Ole Miss quarterback Grant Tisdale announced on Tuesday he was leaving the program.
The true freshman had become the odd man out in a young and crowded quarterback room and spent most of the season confined to the sidelines watching Matt Corral and John Rhys Plumlee man the signal-calling duties. Tisdale became the odd man out in the California game when Corral exited in the fourth quarter with a rib injury and Plumlee — who is a two-sport athlete and did not go through spring practice — entered the game in place of Corral.
Tisdale’s Ole Miss career lasted less than one season. His only game action came on the final drive of a blowout loss at Alabama in late September. He threw a 28-yard touchdown pass. In reality, his fate was virtually sealed on that September afternoon when Plumlee entered the game against Cal instead of him.
“The competitor in me wants to play,” Tisdale said last week. “I feel like I can help this team win, but at the same time, Matt and (Plumlee) are doing their thing. Whoever is in, I feel like we can change the game.”
Head coach Matt Luke weighed in on the news on Wednesday evening.
“Grant and I spoke before practice on Tuesday and he felt it was best for him to explore his options,” Luke said. “He was a professional about it. I have nothing but praise for Grant. He is a great young man and will land somewhere good.”
Luke conceded that with four freshman quarterbacks, attrition was likely inevitable. He said he didn’t regret how the quarterback situation was handled. Tisdale never got a chance to prove himself in a game, but that is how the cookie crumbles sometimes.
“It is just the nature of the landscape we are in with the transfer portal in college football, especially with the number of quarterbacks we had in the same class,” Luke said. “Something was bound to happen.”
Plumlee said Tisdale was one of his closest friends on the team and wished him well. Plumlee’s left knee has been at the center of the team’s attention over the last week. He injured his meniscus while being tackled out of bounds in the loss to Texas A&M. He had minor operation during the bye week.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Plumlee said. “I have been rehabbing hard. I feel good.”
The freshman was a full participant in practice, wearing a sleeve on his left leg to with swelling, and is expected to play at Auburn.
All other minor injuries Ole Miss suffered in the loss to the Aggies two weeks ago will not hinder anyone from playing at Auburn — including four on the offensive line. The bye week was well-timed for a team with a thin unit up front. The Rebels will arrive on The Plains as healthy as they have been all season.