Will Ole Miss football quarterback competition drag into the season? What Lane Kiffin said

Mississippi Clarion-Ledger
OXFORD — Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin spent a chunk of his media session on Wednesday batting away questions about the Rebels' quarterback situation.
It's nothing new. Since Ole Miss added transfer Spencer Sanders to a group that returned a productive starter in Jaxson Dart, the questions surrounding quarterbacks have attracted the majority of the media attention.
Kiffin has never indicated a willingness to name who is leading the race, choosing instead to emphasize the overall improvement in a quarterback room that also added LSU transfer Walker Howard and four-star freshman Austin Simmons.
Wednesday, though, he did offer some more insight on his process ‒ and the timeline to name a starter ‒ when speaking to reporters after the Rebels completed their first preseason practice.
Last year, the competition between Dart and Luke Altmyer lasted into the early weeks of the season. Kiffin said he would prefer to avoid that.
"I always think it's better to have your guy, but you don't want to risk choosing the wrong one," Kiffin said. "And so there are times, at least two that I can remember, where (I've) gone into a season not knowing for sure. So we've used some games or our first game to help gather information to make a decision."
Pointing to the absence of preseason games and the negative consequences of anointing the wrong quarterback, Kiffin said the Rebels would only bring the competition between Dart and Sanders into the season if the outcome had not made itself clear by then. Ole Miss opens against Mercer on Sept. 2.
Keeping with the trend from spring practice, Dart received the majority of the first-team reps, with Sanders working primarily with the second unit in practice Wednesday.
Sanders, a four-year starter at Oklahoma State, dealt with an injury in the spring that placed him on a pitch count. Kiffin said last month that he would be at 100% heading into the preseason.
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Charlie Weis Jr. spoke with Kiffin on Tuesday about how he would like to distribute the practice reps among the four quarterbacks.
Kiffin called it a good problem to have.
DART This summer was different for quarterback Jaxson Dart. What it means for Ole Miss football
"It's really neat to have all those guys together, to have that much talent," Kiffin said. "Nowadays that's very rare to have in the quarterback room, you have a lot of guys that leave."

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