Faniel, rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com, has maintained interest in the Rebels since his freshman year. But until this week, he was without an offer. Faniel secured one while on a camp-circuit trip to Oxford.
“I just got out of a meeting with (Ole Miss head) coach (Hugh) Freeze,” he said. “I’m here at the Ole Miss football camp, and coach Freeze and (co-offensive coordinator and QBs) coach (Dan) Werner took me and my mom and my dad to his office and they asked me about what kind of person I am. At the end of the conversation, they told me I had a scholarship offer if I wanted to come to Ole Miss. I didn’t have to think about what I was going to do at all. I committed on the spot. Ole Miss is such a great school, and coach Freeze and his staff is one of the best coaching staffs in the country. It feels like home here. It has since I came here the first time my 9th grade year. I said back then if I ever got the opportunity to play for Ole Miss, that’s where I wanted to go.”
The 6-foot-5 1/2, 221-pound Faniel chose the Rebels over Virginia Tech, N.C. State, Virginia, Temple and East Carolina.
“Being from Virginia, that’s who I was really looking at hard,” he said. “But like I said, I’ve been saying since 9th grade that I was going to wait things out to see what Ole Miss had to say first before I made a commitment. I couldn’t come there going into my junior year because of an injury, so I knew it’d be this summer before I got a chance to throw in front of them again.”
Faniel is rated the No. 67 quarterback in the country.
“My freshman year on spring break, me and two of my best friends and teammates came over to campus to visit some friends,” he said. “That’s when I fell in love with Ole Miss. I came back my freshman summer and went to their camp and I absolutely loved working out with coach Freeze and coach Werner. They love to throw the ball around. They led the conference in pretty much every passing category in the SEC the last couple of years. Ole Miss is becoming the ‘new normal,’ as coach Freeze likes to say. They’re definitely on their way up.”
Ole Miss was 10-3 a season ago, including a Sugar Bowl win. The Rebels boast one of the most-prolific offenses in country, led by quarterback Chad Kelly. Kelly topped the SEC in passing, total offense, passing touchdowns and more last season.
Ole Miss signed the No. 1 quarterback in the country, Shea Patterson, in February. He’s already on campus, as is redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin, a former three-star prospect.
“Ole Miss’ offense was a huge sell,” Faniel said. “I’m 6-6, 230 and like to sit in the pocket and throw the ball around. But if the play breaks down, I have the ability to make a play with my feet. Coach Werner likes my arm and my footwork. He thinks I have the intangibles to play in his offense. I think it’s the perfect offense for me because they like to run some read-option stuff and drop back and sling the ball around.”
Ole Miss’ NCAA issues are well-documented. Faniel believes in the Rebel coaching staff.
“Everybody knows about what’s going on with the NCAA,” he said. “That doesn’t change what kind of coaches they are. They’re coaches with integrity, they’re honest and we hold similar core values. They’re the type of coaches I want to play for.”