Redshirt Junior QB Ryan Buchanan turns the page to the next chapter in his life

Sophomore QB Ryan Buchanan thought long and hard about his next move. Stay with Ole Miss football? Transfer and continue football? Hang up his cleats and begin a journey with his life's profession? He recently chose the latter, and shared the news with The Ole Miss Spirit.

To this point in his young life, Rebel sophomore QB Ryan Buchanan, 21, has accomplished everything he has set out to do so far.

Now, he says, it is time to move on to another chapter as he navigates through life.

From the time he was a young teenager, college football was a goal.

"My ninth-grade year, my main focus was getting a college football scholarship. I worked hard and was blessed to have several oppportunities, including Florida, Alabama and Ole Miss," said Buchanan. "My heart was at Ole Miss, so I was blessed to come to Oxford to continue my football career and education."

Buchanan's next goal was to compete for a starting spot at quarterback.

After being an understudy to record-setting three-year starter Bo Wallace for two seasons, including redshirting his first year, Buchanan had an opportunity to compete for the job beginning last spring. 

Even though he did not win the job, he has no regrets.

"Chad Kelly came in and we competed hard. I did everything I could to win the job, but he won it fair and square. There was nothing more I could do. He's an incredible athlete who can do incredible things with the football," Buchanan conceded. "He had a great year and I was behind him 100% the whole way. I believe I could have done some good things too, but the right man was under center."

About midway through the 10-win, Sugar Bowl season, although he was having the ride of his life with the high-flying Rebels, Buchanan began to think of other goals and other conquests.

"I came to the conclusion a few months ago that football would not be my future and it was time to start applying myself 100% to my future," he continued. "It's time for me to find my passion beyond football."

He admits, he considered transferring and giving football a shot somewhere else, but that thought quickly disappeared.

"The reason I got up at 5:30 a.m. four days a week for three years was to play football at Ole Miss. I would not take that kind of dedication with me anywhere else," he explained.

A couple of weeks ago, Buchanan approached Ole Miss QB Coach Dan Werner and head coach Hugh Freeze with a decision - he was hanging up his cleats.

"I had a great talk with them. They were very understanding. Nobody asked me to quit, and they told me I could stay. I appreciated that type of feedback and understanding, but I had made up my mind," Buchanan stated. "We didn't want to announce this right before signing day because we wanted everyone's attention to be on that great class the coaches were putting together, but it's OK now."

Buchanan said it's time to get going in another direction.

"It's time to put my foot in the door in whatever field I choose. I have some internship opportunities this summer, which I haven't been able to pursue due to football," he noted. "Also, my GPA is over 3.0, but I think I can get a 4.0 this semester since I won't be putting in all that time with football and get my overall GPA up."

Buchanan, who is majoring in Managerial Finance, will graduate on time next spring, but before he closed the door on football, he had a message to share.

"I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to play football at this great university that I love and will love forever," he closed. "I got to know many wonderful people and develop lifelong relationships. To my coaches and teammates and fans, thank you.

"Ole Miss will always be a part of my life."

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