OXFORD -- Boring can at times be underrated.
There are no overly compelling position battles as spring football practice begins for Ole Miss.
The Rebels went through their second workout Thursday, led by a quarterback in Chad Kelly who will likely be the preseason All-SEC choice this summer.
There are spots to fill as Ole Miss, 19-7 and 11-5 in SEC play over the last two years, seeks to remain relevant in the conference race and national conversation.
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There are many candidates to fill vacancies at both safety positions.
There are offensive linemen who will likely be starters who either are not here yet -- as in five-star freshman tackle Greg Little -- or are recovering from injury, like senior tackle Robert Conyers.
Others are working back from injuries. Nickel back Tony Conner and defensive end Fadol Brown will miss the spring. Wide receiver Damor'ea Stringfellow is expected to be available after spring break.
There may be more drama in August when health is better and the rubber meets the road in position battles.
For now, there is an unquestioned leader at quarterback, and boring is good.
Kelly could have joined three of his teammates from last year's 10-3 Sugar Bowl champion team and declared early for the NFL draft. He had his reasons for coming back.
"I want to win an SEC championship and a national championship," he said. "We really feel like we can do that."
Too early to tell on Patterson
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze gets to take a long hard look this spring at early enrollee Shea Patterson, who was rated the No. 4 overall recruit and the No. 1 quarterback in the 2016 class by 247Sports.
It's too early to tell whether Patterson will play or redshirt this fall, Freeze said.
"I know that he is really, really good. I love his demeanor," Freeze said. "I love his leadership qualities. He gets the game. It's not too fast for him."
There's also redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin, 6-foot-4, 229 pounds.
"He's got to continue to work on his foot work. He's got a tremendously strong arm," Freeze said. "I love him as a runner."
Kelly passed 4,042 yards with 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last year. That's a lot of experience to bring back at the game's most critical position. While Patterson and Pellerin offer excited potential they offer no game experience at all.
So part of spring for Freeze will include getting work for the young guys while trying to hold off his eager senior starter.
"He's a baller. He's an effort guy, a rah rah guy," Freeze said. "One thing you won't have to worry about with him is him feeling like he can coast. That's not his make-up."
The three will be the main signal callers for the Rebels, who lost backups DeVante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan. Kincade decided to transfer to Grambling State while Buchanan opted to focus on his academics.
For the second time in as many days Ole Miss announced Thursday it has added transfer at linebacker.
Wednesday, the Rebels announced the addition of 6-foot-3, 233-pound Rommel Mageo from Oregon State. Thursday, the Rebels announced the addition of Detric Bing-Dukes, a former Georgia linebacker who played at Iowa Western Community College in 2015. Mageo is a graduate transfer who led the Beavers in tackles last season with 87. Bing-Dukes recorded 76 tackles with the Reivers last year. Both players are eligible immediately.