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Monday, April 25, 2011
Rebels' Barry Brunetti granted eligibility

By Edward Aschoff
ESPN.com

Mississippi quarterback Barry Brunetti, who transferred from West Virginia, has been cleared by the NCAA to play immediately this fall for Ole Miss, the school confirmed Monday.

Brunetti, a sophomore, first made the NCAA's decision public via Twitter Monday morning. Brunetti tweeted: "I am #blessed to say that the NCAA has cleared me to play this year&God is Good..thankyul."

A team spokesman later confirmed the NCAA's ruling to ESPN.com.

Brunetti's clearance adds much-needed depth to the Rebels' quarterback position. Senior Nathan Stanley's departure during the last week of spring practice left Ole Miss with just three scholarship quarterbacks -- Brunetti, junior Randall Mackey and junior college transfer Zack Stoudt.

Coach Houston Nutt said Mackey left spring with a slight lead in the quarterback race, but was impressed with how the other two made significant strides this summer and doesn't expect to name a true starter until preseason camp.

Brunetti, who transferred from West Virginia in January, asked the NCAA to waive the routine year-in-residence requirement and allow him to play this fall due to a family situation. Because of complications from a car accident, Brunetti's mother found it increasingly difficult to travel to Morgantown, W.Va. Brunetti, a Memphis, Tenn., native, then decided to transfer from West Virginia to a school closer to home.

Brunetti played in four games for the Mountaineers in 2010 and completed 4-of-9 passes for 6 yards. He also rushed once for 4 yards.

Edward Aschoff covers the SEC for ESPN.com.