Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin says QB Jaxson Dart will return for his senior season
OXFORD, Miss. — On Thursday night’s RebTalk, head coach Lane Kiffin offered insight into the questions surrounding whether Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart will return for his senior season next year, saying his signal-caller will indeed be back for the Rebels.
Coach Kiffin took questions from the audience and was first queried about Dart’s health status, following what initially appeared to be an injury against No. 1 Georgia, as well as his plans for next season.
“He’s fine,” Kiffin said. “So he’ll play.” Coach Kiffin had said after the 52-17 loss to the Bulldogs Saturday that Dart would have been able to return.
But, aside from his health following the game, there has also been much speculation as to whether Dart would forego his senior season and announce for the NFL Draft. Coach Kiffin seemed to put that to rest Thursday.
“I mean, I guess I can kind of speak for him, (Dart’s) said he’s coming back. We’re planning on him being back next year and getting better. Then when you have him up here, I’m sure JJ (Pegues) will announce he’s coming back, too.”
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin
On the season, Dart — a transfer from USC in his second season with Ole Miss — has completed 170 of 262 passes. He’s recorded 2,579 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions.
On the ground, Dart has 96 attempts for 354 yards and seven touchdowns for a 3.7 yard per carry average, second in the SEC among quarterbacks.
The Rebel head coach also talked about players who might participate in Senior Day, but who have another year of eligibility remaining and could decide to return.
“We have a lot of guys in discussions that have another year. It’s kind of different than it used to be. There are some that are kind of like ‘I’ve played long enough and want to go take my shot (at the NFL).’ But there’s actually a lot of guys in this area that could come back, whether they’re thinking of leaving early, or whether they’re just using the COVID year to go to the draft, or some even done playing football. So we’re kind of in a recruiting mode of our own players, which is a common theme nowadays.”
With the advent of NIL and the transfer portal, sweeping roster changes are oftentimes seen from year to year.
“It is what it is,” Kiffin explained. “This is a system that was created with portal and NIL at the same time. There’s a lot of year’s you’ll be remaking your roster every year.
Ole Miss hosts ULM Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Vaught-Hemingway. The game will be broadcast on 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.