Shea Patterson set to take the reins tonight for the Rebels vs. No. 8 Aggies
The Shea Patterson era is only a few hours away from beginning, as Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze confirmed on Friday he is pulling the redshirt off true freshman quarterback Patterson in the wake of last Saturday’s season-ending injury to Rebels’ quarterback Chad Kelly.
Patterson will start the game against Texas A&M in Kyle Field at 6:30 p.m. tonight in front of 102,000-plus screaming Aggies.
Patterson’s debut has been long-anticipated by Ole Miss fans, though the timetable is now accelerated due to Kelly’s injury. The 6-foot-2, 200-lb true Patterson was a five-star recruit who was ranked the No. 1 QB of the 2016 class.
As a senior, Patterson led IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) to its first undefeated season in school history. He was named MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl as well as MVP of the Elite 11 QB competition.
So just how good is Shea Patterson?
The Rebel Walk turned to Mike Detillier, a college and pro football analyst for WWL 870 AM Radio in New Orleans and co-host of “The Second Guess” show with Bobby Hebert, to get his opinion on Patterson. Detillier, who also publishes “Mike Detillier’s Draft Report,” was effusive in his praise for the freshman phenom and compared him to one of the all-time greats.
“Let me tell you something—Shea Patterson is the most football-smart young quarterback I have been around since Peyton Manning.”
Mike Detillier on Shea Patterson
That is high praise coming from Detillier, who observes the top quarterback talent each year while covering the Manning Passing Academy. Detillier is specifically impressed with Patterson’s football IQ and his passing.
“He’s incredibly smart and very precise with his short to medium range throws. He’s a special player.”
Mike Detillier on Patterson
Obviously Coach Freeze is confident his young signal-caller can get the job done. Freeze explained his decision to ESPN’s Chris Low yesterday.
“It was really not that hard of a decision. You’ve got to give the Evan Engrams and all those seniors the best chance to win.”
Hugh Freeze on starting Shea Patterson vs. Texas A&M
Patterson and Pellerin
While Ole Miss will start Patterson, there is a good chance Rebel fans will also see redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin in at quarterback. While Patterson’s passing ability is best-suited to run Ole Miss’ up-tempo offense, there is no doubt Pellerin is also capable of stepping in and will likely have some packages specifically tailored for him.
Ole Miss and Texas A&M will kick off at 6:30 p.m. (CT) tonight. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.