Posted by Jerry Hinnen
When one-time hyped quarterback recruit Raymond Cotton left Oxford in a huff last offseason, Houston Nutt decided to shore up his signal-calling depth in the most high-profile way possible: by bringing in banished Oregon quarterback and alleged Heisman candidate Jeremiah Masoli. Masoli (as expected) won the starting job from sophomore Nathan Stanley, but struggled with the rapid (lack of) transition as the Rebels finished a disappointing 4-8.
But that hasn't stopped Nutt from returning to the transfer well again, as Ole Miss has confirmed to Clarion-Ledger reporter Kyle Veazey that they will be officially accepting the transfer of former West Virginia quarterback Barry Brunetti. Brunetti spent just one season in Morgantown, attempting nine passes and completing four without an interception or touchdown.
But Brunetti will arrive at Ole Miss with some measure of hype, ranking as one of the more highly-regarded "dual-threat" quarterbacks in the class of 2010, with offers from the likes of Tennessee, Penn State and in-state rival Mississippi State. It's even possible he could play this season, as the Memphis Commerical-Appeal reported in mid-January ; he'll be applying for a hardship waiver from the NCAA based on his mother's health issues and Oxford's proximity to his hometown of Memphis.
If the NCAA does grant the waiver -- not a sure thing, but certainly a possibility, as the almost-similar travails of Masoli proved -- Stanley will have yet another battle on his hands for a starting position that seemed to be all his both in 2010 and 2011. Whether or not he wins it, it seems clear by this point that his head coach just isn't comfortable handing the job over to him without Stanley having to fight for it.