The attention true freshman Quarterback Shea Patterson has gotten since the day he committed to Ole Miss about a year ago would affect some would-be competitors vying for the same job, but it doesn't seem to cause redshirt freshman QB Jason Pellerin any angst.
"It doesn’t really affect me. Shea, he deserves what he gets, he’s a great guy and a great player. What he gets he gets. For me, I don’t blame the media for not really knowing who I am, the fans or anything. I came from a Wing T offense. It really doesn’t affect me. I’m glad to have him here," stated Pellerin. "I think it will be great for the team honestly, two great quarterbacks battling for the position. It’s not like a hate thing. We played each other in high school. A lot of people thought we’d get here and have bad blood. We’ve been great friends. We play ping pong together. When we get on the field though it’s competition. Outside of that we’re great."
A healthy respect for Patterson has done nothing but push Pellerin to get better and better himself.
"The redshirt year for me was good. I’m grateful for it. I know a lot of freshmen when they come in they’re looking to play right away. Coming from the offense I came in, switching back to the spread, I felt it was a great opportunity for me just to learn this year. Get better, learn the offense, so spring came around, and I know the plays a lot better than when I first got here. I’m grateful for it," he explained. "The departure of Ryan (Buchanan) and DeVante (Kincade) really doesn’t change things, at least not my mindset. With them here, they really helped me a lot. They took me as their little brother, taught me the offense, and both wished the best of luck for me. As any quarterback would when they get here they just want to get better, do what they can to help this team. I'm the same way. I want to get better and help my team any way I can. If he needs it, I will help Shea just like they helped me when I first came in."
For Jason, the big push since he has been here has been to improve his passing accuracy. At 6-4, 230, he's what colleges are looking for physically. His arm strength is as good, or better, than starter Chad Kelly and Patterson's, but hitting his target as consistently has been his issue.
"For me, accuracy is about better footwork," he continued. "I have to be balanced in the pocket when I throw the ball. That's what I am focusing on right now and will continue to in the summer. It's just a matter of doing what my coaches tell me to. When I stride, my back foot comes up to far and I lose balance after I throw which pulls the pass off a bit. I'm learning to have my back foot where my front foot is when I complete the throw and keep my balance.
"I've been doing that the past few days in spring ball and it has helped me with my accuracy a lot."
Jason doesn't like the tag "running quarterback." He believes he is more than that.
"All dual-threat QBs are going to be labeled a running quarterback," he smiled, "but deep down, I know I can do more than run, but I will do whatever the coaches want me to do."
Having been in the system last summer and fall, he feels like the game is slowing down for him this spring.
"It’s slowed down an extreme amount. From fall camp, my head was just spinning learning the plays, terminology and everything. Now spring came along and we’re putting in plays we ran during the whole season. We just changed terminology a little bit. It’s gotten a lot slower, and I expect it to keep getting slower as the year goes on," he closed.
Shea Patterson has gotten a lot of attention for a long time, but it would be prudent for Rebel fans to keep their eyes on Jason Pellerin as well.
The future at QB is encouraging, to say the least.