John Rhys Plumlee: the next great Rich Rod quarterback

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Joe Broback

Contributor at Champion Insiders
Joe is a writer covering the NFL, NBA, NHL and college football. He also currently writes for SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, covering the American Athletic Conference since 2016. Joe enjoys collecting shoes, playing sports, and anything fitness related.
Joe Broback
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If you haven’t heard his name by now, yo’re missing out. John Rhys Plumlee has taken the college football world by storm with his play, and he’s just a freshman. He’s showing Ole Miss fans some flashes of two former Rich Rodriguez quarterbacks, and the Rebels are hoping his ceiling’s even higher. A quarterback battle with Matt Corral is definitely in the future, but Plumlee’s shown he’s capable of playing at a high level.

John Rhys Plumlee: a better Pat White?

Originally committed to Georgia, Plumlee ended up committing to the Rebels when Rich Rodriguez was hired as the offensive coordinator. It proved to be a great hire, and it resulted in a big time commit. Rodriguez’s offenses featured some good college football quarterbacks. Arizona’s Khalil Tate and former West Virginia Mountaineer Pat White come to mind right away, and Plumlee joins them. He’s producing stats like both White and Tate, but in his first season of college football.

His similarities to both White and Tate are obvious. Plumlee runs the ball like a running back. His balance through contact warrant designed quarterback runs, and he’s magical with the ball in his hands. Tacklers find it difficult to bring him down because he’s strong through contact, and his speed helps him pull away in the open field. Watching him play shows fans why Rodriguez likes him so much. It just comes down to the weaknesses Tate and White had to address.

Plumlee’s strength is his running ability, but he’ll need to work on his passing to become a more complete quarterback. He’s completing just above 50% of his passes, and that won’t win a ton of football games. He’s already electric as a runner, but can become even more unstoppable if he develops as a passer.

Running quarterbacks and Rich Rodriguez are synonymous, and the right one makes for entertaining football. Two of Plumlee’s best games came against Alabama and LSU. Against the Tigers, he rushed for 212 yards and four touchdowns. It’s evident the spotlight isn’t ever too big for him, and he’s shown tremendous poise for a freshman. Make no mistake, he still makes freshman mistakes, but there are things he does that you simply can’t coach.

Ole Miss and John Rhys Plumlee still have plenty to prove, but the freshman’s already making explosive plays. If he follows the same trajectory as White and Tate, the Rebels should produce one of the best offenses every single year. With improvements to his passing and decision making, a run at the Heisman could also be in store. He’s a young potential star, and we’ve already seen the best in the SEC can’t contain him. At this point, the sky’s the limit.

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