Head to Head

Quarterbacks Nathan Stanley and Raymond Cotton are set to battle, as day one of life after Jevan Snead begins Saturday.

To borrow from Ole Miss men's basketball coach Andy Kennedy, pressure is what you make of it.

Nathan Stanley
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Nathan Stanley patiently waited as Jevan Snead started 26 games for the Rebels over his two-year career. Stanley, on the other hand, was regulated to garbage duty, until he saw his most extensive action in a 21-7 win over Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.

In the game, he completed 2-of-7 passes for three yards and an interception. He finished 11-of-23 for 163 yards, one interception and one touchdown for the season.

He's long been thought of as the heir apparent to Snead. However, he probably didn't expect his opportunity to come so soon. Regardless, Stanley, along with freshman Raymond Cotton, will be a primary focus this spring.

An all-important quarterback battle begins in earnest Saturday.

Cotton isn't shying away from the competition.

Raymond Cotton
While somewhat of an unknown commodity, he carries high upside. Not only can he make every throw, an attribute he worked on diligently during his redshirt season, but he's a mobile quarterback with unmatched scrambling ability.

However, the closest he's come to career experience was through scout team duties a year ago. He's also behind Stanley in his absorption of the playbook, though he has made it a point this offseason to learn as much as he can with a realistic shot at winning the job rapidly approaching.

Cotton and Stanley are the sole quarterback candidates currently on campus. They'll both receive reps with the first team, too. And, as Cotton puts it, the most consistent player who displays leadership will probably exit spring atop the depth chart under center.

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