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.”
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah