

In other news, Orgeron said freshman walk-on quarterback Cliff Davis will return to practice today. Davis did not show up for Saturday's scrimmage.

''He had a little thinking to do,'' Orgeron said. ''I talked to him (Monday) and he's going to be fine.''

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shrek is going to get into some serious trouble down there. there are already some pretty big rumblings in memphis about some negative attention (with the ncaa) that he's bringing to oxford.

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