Jeremiah Masoli, a former star quarterback at Oregon, is looking to find a new school to call his home for the 2010 NCAA football season. Masoli was highly regarded as a possible Heisman contender after a breakout season with the Ducks, but trouble with the law led head coach Chip Kelly to dismiss him from the team.
Masoli might get a chance to bring his talents to the Southeastern Conference as Mississippi head coach Houson Nutt has extended an invitation to Masoli to visit the school. It did not take Masoli long to make up his mind as he accepted the invitation on Friday morning.
Earlier this summer Nutt had stated that the Rebels were not interested in Masoli, but this all changed after backup quarterback Raymond Cotton left the team last week just two weeks before preseason practice begins. Cotton was expected to fill the starting role after Jevan Snead skipped his senior year for the NFL.
Masoli is eligible to play immediately this season because he has already earned his undergraduate degree. However, he still must be accepted to graduate school.
Masoli came to Oregon as a junior college transfer in 2008 who was expected to redshirt. But injuries gave him an opportunity to play and he held on to his starting role. Masoli led the Ducks to their first Pac-10 title since 2001 last year and their first Rose Bowl since 1995. He passed for 2,147 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also rushed for 668 yards and 13 touchdowns.
But trouble found the star quarterback in March. Masoli was charged with a felony for stealing two laptop computers and a guitar from a fraternity on campus last January. The San Fransisco native plead guilty in March to a misdemeanor second-degree burglary in a plea deal. Kelly then suspended him for the entire 2010 season and he was expected to redshirt but was still allowed to participate in spring practice.
But Masoli got in more trouble back in June after police cited him for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana and driving with a suspended license and failing to stop exiting a driveway. Kelly then dismissed him from the team.
Mississppi and Nutt could face criticism if Masoli does join the Rebels program. But Masoli insists he is attempting to repair his image as evident on his website, www.jeremiahmasoli.net.
“I made a few very poor decisions in the past year, and I apologize to my family, friends and fans for them,” a letter on Masoli’s home page reads. “But I am not the person who has been portrayed in many media stories.
“I am not a thief nor a thug. The people who know me best know that is the truth.”