April 10, 2012

Mackey moves from quarterback to wide receiver

OXFORD, Miss. -- On a day when Donte Moncrief missed practice due to illness and Nick Brassell was absent due to his ongoing academic battles, Ole Miss' need at wide receiver was readily apparent.

Enter Randall Mackey. The apparent odd man out in the Rebels' quarterback race made the move to wide receiver Tuesday and will get a long look there the remainder of the spring.

"It was fun," Mackey said, adding that he "already knew (the move) was going to come soon, sooner or later. It wasn't a big deal."

Mackey played in nine games last season, starting six. He passed for 1,112 yards and seven touchdowns, adding 180 rushing yards from the quarterback position. However, he appeared to have fallen behind Barry Brunetti and Bo Wallace this spring.

"He's athletic," Ole Miss wide receivers coach Grant Heard said. "We're trying to get some of our better athletes on the field, all of them at the same time. He's raw. He's never done it before, but he knows it from the quarterback position. As far as the technique of being a wideout, he has a ways to go, but he's athletic and I think he'll be fine."

Heard said it was obvious Tuesday Mackey knows where to line up, "but knowing exactly how to do it, that's a little bit different."

Mackey said he hasn't played a position other than quarterback since "pee-wee ball," but he said the move Tuesday made him happy.

"I am a little bit, kind of happy," Mackey said. "Mama, she might not like it too much, but she'll get used to it."

Heard said Mackey wants to "help the team. He wants the ball in his hands. That's a way and since he can play quarterback, we can use him 100 different ways. So that just helps our offense out.

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