September 27, 2010

Interest increasing for 2012 Callaway lineman

Most Ole Miss fans know Callaway as the Jackson, Miss., high school that produced the pair of 2011 offensive linemen commits in tackle Aaron Morris and guard Justin Bell.

Callaway's strength on the offensive line has catapulted Callaway to a 5-0 start by averaging 220 yards on the ground per game, and another reason for the strong running game is 2012 graduate Jocquell Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound right tackle.

"Actually," said Callaway offensive line coach Otis Riddley, "He probably has more upside than Aaron and Justin, in my opinion. He's young and he's got all the tools. He just has to become a little more physical, but he's getting that with every game. He's second on the team in pancakes, so I think he's understanding the physical mentality of an offensive lineman. That makes him very special."

Johnson has yet to receive his first offer, but he's already heard from Nebraska and Mississippi State and has camped at Alabama.

"It hasn't picked up just yet," Riddley said of his lineman's recruitment. "Schools are just starting to get good film on him, and I think when his film gets evaluated, he'll definitely be getting offers."

Johnson is just behind Morris in pancake blocks - Morris leads the trio with 33, Johnson has 27, and Bell has 23 pancakes in four of five games played.

The junior tackle says the Callaway offensive line competes within itself "in a fun, competitive way to see who can get the most pancakes and whatnot."

"It helps me with maturity and preparing myself for next year," Johnson said of Bell and Morris' guidance on the line. "I'm knowing that I'm going to have to step up, be a leader and lead the offensive line next year.

"They liked the attention they get for doing their job, but they're telling me they can't get unfocused."

Johnson played left guard as a sophomore, but prefers his current location, tackle - a position where he racked up 14 pancake blocks in Callaway's most recent win, a 20-0 shutout of Provine.

MORRIS, BELL PUSH CALLAWAY TO 5-0 START: Riddley, in his second year at Callaway, believes Morris and Bell are some of the best offensive linemen he's seen.

The pair is physical, and Riddley also believes Bell and Morris help the rest of the line, offense and team with their presence and confidence with he called "great influence"

"When you talk about size - and ability to run and bend - I don't think it gets much better," Riddley said of his senior linemen. "They both bring a tremendous work ethic to the table, on top of that, those other three guys feed off of them, and they usually bring their level of play up to Justin and Aaron's (level of play)."

The Callaway staff utilizes their anchors on the line and often call on Morris and Bell for complex, downfield blocking assignments.

"We pull them a lot, we ask them to do some different things within our offense," Riddley noted. "They both excel because of good footwork, amongst other things."

Bell was held from competition last week due to a sprained ankle - more of a precautionary measure than something serious.

"It was just something minor. (Bell) will play this week and he could have played, but we wanted to sit him out, just to protect him," Riddley added. "Of course, he definitely wanted to play."

Callway's next game is against Neshoba Central on October 1, and contests against Ridgeland and Pearl are looming.

"We're moving pretty fast on the ground. That's where a chunk of our yardage comes in. When you have two guys on the line the caliber of Aaron and Justin and three other guys that are pretty fast, we're able to run the ball and that's what they like doing. so that's good to have five lineman that like running the football.

"We're about to get into the meat of our schedule," Riddley said. "We've still got some tests ahead."

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