No. 1: Shea Patterson, Freshman-QB
This is the most obvious choice for number one. The most important position for the Rebels is the quarterback position. Chad Kelly was manning the station for the past two years until he was injured with three games left to go in the 2016 season.
The Ole Miss social media warriors and bloggers were waxing poetic about whether coach Freeze should burn Shea Patterson’s redshirt for the final three games. The faux experts lined up on each side. In the end coach Freeze and the Pattersons decided to pull the redshirt and Shea started the game against Texas A&M, – game in which he engineered a comeback while throwing a dramatic touchdown after running around in the backfield.
This leads to a highly anticipated spring for the Ole Miss faithful. Although the coaching staff said it would be an open competition at the quarterback spot, there are probably only 10 people in the State who believe Patterson may not win the job. However, dominating in the Spring would be a welcomed sight.
Patterson will likely be the starting QB for the next two or three seasons with the Rebels. He needs to put his thumbprint on the offense and take the next step. It’s imperative that he quickly pick up coach Longo’s offensive game plans. The offense has a chance to put up even bigger numbers than last year. However, it is all predicated on Patterson’s ability to master the offense.