Progress Report

Ole Miss redshirt freshman Quarterbck DeVante Kincade only knows one way to attack things - head down and plowing ahead to reach his goals. This spring, he's battling to win the backup role to Bo Wallace. How's he doing? He responds.

Besides the strong arm and quick release, the first thing the casual observer notices about redshirt freshman QB Devante Kincade is his approach to the task at hand.

The Dallas, Texas, native, has a dream - to be the starting quarterback for the Ole Miss Rebels one day - and with razor sharp focus and attention to every detail of getting there, one has to believe he will accomplish his goal sometime in the near future.

As he is taking baby steps forward in his quest, Kincade is doing so humbly and with nothing but "team" in mind.

"It's (his development) been difficult at times, but I'm coming along OK," said Kincade. "There's a lot to learn to be able to run this offense effectively, but you just have to stay patient, learn and not waste your days.

"As my coaches always say, it's a process. I know a lot more plays than I did in the fall and I will continue to build on that. So far, I think I'm doing fine."

DeVante Kincade
Thomas Graning

Kincade knew coming in last summer that Bo Wallace - most likely - was going to be the starting quarterback for the Rebels his first two years. He also knew a redshirt year was imminent, but unlike a lot of highly-recruited players who want instant glory, he embraced his plight.

"I gained a lot of knowledge last season," he explained. "Bo and Barry (Brunetti) took me under their wing and taught me a lot.

"You see more defensive sets and coverages on this level and they helped me in the film room to get a grasp of all of it, little by little. I had never sat on the bench before, but I knew it was best for me."

And while he was trying to soak up as much knowledge and information as he could absorb, he also went to work physically.

"I wanted to get stronger. I did a lot of squats and worked on my mobility," Kincade continued. "I have improved in that area. The ball comes out faster than it used to and I feel I can throw it deep and more accurately now. I feel more consistent."

One thing that gave him a jump start to his collegiate career was his familiarity with the Rebel offense, which is very similar to what he ran in high school.

"I'm very comfortable with the read option, the tempo and the spread. I think it fits my skill set to a tee because these are things I did in high school," he noted. "It's basically the same offense I ran in high school. The offense is not the issue with a young quarterback. It's learning more about what college defenses do.

Kincade is in a battle for the backup role behind Wallace with fellow redshirt freshman Ryan Buchanan and JUCO transfer Jeremy Liggins.

It is certainly a "friendly" competition.

"Ever since we took our official visit together, Ryan and I have had a great relationship," he commented. "We go back and forth competing, but we also help each other out.

"We both want to win the backup job, but we also both want what is best for the team."

To win the backup job, Kincade says he has to stick with his original plan.

"Keep working. Do everything I can, do the little things right and listen to my coaches," he said. "Hopefully, that will take me where I want to go."

Until then, Kincade will keep grinding with one eye on the prize and one on how some of his "idols" do things.

"I'm not a tall quarterback. Bo has helped me learn how to find holes to throw through, something a taller quarterback doesn't have to worry about," he closed. "I have to throw between linemen and not over them.

"I watch guys like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson mostly. They are shorter QBs, but they make it happen. I feel I can learn from watching them."

Kincade even selects his role models with a purpose in mind. . .

. . . not surprising when you pay attention to DeVante Kincade's approach.

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