BRISTOL, Conn. -- Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze isn't sure how the Rebels will use highly-regarded junior-college transfer Jeremy Liggins this coming season.
Liggins will start training camp working as a tight end, but Freeze also plans to install a package in which Liggins will play quarterback in short-yardage and goal-line situations.
Liggins' long-term role with the team might very well be determined by his appetite and waistline.
"He might end up being an offensive lineman before it's all over -- an NFL one," Freeze said.
Freeze said Liggins reported to Ole Miss this past winter weighing about 310 pounds. Liggins has dropped about 30 pounds over the past several months, but Freeze said he's still too big to play quarterback in his spread offense.
Plus, the Rebels have senior Bo Wallace, who is one of the SEC's top returning quarterbacks.
"He can throw it, but he couldn't be our full-time quarterback right now with the tempo and everything else," Freeze said. "I do think he can handle short yardage and some other things."
Liggins has been something of a local legend around Ole Miss, so fans will be clamoring for him to see the field quickly this coming season. Liggins grew up in Oxford, Mississippi, and after leading Lafayette High School to 23 consecutive wins and back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 2010 and ‘11, he spurned the hometown Rebels and signed to play for LSU in February 2012. Predictably, Liggins was heavily criticized for his decision.
But Liggins failed to academically qualify after signing with the Tigers and bounced around the next season. He enrolled at Northeast Mississippi Community College last year, where he played three games at defensive end and four games at quarterback. He was ranked the No. 2 juco athlete and No. 20 juco prospect overall by ESPN Recruiting.
"He's just an athlete," Freeze said. "He's really a freak."