Ole Miss RB Quinshon Judkins discusses why he chose Ole Miss, his thoughts on last season, and what he anticipates in 2023
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins met with Ole Miss media for the first time Tuesday after practice, and he offered a lot of insight into the mindset of one of the country’s best running backs.
Choosing the Rebels
Since the Rebels, like many programs, don’t allow true freshmen to do interviews, this was the first time we had a chance to ask Quinshon why he picked Ole Miss.
“I love Oxford. I love the people, most definitely my teammates and coaches. I’m just where my feet are. I just love this community. I wouldn’t be anywhere else.“
RB Quinshon Judkins on why he picked Ole Miss
In addition to his love for Oxford, Quinshon also made it clear how important it is to him the way he was recruited by Ole Miss.
One image that has stayed with many is that of Coach Kiffin sitting in the cold, rainy stands watching high school senior and 2022 recruit Quinshon in his team’s state championship game.
this picture from last December of Lane Kiffin sitting alone in the cold metal bleachers of a high school football game watching Quinshon Judkins play makes a lot more sense now pic.twitter.com/ISFtT8rUvv
— We Run the Sip (@OMRebelNation) September 6, 2022
It seemed to cement the relationship, as not only was Coach Kiffin in attendance at the game, but he and running backs coach Kevin Smith — now back at Ole Miss after one year away — had recruited Quinshon for quite some time prior and maintained their relationship with him.
“It meant a lot. Coach Kiffin and Coach Smith recruited me throughout whole high school career. For them just to show up, it really just shows that they gave up their time for me.They’re great people, showing me a lot on and off the field. I don’t think I could’ve found that anywhere else.”
So while the 3-star recruit had some other options, what ultimately made Quinshon choose to head to Oxford? He was asked this Tuesday and one could tell his answer meant a lot to him.
“I just think they were more genuine than a lot of other schools,” he said. “Throughout the process, they were more consistent.”
The Pike Road, Alabama native carried the ball 274 times for Ole Miss for a monstrous 1,567 yards in 2022. That is second most by an SEC freshman behind only Herschel Walker, who tallied 1,616 all the way back in 1980.
It also set the all-time single-season rushing record set 73 years earlier.
The Ole Miss all-time single-season rushing record that was set 73 years ago has been broken by Quinshon Judkins! Congratulations to this talented true freshman and his teammates for an outstanding accomplishment! 🏆 https://t.co/cUwrqFAa9i pic.twitter.com/NRtcRp438N
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) November 20, 2022
Judkins scored 16 touchdowns while averaging almost six yards a carry and 120 yards per game. His rushing yards last season ranked No. 11 all-time among Power-5 freshmen and was the most since 2017.
A little Quinshon Judkins for ya… pic.twitter.com/7HpSKUkHxy
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) October 30, 2022
Coach Kiffin has made no bones about the number of schools that wanted to lure Quinshon to their programs following last year’s season end. But the star Rebel made it clear he’s exactly where he wants to be.
“I didn’t pay attention to any of those things. I just focused on football and where my head is, on my teammates, my coaches and focused on what matters and that’s winning games. It wasn’t difficult to do.”
When asked if he feels any pressure to follow up such a fantastic freshman season, Judkins again focused on just improving himself and working on doing anything he can do for his team.
“No pressure at all. I know what my role is to this team. I know if I come in and work hard like I did last year and get better at a lot more things I can fix, there’s no pressure.”
The speedy Judkins was asked if he was at all surprised by his outstanding performance last season as a true freshman.
“I wasn’t,” Judkins began. “I knew that coming in last year, I had to come out and work hard and give it my all while enjoying the moment with my teammates and having their backs while they had mine. I knew it would pay off.”
Judkins was also asked what he thinks would need to happen to consider the upcoming 2023 season a success for himself, personally. Once again, the talented back discussed team instead of individual accomplishments.
“I wouldn’t say personal records or anything like that,” he explained.
“I came to Ole Miss to win and to be the best I can be. I just have to do what I do and play my role for this team.“
Fans can watch Quinshon and the Rebels in the 2023 Grove Bowl set for Saturday, April 15 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at 2 p.m. CT.
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.