QB Schaeffer finally with Rebels

Published 6:21 pm Thursday, August 3, 2006

The long wait for Brent Schaeffer’s arrival at Mississippi has ended.

Schaeffer, who was named the Rebels’ starting quarterback on national signing day, finished his junior college coursework and was admitted to Ole Miss on Wednesday.

“He’s in,” coach Ed Orgeron said. “I’m really excited for our football team. I’m excited for Brent and his family. We’re excited that Brent followed through with the plan.”

Ole Miss football players reported for preseason camp on Thursday. Orgeron got word Wednesday night his designated starting quarterback was on the Oxford campus.

Schaeffer finished his coursework at the College of the Sequoias in California. His arrival ends a summer-long saga in which the quarterback bounced from California back home to Florida and back to California to finish two classes.

Ole Miss had hoped he would be on campus all summer, but his arrival was pushed back a few times while he tried to complete the work needed to be eligible at Ole Miss. Transfers must graduate from junior college to be eligible at an NCAA Division I-A school.

In Schaeffer, the Rebels have a quarterback with Southeastern Conference experience. Schaeffer started three games as a freshman at Tennessee in 2004 before sustaining a season-ending injury. He transferred to College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., where during the 2005 season he threw for 2,975 yards and 40 touchdowns.

The Rebels’ first game is Sept. 3 against Memphis in Oxford.

• In Starkville, Mississippi State head football coach Sylvester Croom sent his troops through a two hour, 45-minute practice Wednesday, the Bulldogs’ first 2006 preseason camp workout.

And while Croom was happy overall with his defense, he voiced concerns about his offense and the team’s mental preparation.

“I thought the retention by the defense from spring was good,” Croom said. “They ran to the ball well and I thought Deljuan (Robinson) dominated whoever he lined up over.

“But the offense was very average,” Croom continued. “Michael (Henig) threw the ball well at times, but I thought he was a little rusty from his time off the field (rehabbing a broken toe). Offensively, the ball was on the ground way too many times.”

The only other offensive player to draw the head coach’s plaudits during the initial session was wide receiver Omarr Conner, who he complimented for his pass-catching skills and leadership.

The Bulldogs open the season three days earlier than Ole Miss.