Ole Miss unsettled at quarterback as game week opens

By BEN GARRETT
OMSpirit.com
August 30, 2010

Ole Miss opens its season Saturday against Jacksonville State, but head coach Houston Nutt has yet to name a starting quarterback.

The primary reason surrounds the status of senior Jeremiah Masolis’ NCAA clearance waiver. Ole Miss is in a holding pattern due to a drawn-out clearance process now entering its third week. It’s widely assumed that Masoli will account for half of the team’s presumed two-quarterback system, the other being sophomore Nathan Stanley.

Nutt has continued to rotate his three quarterbacks, which also consists of junior college transfer Randall Mackey, with the first team. Repetitions were split in the final preseason scrimmage over the weekend, a game-like dress rehearsal consisting of 80 plays.

“(The season’s) getting close and we have to get better as a team,” Nutt said. “We have one more week to do it.”

Barksdale set for collegiate debut, but not in an Ole Miss uniform

Darius Barksdale, a talented running back from nearby Batesville, Miss., was once considered a future star in the Southeastern Conference upon signing with Ole Miss in the recruiting class of 2008.

He starred on both sides of the ball while at South Panola, where he was a Parade All-American and named Mr. Football for the state of Mississippi. He set a Class 5A rushing record as a Tiger, amassing 2,900 yards and 38 touchdowns.

But Barksdale’s Ole Miss career ended as quickly as it began. After multiple off-the-field issues, including two suspensions, he was finally dismissed from the team in early August. He failed to conduct himself accordingly under what Nutt termed a zero tolerance contract.

Ironically, Barksdale could still make his college debut inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, even if it’s not as a Rebel. Barksdale has since enrolled at Jacksonville State, which travels to Ole Miss Saturday at 2:30 p.m. to kickoff the 2010 season.

“I think a lot of him,” Nutt said. “He is a good person and I wish him the best.”