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Rebel Life: Life in Oxford

The newest installment of the Rebel Life series may be the one of the top sales tool in Hugh Freeze's recruiting toolbox when he and his staff are on the road.

Freeze opens up the video with "The one thing I'll say about the city of Oxford and the University of Mississippi is I've never met a single person that spent any time that did not want to return and stay. I think it's the feeling that it's a college town, a true college town where people are passionate and love their University beyond any other I've seen anywhere I've been."

Add that with atmosphere you get on the Square and in the Grove on game day and you've got yourself a one of a kind atmosphere.

Coaches and players explain what it's like to live in Oxford and what makes it so unique in the clip below.

NFL preparing to use replacement officials

FoxSports,com is reporting that the NFL has asked its officiating scouting department to start identifying replacement officials to be used this upcoming season. The previous agreement expired at the end of the 2011 season and apparently the NFL and the NFL Referees Association have not been able to come to terms on a new agreement.

“Negotiations are ongoing, and should the two sides reach an agreement in the near future, there will be no need to hire additional officials. This is a contingency plan to make sure the NFL season will continue on schedule as planned.” NFL director of recruiting officials Ron Baynes explained.

Baynes goes on to say that they will target officials who have recently retired from college officiating, as well take a look at semi-professional leagues and lower division college officials who have the still have the ability to work at a high level, but are often overlooked.

Under the expiring deal, it is believed NFL officials made between $70,000 and $140,000 working about 20 games and most referees also hold full time jobs as well.

With the recent focus on player safety and concussions, the job of a referee has become as important as ever. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told FoxSports that the negotiations are ongoing and that they are "optimistic that there will be a successful resolution”.

Mic'd up on the O-Line

Illinois released a mic'd up video this morning of offensive line coach Luke Butkus coaching up his guys up.

Coach Butkus walks around during stretches and gives each player one thing to focus on improving during that practice, and also coaches them up on their footwork during the PAT / field goal units and pull techniques during an individual period.

At about the 2:18 mark, Coach Beckman puts together an all coaches unit to run the screen drill...and the only thing that goes right is Butkus' pancake block on the coach lined up at corner. That alone is worth watching a few times.

Transition from NAIA to D-II: 7-4 in year one

Head coach Bill Conley led Ohio Dominican through their first season as a D-II member this past year, and was able to put together an impressive 7-4 season in the GLIAC, which is one of the premier D-II conferences in the country. Since 2000, a team in the GLIAC has either played in the National Championship game, or won the National Title a total of seven times.

Dominican started football back in 2004, and Conley is only the second football coach in University history. This season will mark his third season at the helm of the Panther program. Previously, Conley spent 17 seasons as an assistant at Ohio State where he built a name as a nationally recognized recruiter

One thing is for sure, Dominican is a program is on the rise. Six seasons spent as an NAIA program (including one conference title and a NAIA National quarterfinal appearance in 2007), then they make the jump to Division II and go 7-4, to top it off they had 16 All Conference selections and 39 players that were named Academic All-GLIAC last season...that's impressive.

The clip below is from their Black vs. Gold spring game.

Inside Scoop: When Leach calls at 4AM, you answer

Paul Volero is the new outside linebackers coach at Washington State with Mike Leach. Watch the video above and hear Volero tell you about the call he got from Coach Leach offering him the job (and his wife's reaction). 

Volero's got a great story and seems to be having the time of his life up in Washington. Says practice and recruiting are going great; but the traffic on the 405 and the 101...not for him.

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