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Dart’s ‘swag’ and ‘story’ makes third-year Ole Miss quarterback an On3 college football favorite

Ben Garrettby:Ben Garrett05/13/24


Ole Miss football has seemingly gone all-in on a title run in 2024. 

Look no further than third-year starting quarterback Jaxson Dart.

Dart was one of the many Rebel veterans who, in the off-season, considered leaving early for the NFL Draft. However, like his star wide receivers, Tre Harris and Jordan Watkins, and a host of others, including tight end Caden Prieskorn, Dart is running it back with the Rebels. 

The College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams next season. Ole Miss has been ranked inside the Top 10 of Top 25 polls in each of the last three.

“Darty season out there in Oxford this coming season,” On3 national college football analyst JD PicKell said of Dart, when discussing his favorite players in college football on his ‘Hard Count’ podcast. “He’s going to have a huge year, mark my words. 

“Lots of weapons around him. But the reasons I love watching this dude play ball, he plays with reckless abandon. Throws his body around when he runs the football. You’ll very rarely see him slide, much to the chagrin of Lane Kiffin. He’s lowering that shoulder on the linebacker on third-and-2 to get the first down. He plays with a lot of energy and a lot of passion.”

Dart announced his Ole Miss return on New Year’s Day. 

He’s started all but one game over two seasons and led the Rebels to 19 wins. Pro Football Focus released its highest-graded returning SEC quarterbacks on Monday. Dart (91.2) came in at No. 2 behind only Carson Beck (Georgia; 91.5).

Dart is recovering from off-season clean-up work on his ankle. However, he said this spring he’s rounding into form. Dart steered Ole Miss to a program-record 11 wins last season. He threw for 3,364 yards and 23 touchdowns with just five interceptions. Dart rushed for 404 yards and eight additional scores.

“When it comes to his story at Ole Miss, it’s hard not to like this guy,” PicKell said. “He transferred from USC during that transition when Caleb Williams was eventually going to be the quarterback there and everyone knew it. Gets to Ole Miss and has a decent first year under Lane Kiffin and then portal season rolls around and Ole Miss takes not one but two quarterbacks (Spencer Sanders and Walker Howard). I’m not tremendous with math, but I can understand when you bring in two quarterbacks and you have one guy returning who was your starter, they brought those dudes in to try and push you and probably take your job. 

“Jaxson Dart is going to transfer, right? No. Stays, wins the job, has a great year last year and now Ole Miss is set up to make a College Football Playoff appearance. Jaxson Dart, one of my favorite players (with) the swag, the juice, his story and the way he operates.”

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