Nutt knows his reputation is on the line

Say this for Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt.

He’s not going into this whole Jeremiah Masoli gamble blindly. Rather, his eyes are wide open.

Who could blame him?

If Masoli gets as much as a traffic citation while he’s in Oxford, it’s not going to be pretty.

Talk about being in the ultimate fish bowl. Masoli will have to watch his every step, but it sounds like that’s already been pounded into his head while he was on campus for his visit.

Nutt told David Brandt of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger, “The rules are going to be different for him. I told him I have zero tolerance. I have a hair-trigger. I know he knows I will pull the trigger so fast.”

Nutt also knows what’s being said about him, especially after the Rebels gambled and lost on another troubled player last year – Jamar Hornsby.

Nutt’s message to Masoli was brutally honest: “I’ve got eyes on me for taking a thug. That’s what people are saying. You’ve got to be able to handle it and be a positive kid.”

The early word from the Ole Miss players is that they’re on board with the addition of Masoli, especially if it makes them a better team.

In fact, when word first started to trickle out that Masoli might be interested in Ole Miss, senior defensive tackle Jerrell Powe told Nutt while the Rebels were in Hoover, Ala., for the SEC media days that they ought to go after him.

One way or the other, these next four months in Oxford ought to be mighty interesting.

Of course, as long as all the excitement stays on the field, Nutt and the Rebels should come out ahead.