Ole Miss signed with EON Sports VR, makers of the SIDEKIQ simulator football software, this May, joining UCLA, Syracuse and Kansas as its only other Division-I users.

« In the old days, you’d give an actual written test, » Ole Miss offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner said. « I hope they know the plays by now. I want to know that they can go through the progressions and make decisions. I think it’ll help us a lot, give us an edge. »

But what has Werner so excited about the new technology is the fact that coaches are allowed to spent a very limited amount of time with players during the summer.

NCAA rules give on-field coaches eight hours per week during the summer to interact with players, with up to two of those hours available for « football-related meetings or film review » — or virtual reality time for Ole Miss.

« Our guys are basically getting practice reps with this, » Werner said. « He knows he has to read a free safety on one play, and if he rolls down, you hope his eyes go over here.

« If we do this 30 times throughout the summer, it’s like our quarterbacks almost get 30 extra practices. The kids can do it on their own, too. »

« If you’re watching film, you can rewind it a few times, think, then say, ‘Yeah, I think I throw it to the X there,' » Werner said. « Now, our quarterbacks have to make that decision like he’s on the field whenever we want. »

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