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November 1, 2005
Free Read: Stephens wants to start at QB in 2006
Nick Stephens Photo Gallery
How committed is Flower Mound (Texas) prospect Nick Stephens to Ole Miss? The answer is an easy one after visiting with the talented signal caller this weekend.
"I'm very committed to Ole Miss," Stephens said during an exclusive interview in Dallas. "The only way I would even think about not going to Ole Miss is if Coach (Ed) Orgeron wasn't going to be there. I don't see that happening so the chances of me being there are very good."
Stephens mother echoed those sentiments Friday night after Stephens's game against Lewisville.
"You wouldn't believe how big a Rebel fan he as already become," Mrs. Stephens said.
Although Ole Miss is actively recruiting more quarterbacks, that hasn't bothered the standout senior prospect.
"I haven't really been thinking about it a whole lot, just concentrating on what I can do for the Rebels next fall," Stephens said. "I know there is a possibility that (former Tennessee quarterback) Brent Schaeffer may transfer there. It doesn't bother me at all; he better be ready to beat out Nick Stephens if he wants to start next fall."
Stephens said that no matter what quarterback signs at Ole Miss, he plans on competing for the job as a true freshman.
"Coach (Noel) Mazzone told me from the beginning that there was a chance that they would sign three quarterbacks," Stephens said. "I'm not worried. I'm a competitor and I will compete for the job regardless who is there."
One thing that Stephens has been doing this fall is to continue to grow, a matter that pleases the strong-armed senior. He has added a half of inch in height since summer pushing him to 6-foot-3 and 1/2 and is up to 205 pounds from his 195 pounds when he committed last June.
"I plan on working hard after the season on getting bigger, stronger and faster and to prepare myself to be the starter next fall at Ole Miss," Stephens said. "If I do all of those things everything else will work out like they are supposed to. All I want to do is to prepare to help make Ole Miss better next fall, if that is as the starter or as a backup it won't matter to me."
Stephens says that he follows Ole Miss closely in the news and finds the information he reads very interesting.
"I can't get enough," laughed Stephens. "I'm addicted to getting as much Ole Miss news as possible."
Stephens received a text message from his Dad last week while he was at school telling him that his friend, Richard Dickson, had committed to LSU, something that surprised the Texas native.
"I haven't been able to get a hold of him," Stephens said. "Last time we talked he was very excited about taking his official visit with me. I hope he will still take that visit. I look forward to seeing him."
During the off season Stephens plans on working out six days a week with weights and at least two to three days a week with a speed trainer.
"I want to put on about 15 more pounds of muscle," Stephens said. "I want to get faster also and I will work with a trainer to get my speed down, I'm running a 4.8 now I want it to get in the 4.6 to 4.7 range."
Stephens will not be able to graduate in December, something if he and his parents had realized earlier, would have been something they would have considered.
"I fall one class short of graduating," Stephens said. "If I had thought and planned it out I would have done it, but my offer from Ole Miss and my commitment came out of no where and kind of caught us off guard. I'm ready to be there right now. I would love to be in Oxford in the spring, but it's not an option at this point."
When asked if the biggest and best team in Texas would to offer him would he be interested, Stephens was quick to answer.
"I would tell them thanks but no thanks," Stephens said. "I would let them know that I'm totally committed to Ole Miss."
That hasn't kept schools like Arizona from calling him once a week.
"I have told them I'm totally committed to Ole Miss, but they still call just to keep in touch," Stephens laughed. "Coach Orgeron calls me every week wanting to know how I'm doing and if I'm ready to be a Rebel, I tell him I'm ready to be a Rebel right now."
Stephens acknowledge that one of his stronger parts of his game is arm strength, but he feels that his vision of the game is perhaps his best talent.
"My vision and reads on the field is where I beat a lot of quarterbacks," Stephens said. "I love to throw the ball on the run, while most quarterbacks only think about throwing to one receiver while he is running, I'm able to see the entire field and can throw it to anyone."
The one thing that Stephen thinks he needs to work on is his footwork.
"I want to get quicker feet," Stephens said. "My foot work isn't bad now, but I want to improve it so I can be that much better at the next level."
When asked about how the distance to Oxford was going to affect him and his family, Stephens said that there were two airports in the Dallas area.
"My folks are telling me I'm getting a new car soon," Stephens said. "Once I get the car to Oxford, don't expect too many miles to be put on it. I plan on hopping a plane to get back and forth when needed. Distance won't be a factor for us at all, my parents have already driven it, and it's not that bad of trip."
Stephens plans on enrolling for the first summer session and will be on the Oxford campus as soon as he can possibly get there.
"That's a major goal of mine is to get there as quick as possible so I can go to work and prepare to be the starter at Ole Miss this coming fall," Stephens said. "That's all I'm worried about, getting myself ready for the task at hand, winning the starting job."
Want more information on Nick Stephens? Get recruiting analyst James Bryant's personal observations of Stephens after James watched him in action in Dallas last weekend. Sign up for a free trial by clicking here and go to the Rebel Recruiting Board for James' observations.