The One Who Got Away: Quinshon Judkins Runs Over Auburn
OXFORD, Miss. – If Quinshon Judkins walked out of his family’s home in Pike Road, Ala., he could be standing on the 50-yard line at Jordan-Hare Stadium in less than an hour.
That is ironic considering Auburn did not vigorously pursue the freshman running back to play for the Tigers.
Instead, Saturday, Judkins played against Auburn and ran for a team-high 139 yards and two touchdowns to go with a receiving score as Ole Miss beat the Tigers 48-34.
The kid is electric ⚡️@qaj4_ | #HottyToddy pic.twitter.com/xEBf6xMacf
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) October 15, 2022
Judkins joined Zach Evans and Jaxson Dart as the trio each ran for over 100 yards in the game. As a team, Ole Miss ran for 448 yards and averaged 6.5 yards per carry.
Three Headed 🐐 @Runzekerun01@qaj4_ @JaxsonDart #HottyToddy pic.twitter.com/HntbCx0YDp
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) October 16, 2022
Judkins was not vigorously recruited by Auburn, nor was he offered a scholarship by Alabama. That seems odd since Judkins was the state’s 5A Player of the Year and led Pike Road High School to the state championship.
He did have offers from Notre Dame, Arkansas, Florida State, Michigan, Penn State and Mississippi State and others.
On the season, Judkins has run for a team-leading 718 yards and ten touchdowns for Ole Miss. That’s not bad for a kid who will not celebrate his 19th birthday until the day of the Texas A&M game in two weeks.
On Monday, Judkins was named SEC Freshman of the Week as well as National Freshman of the Week (247Sports).
National True Freshman of the Week! 👏@qaj4_ | #HottyToddy pic.twitter.com/1zwdWjb6bY
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) October 17, 2022
More who got away…
Judkins is not the only local kid Auburn let slip away to Oxford. Defensive back A.J. Finley, a native of Mobile, leads Ole Miss in tackles and against the Tigers had eight stops and a first-quarter interception to set up the Rebels’ first touchdown.
Ridiculous circus interception from Ole Miss safety AJ Finley pic.twitter.com/WufsprOa8W
— Seven Rounds in Heaven (@7RoundsInHeaven) October 15, 2022
Ole Miss also has Montgomery’s Brandon Mack, Opelika’s Jarell Stinson and Eufaula’s KD Hill on this season’s roster.
Losing local players to Ole Miss is not a rarity for the Tigers. Last season, Montgomery native Sam Williams was a defensive leader and was the first Rebel selected in April’s NFL Draft.
As bad as losing nearby talent is for Auburn, it also has a history of literally losing players from its own backyard.
During his time at Auburn High School, Cody Core was a gameday worker at Jordan-Hare Stadium. After graduation, he starred at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium as an Ole Miss wide receiver who also ended up in the NFL. Does anyone remember Osi Umenyiora or Demarcus Ware? Each played at Auburn High and did not get a sniff from their hometown Tigers. Umenyiora was thought to not have enough experience and Ware was undersized.
Each went to Troy where Umenyiora was a second-round pick by the New York Giants and Ware was the tenth-overall selection by the Dallas Cowboys. Each were all-pro selections and won a Super Bowl.
Not only did Auburn lose to the Rebels Saturday, but they were victimized by the one who got away.
Perhaps the Tigers should narrow their recruiting scope to look for players in their own zip code.
One thing is certain, after Saturday, Ole Miss owes Auburn a thank-you note for Judkins.
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.