Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt has three quarterback candidates, all of them transfers, competing to start for the Rebels this season in the place of Jeremiah Masoli, also a transfer.
There is a pattern there, isn’t there? Nutt said he doesn’t have a long record of taking transfers. He took Masoli, kicked off the Oregon team, to fill a hole last season. Masoli, without the benefit of spring practice and with a very young team, led the Rebels to a 4-8 finish.
This season, the candidates are West Virginia transfer Barry Bernetti, Louisville transfer (via Iowa Western CC) Zack Stoudt, and junior college transfer Randall Mackey, who redshirted last season.
Nutt said he would prefer to make a decision early in August instead of late and would prefer to play one quarterback.
It can be awkward for any transfer to knit himself seamlessly into the fabric of a team. When the transfer is a quarterback, who parachutes in to compete for a leadership position, the burden is doubly difficult.
“What I try to tell them,” Nutt said, “is, ‘Hey, be the best teammate you can be. The ball? You’re a good athlete. That’s going to come. If you win your teammates over by being a servant, by being a worker, that’s going to help you slip in. That transition will be so much easier if you do those.’”
Nutt said he has been impressed by how well Brunetti has eased into a leadership role on and off the field. Stoudt, he said, has made great strides. Last week, Nutt went on and on about Mackey’s gifts on the field. Nutt, ever the optimist, sounds confident the Rebels will find a talented quarterback this fall. Coming off a 4-8 season that Nutt said he could see coming when he took the job, the Rebels need to rebound.