John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
A good spring is paramount for QB Barry Brunetti.
Starting QB Bo Wallace will be out over spring practice, as he recovers from recent shoulder surgery.
Outside of the 6'0'', 202-pound Barry Brunetti, no other QB on the Ole Miss spring roster has any real experience. That explains why Hugh Freeze signed two solid young QBs in his 2013 class: Ryan Buchanan and Devante Kincade. However, neither of the two freshmen will be on campus until the summer.
Therefore, expect Brunetti to be the starter this spring in Oxford. The other man he'll likely share snaps with will be sophomore QB Mikhail Miller. The 6'2'', 240-pound Miller has only attempted six passes in his career at Ole Miss. On the other hand, Brunetti has gone 42 of 71 through the air for 340 yards and one score. On the ground, he's rushed 93 times for 387 yards and three touchdowns.
A highly touted QB out of high school and as a transfer from West Virginia, Brunetti hasn't really lived up to his billing the past two seasons in Oxford. With true freshmen Buchanan and Kincade arriving on campus this summer, not to mention the return of Wallace, the chances of Brunetti even being the top reserve QB for the Rebels this fall is doubtful.
So what can he do this spring to position himself well heading into summer and fall?
More than anything, Brunetti is a physical, athletic football player. While his chance to see significant playing time behind center in 2013 is unlikely, he remains a great fit within Freeze's dynamic offense. Where exactly Brunetti can fit in on a consistent basis remains to be seen. Nevertheless, spring practice is a perfect time for the senior, sharing QB snaps with Miller, to get some true looks at various positions within the Rebel offense.
The coaching staff is well aware of the potential QB situation this fall, which may not even involve Brunetti. So while he will likely be the spring QB by default right now, the coaching staff will be keeping a close eye on the senior to judge not only his potential in various alignments but also his attitude.
With the physical RB/WR Randall Mackey graduated, Brunetti could end up fitting in like Mackey did for Ole Miss in 2013: Playing various positions in any given contest.