As yet another football season quickly approaches, two quarterbacks in the SEC West are getting plenty of preseason attention: Ole Miss' Jevan Snead and Alabama's Greg McElroy.
These two quarterbacks have a number of other shared experiences.
Both played with or against future Heisman candidates in high school. Snead watched former Georgia star Matthew Stafford from the bench in high school. McElroy played second fiddle to Mizzou standout Chase Daniel.*
As graduating seniors, both committed early to other schools, only to change their commitment before signing. Snead committed to Florida, only to sign at Texas before transferring to Ole Miss. McElroy committed to Texas Tech, only to sign at Alabama.
Both came to their schools in the shadow of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow: Snead committed to Florida, only to enroll at Texas when Tebow committed to the Gators. McElroy became Alabama’s consolation prize after Tebow chose Florida over the Tide.
Both spent their early college careers watching an entrenched young quarterback at the helm of their respective teams. Snead arrived at Texas to find a young Colt McCoy with the starting job at Texas. McElroy has watched for three years as John Parker Wilson started for the Tide.
Both are hoping to mark the end of rebuilding processes under experienced coaches who previously coached elsewhere in the SEC West. Snead’s head coach is Houston Nutt, who coached at Arkansas before taking over the beleaguered Rebels. McElroy is coached by Nick Saban, who coached at LSU before eventually landing at ebb Tide in Alabama.
Both will be the starting quarterback at a team ranked in the top 10 when the season starts.
And on Oct. 10, Snead and McElroy will share one more experience.
Both will strap their helmets on, run out onto Hollingsworth Field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, and lead their respective teams into battle, with the winner likely going on to decide the SEC West with a home game against LSU.
* The original version of this article stated that Snead played backup to Matthew Stafford in high school. Snead faced Stafford in his high school playoffs.