Ole Miss, Snead looking to build on last season’s surprising turnaround

As a high school senior at Stephenville (Texas), Jevan Snead watched as future Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford and his Highland Park squad snatched away the Class 4A state semifinals win, 41-38. After losing that final high school game, Snead committed to Florida in 2005, but pulled his commitment when the Gators pursued another QB, Tim Tebow. Snead subsequently headed to Texas, where he spent most of his freshman season riding the bench before deciding to transfer, all while Colt McCoy entrenched himself as the Longhorns’ quarterback of the future.

Early on, Snead made an inadvertent habit of landing in the same orbit as contemporaries who would turn into household names while he got lost in their shadows. Now, the stars have aligned for the Ole Miss junior, who is generating Heisman buzz and whose team will enter the 2009 season as a trendy pick in the SEC West after a 9-4 2008 campaign that included wins over eventual national champion Florida (the Gators’ only loss), 2007 defending champ LSU and Big 12 South hopeful Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl.