- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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Ole Miss is now down to three quarterbacks this spring.
Wednesday night, junior quarterback Nathan Stanley informed coach Houston Nutt that he is leaving the program.
The Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger first reported Stanley’s decision to leave Ole Miss for unspecified reasons.
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach David Lee confirmed to ESPN.com that Stanley was leaving, but wouldn’t comment further on why the junior decided to part ways with the university.
Nutt addressed Stanley’s situation in a statement from the university.
“After meeting tonight, Nathan has decided to leave the program,” Nutt said. “I wish him the best and I am going to help him find a new school. I appreciate all that he has done for Ole Miss and the type of student-athlete he has been.”
Stanley won the starting job last spring, before Jeremiah Masoli transferred in from Oregon. Stanley started in the season-opening loss to Jacksonville State, passing for 133 yards and three touchdowns on 6-of-10 passing. However, he lost his starting job to Masoli afterward and played in just three more games, finishing the season with 261 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
With Masoli gone, Stanley figured to get the majority of the action at quarterback this spring, but improvements by junior college transfer Randall Mackey, who redshirted last season, junior college transfer Zack Stoudt, and West Virginia transfer Barry Brunetti diminished his reps.
Mackey has recently pushed ahead in the quarterback race, while Stoudt and Brunetti continue to make solid strides behind him.
Brunetti, who transferred to Ole Miss in January, is still waiting to be granted a waiver by the NCAA in order to eligible to play this fall.
Lee said that he doesn’t plan to name a quarterback at the conclusion of spring and probably won’t decide on that until the middle of two-a-days this summer.
For now, Lee is anxious to see what his trio can do during Saturday’s spring game.
“I’ve got three unique guys and I’m excited about all three of them,“ he said.
“I’m really excited to watch Brunetti and Stoudt and Mackey this Saturday, with the crowd and some people there. All three of these guys are in the hunt (for the starting spot).”
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