What landing five-star transfer QB Jaxson Dart means for Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss football

OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss football has its man.

Reports surfaced that USC quarterback Jaxson Dart committed to Mississippi out of the transfer portal Saturday. A rising sophomore with at least three years of eligibility, Dart is ranked as a five-star talent and the third-best player in the transfer portal behind Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams and Ohio State quarterback Quinn Ewers, according to 247Sports.

Dart’s freshman year at USC was impressive. For a coach like Lane Kiffin to get the moldable clay of a sophomore quarterback who threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns in his first college start has to be considered a coup.

The background

In the simplest terms, adding Dart means Ole Miss has a quarterback for 2022. Rising sophomore Luke Altmyer was Ole Miss’ de facto replacement for Matt Corral, but with only 37 passes, he’s more of an unknown.

Let’s not pretend Dart was dominant as a freshman at USC. If he had played enough to qualify for the statistical leaderboards, he would’ve finished 10th in the Pac-12 in completion percentage and passer efficiency rating, ninth in yards per pass attempt and fifth in passing yards per game.

Jaxson Dart is transferring to Ole Miss, where he will play for former USC coach Lane Kiffin.

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That said, he played for a program in turmoil. Dart’s first start came days after USC fired coach Clay Helton. Then Dart hurt his meniscus in his knee and missed four weeks. Two quarters into his return, Dart lost potential first-round pick Drake London at receiver with a season-ending injury.

Throw in the constant shuffling between Dart and quarterback Kedon Slovis, now at Pitt, and it’s hard to say Dart experienced any stability.

The present

Corral isn’t the…


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