When the news broke that David Lee was taking over as Ole Miss’ offensive coordinator on Monday evening, incoming junior college quarterback Zack Stoudt was caught off guard, so much so that he had found out Dave Rader was relieved of his duties on the Internet prior to both Rader and head coach Houston Nutt eventually calling him later that night.Stoudt wasn’t originally sure what to think about the change, but after talking with both Rader and Nutt on Monday night, and Lee around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, the standout transfer seems to be OK with the switch.
“We didn’t get real detailed, it was more of an introduction and how much he was looking forward to us working together,” Stoudt said of his conversation with Lee. “We didn’t really get into any specifics on playing football or the offense or anything like that.”
A big reason Stoudt chose Ole Miss over Kansas and other schools was because of Rader. With him now out of the coaching equation, the former Louisville QB said he hopes to form the same bond with Lee.
“It was a bit upsetting; I liked coach Rader a lot,” Stoudt said. “A big factor in my decision to sign with Ole Miss was based on my relationship with him and how comfortable I felt with him. Having said that, I am looking forward to playing for Coach Lee, not that I would be any less excited playing for Coach Rader.”
Looking at the situation at hand, Stoudt feels he may have viewed the change differently had he already played for Rader.
“It would have been different if I had been playing for Coach Rader for a couple of years and he got fired, but either way I’m still going in to play for a coach I’ve never played for before,” he said. “My heart goes out to Coach Rader. He’s a really good guy, a really nice guy and I’m sure a really great coach, but I’m still coming to Ole Miss and I’m really excited to play for Coach Lee.”
Asked if he would still be a Rebel had the coaching change happened prior to his signing, Stoudt said he wasn’t sure.
“It would have all depended on how I felt with Coach Lee,” he said. “Had they let Rader go and I not gotten the opportunity to meet Lee when my decision was being made it might have (made a difference). I might have just said, ‘hey I’m comfortable with Chuck Long at Kansas.’
“But I have talked to Coach Lee and he seems like a really good guy and hopefully someone I can get along with. It might have changed my decision, it might not have. I made my decision because I like Ole Miss, not just Rader.”
Stoudt added that things like the opportunity to be a starting quarterback in the Southeastern Conference, the rest of Ole Miss’ coaching staff and the “beautiful school” all factored into his decision to become a Rebel.
With regards to the quarterback situation, which became a bit more murky with the announcement via Twitter.com on Tuesday that highly touted dual-threat quarterback Barry Brunetti will transfer to Ole Miss from West Virginia, Stoudt remains confident in his ability and that he’ll get a fair shake at the starter spot.
“I’m not really too worried about it,” he said. “I think in my opinion I don’t really care who they bring in as long as I get my fair amount of reps in the spring and an opportunity to show them what I can do. If I fail at that, then I fail at that, but I’m pretty confident in my ability.”
As seems to be the norm now-a-days, new recruits and signees often have their Facebook pages bombarded with friend requests.
Some recruits, like the newest verbal commitment of Ole Miss’ 2011 signing class, Tobias Singleton, literally accept hundreds of new “friends” each day.
That’s not Stoudt. Don’t take it personally, he said, but he likes to keep things such as Facebook somewhat personal.
“I’m very limited on the people I have on my Facebook. I don’t have that many and that’s just because I make sure I know all of them very well and not people I just met. I only probably have 500-600 people on my Facebook and they’re all people that are close to me,” he said. “When I first started Facebook I pretty much accepted everybody that requested me and then you start to realize when you click on your friends list and go down that you go 50 people in a row and don’t know any of those people.
“It’s not so much of a privacy thing; It’s more of like a half of the people on there friended me just because I went to an Iowa Western game and I saw you warm up type of thing. I’m not going to do that.”
Blizzard? No worries
Oxford was recently hit with a surprising amount of snow over the weekend. Can Stoudt handle the possibility of maybe having to endure what some have called “snowmageddon” while in Oxford?
“Am I prepared? Is the kid who lives in Ohio and went to Iowa (Western) prepared for snow? We’re getting a blizzard right now where we’ve got about five inches in the last two hours,” he said jokingly. “I think I’m going to move in and everyone is going to be coming to me for advice on what to do and what to wear.”
Stoudt is currently hanging out in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, working out and throwing.
He said he expects to head leave for Oxford around Jan. 20, go through transfer orientation the next day and then begin classes for the spring semester on Jan. 24.
As a sophomore at Iowa Western, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Stoudt passed for 1,812 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Stoudt transferred to Iowa Western from Louisville following the firing of head coach Steve Kragthorpe. (January 12, 2011, Page 6A)