Ole Miss will officially embark on their 2010 season beginning four days from Tuesday. Whether or not Jeremiah Masoli is there for the start of the ride remains to be seen.
Over four weeks after consummating his flirtation with the Rebels and practicing with the team for the whole of summer camp, Masoli still has not received word from the NCAA that he’s been cleared to play. Masoli is seeking a waiver from the NCAA to set aside their one-year residency requirement and be eligible to play immediately as a walk-on.
It’s normally a given that players who transfer from one to school to another and enroll in a graduate program not offered at their previous school are granted the waiver. Head coach Houston Nutt said he’s hoping for a decision by Wednesday at the latest but, until then, he’s forced to prepare three quarterbacks for the opener.
“I just know the clock is ticking and it’s game week,” said Nutt. “I have a guy who has played (Masoli) and two guys that haven’t, so I have to get them read.”
Masoli is expected to either start or play a major role in the offense, at least early in the offseason and based on his experience at the Div. 1-A level. Nathan Stanley would be the clear-cut starter if Masoli is not cleared in time, but he’s been forced to share snaps with the former Oregon QB and JUCO transfer Randall Mackey.
“I’m expecting a decision (by today or Wednesday) at the latest,” Nutt said. “It has been difficult, using all of them. Right now, we are going into the game thinking Nathan Stanley and Randall Mackey. I am not afraid to put either of them into the game.
Nathan has gotten better. Jeremiah has raised everybody’s competition level. Randall Mackey has thrown the ball very well … I hope Masoli’s deal works out. Right now, you have to prepare for Nathan and Randall.”