Ole Miss Quarterback Luke Altmeyer Is At Manning Camp, So He’s The Starter For 2022?

THIBODAUX, Louisiana – Archie Manning does not like potential quarterback controversies blossoming at his Manning Passing Academy, currently going on through Sunday here at Nicholls State University.

So, Manning at times asks head coaches who the starting quarterback for the next season will likely be or who is in the lead before he invites quarterbacks. And Manning, a former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints star quarterback, does not like having two quarterbacks from the same school at his camp.

Among the quarterbacks at the MPA involved in quarterback competitions at their respective schools is Ole Miss sophomore-to-be Luke Altmyer. Sophomore quarterback Jaxson Dart, who transferred to Ole Miss after last season from USC. is not at the camp.

So, Altmyer is in the lead at least to be the starter.

QB JAXSON DART TRANSFERS FROM USC TO OLE MISS

Altmyer, who is from Starkville, Mississippi, outplayed Dart in the Ole Miss spring game and tended to be better than him in spring drills, though it was close. It will probably remain that way through August practices leading up to the Rebels’ opener on Sept. 3 against Troy. But as of now, Altmyer is the guy.

“Yeah, it’s definitely a new year, and you’re kind of expected to step into that leadership role really fast and really early,” Altmyer said Friday during a break from being a camp counselor. “That’s obviously tough for some, but I think it’s really been a good transition for me because of the love and trust I have with my teammates. Those are the most important people to me.”

Last season, Altmyer backed up Ole Miss star quarterback Matt Corral, who was a third-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Altmyer completed 15 of 28 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in the Rebels’ 21-7 loss to Baylor in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. He replaced Corral in the first quarter when he injured his ankle. Altmyer was 20-of-37 passing for the season in five games for 192 yards with the one touchdown and two picks.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “I’m thankful for the Sugar Bowl experience, even though the outcome wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I think we have a good squad this year – a lot of talent. It’s about putting it together from a team standpoint and seeing how far we can go.”

Altmyer completed 9 of 22 passes for 182 yards and rushed five times for 77 yards with touchdown runs of 29 and six yards for the Red in a 48-36 victory over the Navy in the Grove Bowl last April.

Dart, who is from Kaysville, Utah, completed 11 of 30 for 166 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing 16 times for 66 yards for the Navy.

“It would be considered Luke’s day,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said at the time. “Jaxson made some mistakes early, and Luke seemed to play really consistent and not force things.”

Dart started three games for USC last season and played in six, completing 117 of 189 passes for 1,353 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions.

Altmyer said Kiffin will make both quarterbacks better.

“We all know he’s one of the best offensive minds in all of football,” Altmyer said. “He’s really a savant with quarterbacks and really just offensively. We know his track record, being at Alabama. And I’m really thankful to have him. It’s really cool. He really treats our program like it should be – winning national titles, and I think we’re on that track, winning 10 games last year.”

Ole Miss set a school record with 10 regular-season wins last year.

“I think Lane’s system really just helps guys get open,” Altmyer said. “He does a great job of getting his playmakers in the right spots, which makes it easy for the quarterback, definitely. That’s what I’m most thankful for. He knows his personnel, his playmakers and how to get those guys the ball.”

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Sitting next to Altmyer during his interview was his friend, Mississippi State junior-to-be quarterback Will Rogers, who is from Brandon, Mississippi – 117 miles south of Starkville. The two are coached by two of the most unique men and gifted offensive minds in college football – Kiffin at Ole Miss and Mike Leach at Mississippi State. Rogers broke two of former State quarterback Dak Prescott’s career records last season.

“We try to stay away because you know that rivalry,” Altmyer said when asked if he and Rogers compare notes. “Leach and Kiffin are what they are. I don’t really know what they are, honestly. They both have their own characteristics and personalities, but me and Will are really cool buddies”

Altmyer has spent most of the summer in Oxford, which is not ready for football just yet. The town has baseball fever with the Rebels in the national championship, best-of-three series against Oklahoma that began Saturday (7 p.m. Eastern, ESPN). The series continues at 2 p.m. Sunday. If necessary, there will be third game Monday.

“There’s definitely a lot of buzz around Oxford Square and all the places around there, and rightfully so,” he said. “To be in in the final series for the national championship is something they’ve never done before. I mean, it’s super cool. I wish I could be up there right now with them. I know some of the players and super proud of them. I know they’re so excited, so stoked. And they really should be.”

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

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