Ole Miss Football spring preview - Quarterbacks

Nov 23, 2023; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Jaxson Dart (2) passes
Nov 23, 2023; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Jaxson Dart (2) passes / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The most casual Ole Miss fan will know the starter for the Rebels this season at quarterback. However, there will be a fight in camp for the backup role in 2024.

The quarterback position can be volatile for college football teams. However, that seems unlikely at Ole Miss. Lane Kiffin has his number-one quarterback heading into spring ball. Behind the starter is a fight between a handful of guys for the backup QB role in 2024.

1st - Jaxson Dart

When Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart announced he was staying in college for another season, it was music to Lane Kiffin's ears. Having the experience of Dart back for 2024 helped Kiffin focus on other areas in the transfer portal..

Dart improved his numbers in 2023 from the previous season. The California native looked after the ball well, halving his interceptions from eleven to five. Dart also had better accuracy and passing numbers in 2023.

With the recent hire of former Ohio State QB coach Corey Dennis, the excitement around Jaxson Dart in 2024 gets mouth-watering. It will likely be the last season before he heads to the NFL, so fingers crossed it's a successful one for the fourth-year quarterback.

2nd - Walker Howard

A four-star 2022 recruit, Walker Howard committed to LSU, spending a season with Brian Kelly and the Tigers. Ole Miss had offered Howard before he committed to the Tigers, so when he entered the transfer portal in 2023, Lane Kiffin offered him again.

Despite other teams offering a possible starter role, Walker Howard committed to the Rebels. Even when a day after Spencer Sanders committed to Lane Kiffin's team, Howard stayed and thought for the backup role, eventually losing out to Sanders.

This season, Howard will be battling it out for the backup role again, this time without an experienced quarterback to compete against. However, if Walker Howard fails to beat out the competition this off-season, he could enter the transfer portal after spring practice to find a starting spot on another team.

3rd - Austin Simmons

The player competing with Walker Howard for the backup job will be talented redshirt freshman Austin Simmons. A four star recruit out of Florida, Simmons is a two sports athlete, holding offers from various schools in baseball.

Simmonds reclassified from the 2025 class, joining the Rebels in 2023. As a true freshman, he impressed in fall camp, getting glowing reviews from his teammates.

Still only 18, Simmonds has been able to spend a season alongside college coaches and experienced quarterbacks like Jaxson Dart and Spencer Sanders. If Simmonds can win the backup role this season, it will be a big step for the young quarterback.

Other Players

Braden Waterman is the fourth quarterback on the depth chart. The three-star 2022 recruit could move up the depth chart with good spring practice. He is also a candidate to hit the transfer portal before fall camp.

Four-star recruit Anthony Maddox is a highly regarded commit from the 2024 class. He will sit behind the mentioned guys and learn from them. It's an exciting future for the Rebels with Simmons and Maddox quarterbacks of the future.