Jevan Snead -

Ole Miss Quarterback Jevan Snead played "everything" through the ninth grade, but then he opted to put down other sports and concentrate solely on football.

Jaylon Snead, Jevan's Dad, thought his oldest son was going to be a baseball player when Jevan was first getting started in athletics.

"The first camps we went to were baseball camps," said the senior Snead, clad in his signature black cowboy hat with his trademark handlebar moustache. "Jevan threw a 62 miles an hour fastball when he was 10.

"When he was playing in the outfield, he seemed to have a knack for getting a jump on the ball when it was hit and a lot of times he threw out runners trying to go from first to second or at home after a tag at third. He had a real good arm."

The Sneads moved to Stephenville, TX, Jevan's freshman year and Jevan continued to be a multiple sport performer during his 9th grade year, but when a new football coach, Chad Morris, arrived on the scene, Snead decided to concentrate on football.

"I just felt if I was going to go to the next level, football was my ticket, so I quit the other sports and concentrated on football," Jevan explained. "Coach Morris was a major factor in that decision. I knew he could help me develop and I owe a lot of where I am today to him."

Stephenville provided the perfect opportunity for that blossoming and training.

"We have a 40-acre farm just outside Stephenville," Jaylon said. "We have a few cows and we just sold all our sheep. I couldn't tend to them while traveling around to all the Ole Miss games."

Jevan had the best of both worlds - a little bit country and a little bit city, if you will.

"I like being on the farm, but it's just a few minutes to town too. Stephenville is a lot like Oxford," Jevan said. "Stephenville will always be home. I enjoy being wherever I am at the time, but Stephenville has a special place in my heart."

Every Rebel fan knows most of the rest of the story, to this point.

After a record-setting career at Stephenville, the local hero signed with the University of Texas out of high school. That didn't pan out and two years ago he was searching for another school.

Then Rebel Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner had recruited Jevan for Miami and had built a relationship with him through the recruiting process. Jevan was open to Werner when he was looking for a second collegiate opportunity.

Jevan had to sit out the 2007 season due to NCAA transfer rules. It was a tough year.

"It all centered around him not being eligible," said Jaylon. "As a parent, you know when something isn't right. Jevan liked Ole Miss, but not being able to play was tough on him.

"As soon as the season was over and Christmas break was over last year, and he was eligible for spring football under the new staff, we could see him getting happy again."

Snead won the starting QB job in spring and has never looked back.

The 2008 season had its ups and downs early for Jevan, but he shined enough for everyone to understand his potential.

"Early on, Jevan took the losses personally. It's never one person's fault, but it took me time to convince him of that," said Rebel Offensive Coordiator Kent Austin. "One person never wins or loses a game, not in this sport."

Through seven games the Rebs were 3-4 and heading to Arkansas. Jevan took off and so did the team. He got better, the run game got better and the defense got better, little by little.

The Rebels reeled off five wins in a row and now sit with a date in the Cotton Bowl.

"There was not one moment when he really got it, so to speak," Austin continued. "It was a series of moments you could see on film where you could tell his decision-making was quicker or he was grading out higher or responding to different coverages.

"You could see him reacting better to pressure situations. I could see him maturing as a quarterback here and there with different elements of his game. It's easy to look at his stats and use that as a backdrop to his progress, but it's more than that. There were a couple of games when his stats were not eye-popping but he played really, really well. When he put several games in a row together though, you knew he had matured."

Now Snead, with his Texas pride in tow, will face Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl.

"The Cotton Bowl is a huge step for this program. We are excited about this game," Jevan said. "Everyone talks about their offense but their defense is good too. They are good because they make plays when they need to the most.

"You don't go 11-1 without a good defense, regardless of what the stats indicate."

Snead and Tech QB Graham Harrell, a coach's son, will never be on the field at the same time, but Jevan is looking forward to matching with another prolific Texas product.

"Graham is a little older than me, but I know about him. 4,700 yards in the air is not too shabby," he smiled knowingly.

Snead thinks the Rebs' balanced attack is the ticket in the Cotton Bowl.

"We are just going to do what we do and see where that takes us," he stated.

Jevan Snead could have been a college baseball player.

Rebel fans are glad he chose football.

So is he.

"I knew where my future was and to this point it's worked out great," he closed. "I'm really excited about what we face currently and the future."

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