Jevan Snead Aiming for Atlanta

Four years ago, Jevan Snead was the first quarterback to commit to Urban Meyer and the Gators for the 2006 signing class. A month or so later Tim Tebow became the second and less than a month later Snead switched to Texas where a spent a year before transferring to Ole Miss.

The two talented signal callers' paths crossed again in The Swamp last season when Snead led the Rebels to a stunning 31-30 win over Tebow and the Gators. Both quarterbacks were responsible for three touchdowns that day, and while Tebow gained more yards, Snead got the win.

If the two are going to compete head-to-head this season it will have to be at the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. Ole Miss has rotated off the Gators' schedule and heads into 2009 with high expectations. Many are pegging the Rebels as favorites in the SEC West and they are likely to open the season ranked in the top ten. The challenge for Snead and Head Coach Houston Nutt is to deal with those expectations and live up to them.


Jevan Snead on rising expectations:

"I think with that ranking comes a lot higher expectations. As far as the team goes I don't think we're handling it any differently. People said we weren't going to do well last year. We ignored them and kept working hard. I think this year we're doing the same and working hard. We're going to follow that same formula and keep doing everything we can to improve."

On the Ole Miss offense:

"I think we're going to be a lot better this year, especially in the first half of the season. Last year was a new system. Just having experience is going to help us. We'll be able to add a lot to the offense."

On maybe being the first Ole Miss team to make it to Atlanta:

"We really don't talk about being the first team to do it. We're thinking about our team now. We had a great year last year and we having a lot of people returning. I feel like we have a great opportunity this year to do some big things."

On the possibility of winning the Heisman Trophy:

"I try not to put too much into it. When you're a kid you dream of stuff like that. I've had a rocky road getting to where I am. Just to be mentioned with all the great players and for the Heisman is a great honor for me. At the same time, I'm not focused on that. That's not my main goal. My main goal is to do everything I can to improve so I can help my team get some wins."


Houston Nutt on Snead's role:

"I had a good visit with Eli Manning. Jevan went to Eli's camp with Archie and Peyton. They watch pros. They watch professionals work. It's their work ethic and how you study the game. You just don't show up for practice. You just don't go through the motions. You really attack and work at your craft. To me, that's what Jevan has done.

Is there a rivalry with Snead and Tebow?

"As far as a rival, we won't get caught up in all that. We have an awesome respect for Tim. Jevan has done some good things. You have to remember, Jevan laid out the previous year so it took him a while. Those first three or four games, he wanted to be Superman every play. Strong arm quarterbacks think they can throw it anywhere. So it took him about four, five games to really get going. I tell you, he's been very, very good.

On his team handling high expectations:

"I always talk about being very humble. You don't have to worry about reeling off your stats. There's going to be enough attention on you. There's going to be enough attention. That's one of the reasons why we did this TV, what y'all call a reality show. I don't like using that word. But I want the cameras on 'em. I want them to get used to it.


Ole Miss has the advantage of getting to play LSU, Alabama and Arkansas in Oxford this season. It'll be interesting to see if they can take advantage of that schedule and having the top returning quarterback in the division to earn the school's first berth in the SEC Championship Game.

If they do, it'll probably be Snead vs. Tebow II.

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