This week Rebel Nation was saddened by the news that sophomore quarterback Shea Patterson had sustained a season-ending knee injury. No need for despair, however, for those who watched the second half of the Ole Miss-LSU game and saw an impressive new face on the field. Jordan Ta’amu stepped in while Patterson was being evaluated during the game last Saturday and will lead the Rebels for the rest of this season, beginning tomorrow against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Ta’amu, a Hawaii native, was an All-State selection in high school and was named Division 2 Offensive Player of the Year while playing at Pearl City High School. He began his career at the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI). He was rated a 3-star prospect at NMMI before transferring as a junior to Ole Miss, where he currently majors in criminal justice.
The 19-year old now faces the biggest challenge of his career, having been thrust into the spotlight as the starting quarterback of a Southeastern Conference team. The junior is a true dual-threat quarterback, showing the versatility to stay in the pocket and also to tuck it in and run when needed. Ta’amu put up impressive numbers in limited action against the Tigers, going 7-of-11 for 78 yards and leading Ole Miss to 10 points. He has also rushed for 52 yards on six carries against LSU and Vanderbilt this season.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances that have led to Ta’amu becoming the starting quarterback, this provides an ideal opportunity for him to shine. Ole Miss went through a similar situation last year when Chad Kelly went down with a season-ending injury and Patterson stepped in to lead the offense. Ta’amu has the chance to do the same. A solid performance and a win over Arkansas would be the perfect first act of the Ta’amu era.
Amy Goodin is a writer for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at argoodin12