Per multiple reports, Ole Miss rising junior quarterback Shea Patterson has requested and been given “permission to contact” to evaluate his transfer options.
First reported by David Johnson of the Ole Miss Spirit, the 247Sports affiliate, the former top quarterback recruit becomes the first player to be publicly linked to transfer speculation after the NCAA handed down sanctions on Friday.
From the Spirit:
Well-placed sources also told the Ole Miss Spirit that Michigan is probably the favorite to land Patterson, if he does execute a transfer from Ole Miss.
Those same sources told the Ole Miss Spirit that Patterson is using the opportunity to simply "explore options" and that it does not necessarily mean he is committed to leaving the Ole Miss program.
Following the boondoggle of wasting a year of eligibility for the final three games in 2016, Patterson has three years to play two remaining of eligibility.
Patterson suffered a season ending knee injury against LSU and was succeeded by Jordan Ta’amu as the starting signal caller and Ta’amu played well down the stretch for the Rebels. Ta’amu, a junior college signee in the 2017 recruiting class, posted on Twitter that he would return to Oxford, but is a senior entering the 2018 season.
The only other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster are Jason Pellerin and Alex Faniel which makes recruiting a quarterback a necessity in the 2018 signing class. Pellerin was the primary backup in 2016 but was shifted to receiver this season with Ta’amu’s arrival before shifting back to quarterback after Patterson’s injury. Faniel was a three star high school signee and redshirted during the 2017 season.
Due to the second year bowl ban added on by the NCAA, rising seniors for Ole Miss are expected to be permitted to transfer freely. A small senior class includes Breeland Speaks (who could test the NFL waters as well), C.J. Moore, Ken Webster, Demarkus Lodge, Zedrick Woods and Ta’amu.
Underclassmen would need waivers from the NCAA to be immediately eligible and have to request permission from Ole Miss to contact or being contacted by other programs. With that permission, they are able to be placed on scholarship the first year following the transfer to certain schools.