Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze addresses the media Monday at the Manning Center.
OXFORD, Miss. -- Bo Wallace could break several of Eli Manning's goals this season.
Ole Miss' quarterback admitted Monday that personal accomplishments motivate him.
However, that's not what gets Wallace excited about the season, one that starts on Thursday night in Atlanta when No. 18 Ole Miss faces Boise State in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic.
"One thing that no quarterback has ever done here is win an SEC championship," Wallace said. "I want to be the first one to do that. That's the most important thing to me."
Wallace was referring to Ole Miss' failure to appear in _ and win _ the Southeastern Conference Championship Game in Atlanta. The Rebels, under Manning, came up three points short in 2003 and haven't really threatened since.
Wallace, who threw for 3,346 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, said Monday he has matured going into his senior season, a product of time in the program and the knowledge that he's running out of opportunities to achieve his goals.
"For me, it's been reflection and looking back at what I want to accomplish here and what I want to be remembered for," Wallace said. "There were some things I needed to cut out and grow up with and that's what I think I did."
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said Wallace is "pretty self-motivated," adding that he believes the senior quarterback is "just hungry to go out and prove that he can have a better year than he had last year or the one before that. He knows the areas he needs to improve on, and if that's something he can use to motivate himself, I'm all for it."
CORE EARNS SPOT IN ROTATION: Freeze said junior Cody Core will play a significant role in the slot along side Quincy Adeboyejo Thursday. The Rebels are hoping a thin receiver core, one led by sophomore Laquon Treadwell and senior Vince Sanders, will hold up. Senior Collins Moore, who missed camp with a knee injury, should return for the Rebels' Sept. 6 SEC opener at Vanderbilt, Freeze said. With that in mind, Freeze is hoping to save the redshirts for Dayall Harris and Markell Pack, at least for now.
"Cody Core has had a phenomenal camp and deserves to be where he is," Freeze said.
SHEPARD READY FOR REHAB: Cornerback Tee Shepard had foot surgery last week in Charlotte, N.C. Freeze said Shepard is back in class in Oxford Monday and will begin rehabilitation Tuesday.
"He's got a big smile on his face," Freeze said. "He's got one of the best smiles on campus. I'm sure he was going with us to play corner, but he'll get through this and be ready to play next season."
YOUTH IS SERVED: While Freeze is hopeful Pack and Harris can stay off the field Thursday, several freshmen will play against Boise State. Freeze said offensive guard Rod Taylor, defensive end Marquis Haynes, safety C.J. Hampton, special teamers C.J. Moore and (backup husky) A.J. Moore, linebacker Demarquis Gates and cornerback Ken Webster will all see action against the Broncos.
REBEL RUMBLINGS: Defensive tackle Issac Gross (neck) practiced Sunday, Freeze said, adding that he's "confident and hopeful" Gross can play Thursday in Atlanta. …Freeze said Mike Hilton will likely play both husky and cornerback this season, but Hilton will likely play cornerback exclusively on Thursday night. …Freeze said Ole Miss has not heard any final word from the NCAA appeals committee on the waiver requests filed by wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow and offensive lineman Christian Morris. Freeze said it would be difficult at this point to get either player ready to play should they be cleared in time for Thursday's game.