Photo courtesy of Ole Miss athletics
Just one season removed from switching to wide receiver, Ole Miss’ John Rhys Plumlee has decided to hit the transfer portal.
In 2019, Plumlee started most of the season at quarterback for the Rebels under head coach Matt Luke. Once Lane Kiffin arrived, Matt Corral took over the job.
Plumlee will a two-sport athlete with baseball and football at his next stop, so there will be plenty of options.
Out of high school, Plumlee was committed to Georgia for the majority of his senior season. After he decided to open things back up, numerous programs came calling.
Schools like Florida State and Auburn got involved in the sweepstakes. Some wanted him at a skill position, and others wanted him at quarterback.
Ultimately, he decided to sign with Luke, who would give him a chance to be the Rebels’ signal caller. He would also go on to play baseball for the Rebels.
What position he plays at his next stop is yet to be seen. Regardless, he will instantly be one of the fastest and most dynamic players on the field.
The Rebels tried to get him the ball in space at wide receiver, but it is much easier from the quarterback position. When he gets an opening, there are not many people on the football field who can catch him.
Plumlee also has done well as a leader. At least publicly, he handled losing the starting job to Corral pretty well. As a result, he will now get a shot to play even more at another school.
If he is behind center, he will present a serious threat to the defense with his legs. Teams will have to account for the quarterback as a runner. Taking him down in the backfield will be a tall task.
At quarterback, Plumlee is a bit of a liability throwing the football.
Can this be fixed?
Yes, but it has been two years since Plumlee saw meaningful time behind center. Developing him into an every-down quarterback might be out of the picture.
He was not too productive as a receiver, just surpassing 200 receiving yards this year. To be fair, he was stuck in a loaded wide receivers room and was still learning the position.
Plumlee is as dynamic as they come, but finding a fit within an offense will be the biggest challenge.
Potential Landing Spots
According to reports, UCF and Indiana have emerged as two programs to watch. Remember that Plumlee will also be playing baseball, so the pedigree of the baseball program might matter as well.
UCF head coach Gus Malzahn recruited Plumlee at Auburn. He is also a fan of running quarterbacks, if Malzahn chooses to go that route.
Indiana has been feeding off SEC transfers in the last few years. Plumlee could be the next.
Other Potential Fits: Florida State, Clemson, South Carolina, Southern Mississippi
It’s far from a slam dunk that Plumlee will be an immediate starter wherever he lands. Regardless, his playmaking ability is going to be too much for someone to pass on. It will also be too much to not put on the field.
He might be a position-less player right now, but his ability is enough to entice coaches. The key is landing his commitment. Figuring out how to maximize his talents will come later.