| NEWS Lane Kiffin excited over 'very competitive' Ole Miss QB room - ESPN


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Ole Miss opened spring practice on Tuesday with coach Lane Kiffin excited about the depth at quarterback with last year's starter, Jaxson Dart, back and the addition of 2021 All-Big 12 selection Spencer Sanders and former five-star prospect Walker Howard via the transfer portal.

Sanders was 31-12 as a starter at Oklahoma State. He led the conference with 3,507 total yards (2,839 passing and 668 rushing) in 2021 but was limited by a shoulder injury last season.

Howard redshirted his only season at LSU.

Anticipating the focus on Tuesday's news conference, Kiffin told reporters during his opening statement, "I'm sure you have quarterback questions. All the guys practiced today and rotated in there. So, they all looked good."

Kiffin didn't provide a timeline to make a decision on who starts.

"I just see it being very competitive," he said.

Sanders had been limited throwing during the offseason as he recovered from the shoulder injury, but he participated in practice Tuesday.

Kiffin said Dart, who passed for just shy of 3,000 yards last season, has "thrown really well."

"[To] have some time to recover, he's gotten stronger and has looked really good and much improved," he added. "So that's exciting."

Overall, Kiffin said the depth and "quality in the room" is much different than late last season.

"To have two returning starting quarterbacks [Dart, Sanders] and a very high-profile recruit [Howard] in there that redshirted last year is really good," he said, "and a lot different than once Luke [Altmyer] decided to transfer."

Kiffin said the evaluation of the quarterbacks will come down to three things: timing, accuracy and decision making.

"Those are the three things that forever we've looked at," he said. "But we have a long time, spring and fall, to figure it out and let guys play."

Ole Miss started out last season 7-0 before losing four of its final five games, including a 17-point loss to Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl.

The Rebs host Mercer on Sept. 2 to start next season.
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