Camp 2006 … Schaeffer and Johnson

One of the more unusual story lines of the Ed Orgeron Era dealt with quarterback Brent Schaeffer.

Ed took the unusual approach of naming Schaeffer — the troubled former Tennessee starter and a newcomer to the Ole Miss program — as the Rebels’ starting quarterback on Signing Day earlier in 2006.

It was unclear then if Schaeffer would make the grades to get in school, and the Schaeffer watch took on a circus-like life of its own.

This from our Aug. 4 account of players’ report day on Thursday, Aug. 3:

“Schaeffer, the one-time Tennessee starting quarter, needed the entire month of July to complete academic requirements at the College of the Sequoias to finally gain entrance to Ole Miss.

“Things didn’t go according to plan, but regardless of what everybody was saying, I knew what had to be done, and I got it done,” Schaeffer said.

Schaeffer’s flight into the Memphis airport landed late Wednesday night, and he was driven immediately to Oxford.

“We felt confident everything was going to work out in a positive way, and it did,” Orgeron said. “Everyone has been anxiously awaiting Brent. It was good to seem him today. He looks good, doesn’t he?”

Remember Rory Johnson?

He was a one-hit wonder for Orgeron in 2006. It took Johnson, a linebacker, a while to get eligible, but he made an impact that season with 94 tackles — second on the team behind Patrick Willis — three pass break-ups, two fumble recoveries and three fumbles forced.

Remember Jerrell Powe? It took him a while longer to get on the field, but he also appears in this camp update.

“OXFORD — Jerrell Powe and Rory Johnson were expected to play significant roles wit the Ole Miss defense this year.

Now it appears one of them is close to becoming eligible.

Rebels coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday that Johnson, a junior college transfer, could join the team soon.

This is still no word on if or when Powe, a highly sought defensive tackle, will be cleared by the NCAA.

“I do believe without saying prematurely that we should hear something on Rory Johnson in the next couple of days, and I do believe it will be very favorable for the Ole Miss football team,” Ogeron said.”

Further on this Aug. 16 upate read …

“Linebackers coach David Saunders said if Johnson does indeed join the team within the next few days a realistic expectation for the Sept. 3 opener against Memphis might be “a contribution on special teams” but that Johnson would eventually compete for a starting spot.

The Rebels return starters at middle linebacker in Patrick Willis and at strong linebacker in Garry Pack.

But weak-side linebacker Quentin Taylor, a sophomore, is new to the lineup, and the backups are inexperienced.

Orgeron said the Rebels focused on special teams in a light morning workout after a high-intensity scrimmage Wednesday afternoon.


Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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