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January 10, 2007

How Snead got 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; Part II lokked at what Snead brings to Ole Miss, and today's final part looks at how Snead ended up at Ole Miss.

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS --Turn back the clock to 2005 and Jevan Snead had just completed his senior season and was rated by Rivals.com and several other recruiting services as one of the top two quarterbacks in Texas and the No. 3 overall dual-threat quarterback nationally.

Snead was getting more attention than the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders normally do on a weekly basis and more than the humble teenager from Stephenville, Texas was certainly accustomed.

Snead's high school head coach, Chad Morris, sent out tapes on the talented quarterback to a few schools, and one of the first was to Utah where a coach named Urban Myer was running an offense similar to the one the Yellow Jackets ran at his hometown.

"Actually, my coach sent a tape to Utah before we did Florida," Snead said. "I was impressed with their offense and thought that I would fit in well there. Then, Myer got the Florida job, so we turned our sites on Florida."

Myer, head of of the national championship Florida Gators, apparently loved what he saw and began recruiting the Texas gunslinger immediately and had a pledge from the No. 2 quarterback from the Lone Star State by May 5, seven months before signing day in February 2006.

"It just felt right at the time," Snead explained recently. "They told me that they weren't going to recruit any other quarterbacks in my class. Then they continued to recruit Tim Tebow and I started thinking that about it a lot. I didn't want to go to a school so far a way, especially if they were changing their plans on recruiting quarterbacks."

Snead then began looking in-state and before the Thanksgiving holidays he decided he wanted to be a Texas Longhorn.

"To be closer to home and to represent my state was very important to me," Snead said. "Texas really came on strong and I could see myself being a Longhorn."

Snead signed his letter of intent just a couple of weeks after Texas won the national championship over USC.

"He couldn't have been prouder of his choice," Morris said. "He was so fired up and excited about playing at UT. Like I said before, he is a fierce competitor and he was ready for a battle."

Snead first expected to learn the offense from Vince Young but realized that Young was going to leave early and enter the NFL draft. That left redshirt freshman Colt McCoy and himself to battle for the starting job for the Longhorn.

"I have never worked so hard in my life preparing for fall camp," Snead said. "I was really excited about the opportunity that was before me and planned on making the best of it."

Shortly after fall camp began, McCoy began getting more and more of the snaps with the first team unit and it was apparent to Snead that McCoy was going to be the future for the Longhorns.

"Most of the media made it sound like we shared first team's reps," Snead said. "That wasn't really the case. I have no hard feelings towards any of the coaches or any of the players at UT. I just wanted what was best for me, and felt that I would be better offer finding a better situation. I'm still very close friends with a lot of the players there and only wish them the very best in the future."

Snead went to Texas head coach Mack Brown and let him know that he wanted to transfer. The veteran coach didn't want to see him go, but went ahead and released him at his request.

"(Snead) had a great experience, but felt the best opportunity for more playing time was to transfer," Brown said when he granted Snead's release. "That's totally understandable, and we appreciate everything he did for our program during his time here. We wish him the best of luck in the future."

Snead turned to his friend and mentor, Morris, for guidance and assistance and they began looking for schools that were in need of a quarterback and wanted a perfect fit.

Snead first narrowed his choices down to TCU, Houston, Ole Miss and Louisville. Most people following the transfer felt that Snead would remain in-state and close to his friends and family in Stephenville.

However, during the process, Morris he made it quite clear that Ole Miss was a situation that had peaked their interest.

"Ole Miss is the perfect situation for him with their starter being a senior," Morris said while Snead was contemplating his decision. "He wants to find the right situation and go compete for a starting job."

Ole Miss offensive coordinator Dan Werner made the first trip to Texas and visited the Snead family and the talented quarterback.

Werner and Rebel head coach Orgeron followed up that visit the next week with a whirl wind trip to Texas that saw the coaches making stops in Stephenville and Austin.

"I really like Coach (Ed) Orgeron a lot," Snead's father, Jaylon, said. "I love his energy and how he can really get fired up."

While things were going well with the recruitment, it was the official visit that sealed the deal.

"I knew when I first got there it was the place for me," Snead said. "I fell in love with the town, the atmosphere and everything about Ole Miss. I called coach Morris Friday night and told him that this was the place for me, but I wanted him to come up and make sure he was seeing what I was and that he felt the same way."

Morris booked a flight the next day and arrived in Oxford and could see what his former quarterback was enjoying.

"It's such a great place," Morris said. "The facilities are some of the best in the country. The chemistry of the coaching staff is great and it was the perfect fit for him."

Snead made all three official visits, which included TCU and Houston in addition to Ole Miss before making a decision, but he knew when he left Oxford where he was going.

"Everything has happened so fast," Snead said. "I can't wait to arrive in Oxford on Thursday of next week. We will pack all my stuff up and head that way. I can't wait to get this chapter of my life started."

All Ole Miss fans are hoping that his first chapter will be just one of many in a successful career in Oxford.


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