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January 9, 2007

What Snead brings to Ole Miss

Editor's note: Look at Ole Miss football, and most Rebel fans point to 2008 as the year Ed Orgeron's squad will make some noise in the Southeastern Conference. It will be Orgeron's fourth season and the Rebels will have a roster stocked with the former Rivals.com recruiter of the year's players. There's no player that will be no more central to success than Jevan Snead, the former Rivals.com four-star prospect who played at Texas last fall. RebelSports.net's James Bryant spent the day recently with Snead and now introduces him to the Rebel Nation. In a three part series, part one looked at Snead, a hometown hero; today's segment looks at what Snead brings to Ole Miss, and part three concludes Wednesday with a look at how Snead ended up at Ole Miss.

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS -- Former Texas quarterback Jevan Snead is the type of quarterback that doesn't just worry about his game he concentrates on how to make his teammates around him better.

"Jevan is the type of leader that he isn't just worried about his game but wants everyone around him to succeed," Stephenville head coach Chad Morris said. "He takes coaching very well, if we didn't have a good workout one day, he wouldn't end his day without checking to make sure that I wasn't upset with his performance."

Snead took over the reigns of his high school team as the starter in game eight of his sophomore season.

The Stephenville offense under Morris was similar to what former Yellow Jacket (now Houston head coach) Art Briles ran as the head coach in the 1990s. Those Briles' teams won four state championships.

Morris' offense that Snead had to learn was a spread attack with a no huddle twist.

"It's a very fast paced offense," Morris said. "We are running a two minute offense the entire game. For a quarterback, it takes a lot of quick decisions and relies mainly on the reads of the quarterbacks."

Morris says it was Snead's God given abilities that make him so special.

"Obviously his arm strength is his biggest asset," Morris said. "The ball jumps out of his hand a lot differently than most quarterbacks I have ever seen. He has a great quick release and his ability to see the field as good or better than any quarterback I have been around."

Snead led Stephenville's offense to a No. 1 ranking in Class 4A his senior season with a 503 yards per game average.

"You know a quarterback has it figured out when everything appears in slow motion to him," Morris said. "Now everything has slowed down to him so much and that also adds to his success out on the field."

Morris also describes Snead as a fierce competitor and a very appreciative young man.

"You aren't going to find a better person," Morris said. "He is such a fierce competitor at everything he does. He is a big time winner at everything he does."

Snead looks at his abilities in a little differently.

"I think I have been blessed with many things," Snead said when asked to describe his strengths as a signal caller. "God has given me a very strong arm. I also have the ability to make good decisions which allows me to make big plays."

Snead said that Stephenville doesn't always have the best athletes, but it's their work ethic that puts them apart from a lot of their competition.

"We always play hard," Snead said. "Coach Morris gets the best out of us and demands us to play at another level."

Morris explains the one word describes Snead the most.

"He's a winner," Morris said. "Ole Miss is getting a young man that will give them his all. He will work hard and do whatever it takes to continue to win."

Ole Miss has had talented quarterbacks in the time since Eli Manning left after the Cotton Bowl but none have worked out.

First there was Micheal Spurlock, who had the abilities but couldn't equate that to production on the field, often a victim of erratic passes and always looking like he was under pressure.

Spurlock's tribulations led to a three quarterback system under David Cutcliffe in 2004 as he experimented with Ethan Flatt and Robert Lane. Ed Orgeron took over in 2005 and vowed to decide on a quarterback and stick with him, but found himself in the same situation as Cutcliffe - trying anything that might work.

The prospect that was to solve those problems was Brent Schaeffer, but he struggled mightily in 2006, completing just 46 percent of his passes. The jury remains out on Schaeffer headed into the 2007 season, where it could be more of the same or he could emerge to live up to his hype.

Waiting in the wings is Snead, who has a year to redshirt, learn the new system, watch a young receiving corps develop, and for Orgeorn to recruit a supporting cast.

He'll not be handed the job as Cliff Davis and Michael Herrick will be there to push him. Both are former three-star prospects and may not be far behind Snead - that remains to be seen - the Orgeron emphasizes that he wants competition at every position and Snead will likely get it.

However, if Snead is able to bring those qualities he demonstrated at Stephenville to Ole Miss, he'll certainly stands a chance of offering Ole Miss the best chance to win from the quarterback position since Manning.




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