Ole Miss Football: Why the departure of Quinshon Judkins may not be a bad thing

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Ole Miss v Penn State
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Ole Miss v Penn State / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The news from a few days ago that Rebels star running back Quinshon Judkins was entering the transfer portal is still sinking in for Ole Miss fans. However, could it be a blessing in disguise?

The departure of Quinshon Judkins to the transfer portal is still raw in the minds of Rebels fans. However, it may not be the worst thing to happen to the roster as we start the new year.

A three-star recruit, Judkins surprised most fans with his performances in his true freshman season. The Alabama native rushed for over 1,500 yards with 15 touchdowns. In his sophomore season, Judkins struggled early on but did manage to find his feet down the stretch.

Quinshon Judkins was arguably the most important piece on the offense for the Rebels, especially during the 2022 season. Losing a player of his qualities would hurt most teams in college football, and he will be a loss to the team. However, it could be more beneficial to Lane Kiffin's plans for the 2024 season.

With the introduction of NIL over the last few seasons, college football has changed drastically. The transfer portal is much busier, with players opting to transfer out of their schools for numerous reasons. One of those reasons is NIL money, which is the opportunity for players to be paid for their name, Image and likeness.

Rumours coming out of Oxford around the same time was Judkins entered the transfer portal due to his NIL value. The recruiting website On3 had Judkins's NIL value at around $535k, with reports suggesting he was looking for much more than that.

If this is true, then Lane Kiffin had a decision to make. Pay Judkins, which would likely mean not being able to bring any more players in from the transfer portal. A position that Kiffin didn't want to be in with other areas of the team to be addressed.

Lane Kiffin is aware that the offensive line needs strengthening. Over the last few days, the Ole Miss head coach has made significant moves in attempting to get some of the top-ranked offensive linemen to commit from the transfer portal.

It does feel the above could not happen if Quinshon Judkins was to stay in Oxford. Good offensive linemen are not easy to find from the transfer portal, with the top players heading to the best teams. Ole Miss is seen as one of the best teams in 2024, with NIL money to use in strengthening the offensive line with good players.

Ole Miss can also dip into the transfer portal for a running back. They also have a four-star 2023 running back recruit in Kedrick Reescano, who could be the next Quinshon Judkins. If Ulysses Bentley IV stays for another season, Ole Miss will be fine at the running back position.

If Ole Miss do manage to add 2 or 3 of the top offensive linemen from the transfer portal, it may feel like a win for Lane Kiffin.

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