Brent Schaeffer

The Ole Miss Rebel football team reported this morning and the press was invited to be at Deaton Hall on campus to talk to some of the players. Obviously, the one every member of the press was most eager to talk to was Quarterback Brent Schaeffer. He handled the throng of media like a pro. Read about it inside.

Members of the media anxiously awaited Ole Miss QB Brent Schaeffer to emerge from the front door of Deaton Hall.

The reason? For six months, Schaeffer has been as elusive for the media as the talented signal-caller is on the football field dodging defensive players. And his arrival has been one of the most anticipated, and prayed about, at Ole Miss in a long, long time - maybe ever.

Brent did not seem aware of all the hoopla, but he handled the media well.

"It feels good to be here, a relief. I'm very anxious to meet all my teammates and get going," Schaeffer noted. "I got here late last night and I got to meet some coaches and trainers and support people this morning, but I won't meet my teammates until today after check-in."

Schaeffer said the last six months of trying to get his academics in order have been hectic and an anxious time.

"Things didn't go according to plan earlier this summer, but I finally got everything done," he noted. "I've been anxious to get here and get going. I finally got finished with what I had to do and I thank God for that.

"I will work hard and do my best for the team."

Brent said he was aware of the anxiety his delayed arrival has caused the Rebel nation, to a certain extent.

"I've gotten a lot of calls from my family telling me how everyone at Ole Miss has been waiting on me, but I didn't have time to look into it too much," he smiled. "I've been too busy to read articles. I had to get what I had to do done."

It's now time for Brent to dig in to Coach Dan Werner's offense and get acclimated on the field. He's going from the academic frying pan to the white hot football skillet in less than 72 hours.

"Coach Werner and I have been talking on the phone for a long time now, so I should be able to get acclimated pretty quickly to the offense. I'm going to put a lot of time into my preparation," he explained. "I've had the playbook a long time. I've also been watching some DVDs of spring training and of Miami's offense. Coach Werner and I have talked several times a week and I've been working out with my ex teammates (College of Sequoias) who are going to different colleges."

Schaeffer said it wasn't a major factor in his decision that he was named by Coach Ed Orgeron as the Rebel starter on signing day.

"That wasn't a major reason for me coming here. No matter where I went, I was going to compete for the job. I have never approached competition as me ending up number two," he continued. "I just think of the best case of a situation with me being number one. I am grateful to Coach O for doing that, but I still know I have to prove to my teammates and coaches that I am qualified for that job. I also know I have to prove I can get the job done to keep the job.

"I picked Ole Miss for a lot of different reasons. I feel I made the right choice, 100%."

On getting eligible, Brent said he never got discouraged, even when the initial plan of getting here early in the summer fell through.

"I thought one thing and it didn't happen, but I didn't let myself get down. I just buckled up and got what I had to do done," he added. "The last three months or so I have been buried in the books, buried in the playbook, working out, throwing and starting all over again the next day."

Brent said he is excited about being back in the South and back in Division I football.

"It feels good to be here and be back in the South. I am also happy about being back in the Southeastern Conference. The only guarantee in the SEC is that you will have competition every week in this conference and I like that," he explained. "Some of the best players in the country play in this conference.

"I am coming back with a little chip on my shoulder and with something to prove. That will be some of my motivation factor."

Schaeffer said he will play within the system and do the best he can for the Rebel team.

"I'm just going to play hard and do my best. I am a competitor. I will try to soak up everything Coach Werner gives me and operate the offense the way they want me to. I will also play my game, because it's the only game I know how to play, but it will be within this system and the way I am coached," Schaeffer stated. "I will do my best to take everything in stride and learn everything as it's thrown at me.

"I expect to have to do extra work in the film room and after practice, but I would have done that if I had arrived early in the summer. I like to consider myself a quick learner when it comes to football. I think I have football smarts. I understand the playbook now. I don't expect problems."

He said his experience in JUCO was beneficial to him.

"JUCO ball makes you appreciate Division I football even more. It's hard on the JUCO level with facilities, travel and other things. On Division I, you have great facilities, equipment, everything you need," he noted. "But the JUCO experience was good for me. I learned a lot out there. I grew up some, I think."

He said he was greeted with a big hug from Coach O when he entered the IPF this morning.

"I think we were both relieved. He hugged me and told me he was glad I was here. I told him that made two of us," he smiled. "I've talked to him a lot in the past few months.

"I saw some relief in his eyes and he probably saw some in mine that I was finally here. I feel I'm home. The Southern hospitality, I like that. It's the same kind of atmosphere as back home in Florida. I love the people here."

Schaeffer had a final message for the Rebel faithful.

"Stay tuned. I will work hard for you and for this team and I won't disappoint you," he closed.

The eagle has landed.

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