CATEGORY: FOC College Football

AUTHOR: TODD

There is no time like the present as far as Armegis Spearman is concerned.

Playing 30 to 35 snaps a game in the SEC would probably be beyond any sophomore's dreams. Spearman, a former three-sport star at Bruce High School, wants more.

Sure, he understands senior linebackers Broc Kreitz, Walker Jones, and Nate Wayne have earned their playing time. But he wants to contribute.

He was able to rank sixth in tackles as a true freshman last season in limited playing time. This season his goal of an interception became a reality in the Rebels' 23-15 win over Southern Methodist.

"That week I told my Dad I hadn't gotten an interception my whole college career, and I was hoping I would get one that game and I got it," Spearman said. He added with a smile, "It wasn't pretty, but I got it."

More interceptions could be on the way. Ole Miss coach Tommy Tuberville said Spearman will be getting more playing time this week.

"Armegis is so active on the practice field," Tuberville said. "It is hard to get him in front of Nate, and it is hard to get him in front of Walker. And Broc Krietz has been playing great. He is in a unique situation. We are just forcing ourselves to get him in the game."

Spearman is a better blitzer than the other guys, but he needs to improve on defending the pass, Tuberville said.

"I think this is a good week to get him in with Vanderbilt running the ball and trying to control the ball," Tuberville said.

That is fine with Spearman, who is fifth with nine tackles and has six assists.

"A lot of times I find myself sitting on the sidelines anxious to get in," Spearman said. "It helps to know that everytime I get in I do my job. Whenever my chance comes I try to take advantage."

Southern Boy now

Catfish.

Of all the adjustments Ole Miss defensive end Derrick Burgess has had to make since coming to Oxford from Maryland, getting used to Southern food has been the biggest. It certainly hasn't been playing as a freshman.

Burgess had a game-saving tackle on the last play in the Rebels' season-opening win over Central Florida.

Football is the same. Food, especially catfish, is different.

"I am not used to eating fish that much, and every Friday it is catfish," Burgess said.

Catfish and tartar sauce evidently, since the 6-foot-3, 252 pounder has put on 35 pounds since his arrival at Ole Miss. The extra weight has come without any loss in speed, which Tuberville says makes Burgess a great player.

"He has got so much quickness and athletic ability," Tuberville said. "He is never on the ground and makes plays on both sides of the ball."

Burgess' family is making the trip south for the first time to see him play Saturday. After just three games he can tell them all about football, and catfish, too.

Todd Vinyard covers Ole Miss football for the Daily Journal.

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