Snead gearing up for Grove Bowl

Quarterback Jevan Snead can't take the field for a game until 2008, but the University of Texas transfer will get a taste of what that might be like on Saturday during Ole Miss' annual Grove Bowl at 1 p.m. inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Fans will get their first look at the highly touted signal caller when he makes his initial stroll down the Walk of Champions before taking part in the spring event. The game-simulated action is something that Snead has been waiting on and is excited about.

"I am really looking forward to this weekend," Snead said. "It will be a little more real and will be nice to have people in the stands and go through game situations. I want to make sure to take it all in."

Snead is aware of his limited role with the Rebels right now, and the red-shirting sophomore wants to take advantage of the available study time. The offensive scheme and terminology takes time to perfect so Snead is thankful for the opportunity to get comfortable with the system along with developing relationships with teammates.

"The big thing is to concentrate on learning the plays and gaining an understanding of the system," Snead said. "I understand that I won't get a ton of reps because I can't play this coming year, but I need to be focused everyday and get in good with my teammates. Establishing relationships and learning the system are the keys right now."

The Stephenville, Texas native dove right in to the playbook on arriving in Oxford and things are substantially smoother than the first few days.

"I don't know everything about the offense yet, but it is getting better and has come a long way," Snead said. "At the beginning, we did some seven-on-seven passing work, and the coaches would call out a play to run. I was confused, and my head just kept spinning. But getting here when I did has already paid off. I have time to prepare and have it perfect by this time next year."

Snead understands that trust is an important part of the equation and that can be best earned by hard work and leading by example. The talented quarterback is busy getting comfortable with the Rebel receivers during a time when each is trying to figure the other one out. Being a part of the team is a vital portion of Snead adapting to Ole Miss.

"I think there is a certain amount of pressure coming in," Snead said. "Learning everything and making sure that I stay motivated. I need to go out and work hard everyday. It is a great time to work on timing with my receivers and earn their trust. Even now, I need to lead, make good decisions and make plays. The receivers aren't that tall, but they make up for it with amazing speed."

Expectations are visible thanks to Snead appearing in eight games last year for the Longhorns. The then-true freshman compiled right at a 122 efficiency rating while running the offense for the national power. That rating was nearly 20 points higher than any Rebel quarterback during 2006.

Snead appreciated his time in Austin but is already quite comfortable in Mississippi. The waiting game may be difficult, but that hasn't dimmed the excitement of Ole Miss fans as they have made an impression on Snead with their hospitality.

"Texas was great, but it just wasn't the right situation for me," Snead said. "There were great coaches, great friends and great athletes, but I am happy with the change and with where I am now. Oxford is a lot like my hometown and is just so welcoming.

"The fans have been great, and I have really enjoyed the atmosphere around campus. People come up and tell me how they can't wait for me to be able to play. I just laugh and tell them that I can't wait either."

That wait will be put on hold for a few hours Saturday.

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