Looking ahead to bowl practice and the spring.
First in a series …
Hugh Freeze said he would not judge his redshirt freshmen quarterbacks by their performance at Arkansas.
Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade were thrust into action when Bo Wallace got a hurt. The Rebels were already behind, there was spotty offensive line play, poor field position and playing conditions.
It’s understandable how all those things could add up to less than impressive results from young quarterbacks.
While Buchanan and Kincade get a pass, they also missed an opportunity to rise above the challenges and do something unexpected.
Maybe their coach won’t completely judge them for what they didn’t accomplish, but they both missed chances to announce their presence by doing something special.
Freeze will go into spring ball with an open mind regarding his young players.
He may also go into spring ball with another quarterback in the mix, a junior college signee.
The fact that Ole Miss is showing such interest in East Mississippi Community College quarterback Chad Kelly may be the most definitive statement Freeze has made on Buchanan and Kincade and his quarterback picture after Bo Wallace.
If Kelly signs he beings yet another “style” to the picture.
Buchanan is the pocket passer, Kincade the mobile quarterback. Kelly is similar to Bo Wallace, a guy who can stand in the pocket and make reads but can give you some level of running.
The Rebels have a commitment from New Iberia, La., dual threat quarterback Jason Pellerin, rated the No. 22 player at his position by Rivals.com and have a dual threat guy redshirting this year in Kendrick Doss.
With so much focus on Buchanan and Kincade as the future, the possible addition of Kelly could cause one or both of them to consider other options.
Freeze has said that Buchanan has been a little ahead of Kincade in terms of reading his progressions from the pocket.
There’s a lot of time for them to get better and to catch their coach’s eye. Bowl practice will be important for both. Because their skill sets are different it’s not a stretch to see both of them playing next year.
It’s also not a stretch to see a former four-star Clemson signee winning the job. Freeze apparently believes Kelly would be a nice addition.
There is a lot of talent coming back and more coming in for this offense. It’s important for Freeze to get the quarterback position right.