Ole Miss transfer OL Victor Curne has brought a team-first attitude while earning a starting spot: ‘I was just coming to help out any way I could’
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss offensive lineman Victor Curne is another transfer player who is making an immediate impact for the Rebels. The former Washington Huskies player, who hails from Houston, Texas, played 26 games over four seasons while in the PAC 12. He’s arrived in Oxford in January, went through spring and fall camp, and has earned significant playing time at left tackle — and is versatile enough to play all across the line.
After last season, Ole Miss looked to be set at the tackle position with Jayden Williams and Micah Pettus who both turned in satisfactory campaigns in 2022. But that didn’t deter Curne from heading to Oxford. In fact, he arrived with a team-first mentality that is refreshing.
“Honestly, I was just coming to help out any way I could, whether it be guard, tackle, center or tight end. I was just down to play my last, to play anything, contribute anyway I can.”
That is the approach any coach would want out of a player. It is challenging to navigate the transfer portal and bring in the right guys who compliment the culture around the program and at the same time impact the team positively on the field.
Other than his performance, Curne brings another element that could play a big role on the road in Tuscaloosa — experience in front of a big crowd. Most players who come from a conference such as the PAC-12 don’t get the opportunity to play in environments such as the one the Rebels will play in this Saturday against Alabama.
For Curne, however, he has been on such a big stage before. In 2021 he and his Washington team went on the road to play Michigan in Ann Arbor. That 2021 Michigan team featured defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, who would eventually end up being the Heisman runner-up. Curne has played top-level talent in a raucous environment before.
“Emotionally, I think you got to kind of calm down. I think it’s just the highs and lows, before the game or this week in general. You can’t get caught up in the minutiae…(you need to) just get tuned in on the preparation. I think preparation calms you, really. As long as you’re prepared, you can’t get caught up in the hype and the crowd and all the noise and what they are going to do. As long as you’re prepared for what you’ve got to do, it’ll be good.”
Curne’s play so far this season speaks for itself. Through three games, he has only allowed two QB pressures with neither of them resulting in sacks. His 6 ‘4’’ 320-pound frame will play against Alabama’s always impressive defensive line. Whether it be against the run or pass, the Crimson Tide front will challenge the Rebels in the trenches.
Challenges can come in two different ways — from the opposition and from within. Last week against Georgia Tech, the Ole Miss coaching staff challenged the offensive line to step up its game. The first two games for Ole Miss, it was tough to get anything going on the ground. Last week, they answered the bell by leading the way for Ole Miss ball carriers to rush for a combined 299 yards, over eight yards per carry, and five touchdowns.
“It just all started with (offensive line) Coach (John) Garrison, I think. He challenged us, (offensive coordinator) Coach (Charlie) Weis challenged us, Coach Kiffin challenged us and we challenged ourselves. It all starts on a Tuesday, being prepared for the run game, being in full pads and setting the tempo for the week and then that leads into Saturday.”
There is no doubt that the tempo in practice this week has been important. Going on the road against an SEC opponent is never easy, especially one like Alabama with its back against the wall at 2-1.
As for Curne, he is always looking to get better — which is part of the reason why he is on the field.
“There’s a lot of things I can improve. Staying low, staying positive…Just learn more every week. It’s really just a learning process for me every week,” he said.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. and the game is on CBS. Stay tuned to The Rebel Walk for your Ole Miss Football coverage. Hotty Toddy!
(Photo credit: Haley Chiles, The Daily Mississippian)
Nick Filipich was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. He is an Ole Miss alum with a degree in Sports and Recreation Administration. A sports junkie with a great passion for all things Ole Miss, Nick played baseball and football in high school — which is where he discovered his love for sports. He is an avid Braves and Saints fan, and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, friends and his black lab, Dixie.