Ole Miss has a deep QB room, but Jaxson Dart still sees himself as starter
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin went out this offseason and made sure to fully stock the quarterback room.
Adding former top-50 recruit Walker Howard would have been a win for any program. Adding Howard and Spencer Sanders, the former Oklahoma State Cowboy quarterback with 43 career appearances, gives the Rebels a pair of starting-caliber additions.
Ole Miss has 3 quarterbacks in a very real battle for the job this offseason.
And Jaxson Dart, the incumbent in the room, still very much views himself as the leader in the clubhouse.
“To be honest, I just see myself as the starter,” Dart said Tuesday when he met with reporters. “I had Year 1 and I kind of established myself. I have Year 2 and I’m getting more bonds with guys on the team, being a leader. I feel like I’ve taken ownership of that. I’m just ready to do my job and I love where I’m at right now. I expect myself to have a great spring and keep performing the way I’m performing. Yeah, excited to help this team win.”
Dart says his biggest area of growth this spring is in his confidence. That certainly shines through.
The former USC quarterback won the job last year after transferring in.
He completed 62% of his passes for 2,974 yards, adding another 614 on the ground. He threw for 20 touchdowns (and ran for another) while being intercepted 11 times. He also engineered a 7-0 start to the season.
Dart told reporters he feels like he’s been in a competition every offseason of his college career. That experience could certainly help, but Howard and Sanders will provide a significant push for the job.
Sanders left Oklahoma State with nearly 10,000 passing yards and 85 total touchdowns over his 4 years. Howard left LSU presumably because he wants to play. Dart was asked if he was surprised by Kiffin’s aggressiveness in the portal, and he said they’ve been in lockstep throughout.
“Obviously, I knew we needed quarterbacks,” Dart said. “Usually you like to have 3 or 4. … I was fully aware that we had to have some depth, so I was aware we were going to take 2.”
Kiffin will let the competition play out. May the best man win. And Dart has confidence that’ll once again be him.