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Ole Miss QB Ryan Buchanan quits football

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With the arrival of five-star Shea Patterson pushing him further down the depth chart, Buchanan is stepping away from the sport.

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On National Signing Day 2013, Ole Miss landed what looked to be the future of the quarterback position in four-stars Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade. Three years later, they're both off the team.

Weeks after Kincade transferred to Grambling State, Buchanan announced Saturday morning that he's stepping away from the sport of football altogether.

"I came to the conclusion a few months ago that football would not be my future and it was time to start applying myself 100 percent to my future," Buchanan told Chuck Rounsaville of the Ole Miss Spirit. "It's time for me to find my passion beyond football."

With Chad Kelly returning for his senior season and mega-recruit Shea Patterson set to take the reigns in 2017, Buchanan's decision isn't particularly surprising. His only real shot at starting in Oxford ended the day Kelly transferred to Ole Miss last year. Buchanan was technically in a position battle with Kelly for the starting job last summer, but that was a competition in name alone. He probably would have entered 2016 as the third-stringer, and may have been pushed even deeper by redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin.

Transferring, Buchanan told Rounsaville, wasn't an option.

"The reason I got up at 5:30 a.m. four days a week for three years was to play football at Ole Miss. I would not take that kind of dedication with me anywhere else."

Not that Buchanan's decision should be viewed in a pessimistic light. The Ole Miss program, which has so long struggled to find a reliable signal caller with a surname other than Manning, suddenly has an embarrassment of riches at quarterback. Buchanan, meanwhile, realizes his professional future doesn't include football and is making a responsible decision to bolster that future by other means.

"I had a great talk with [the coaches]. They were very understanding. Nobody asked me to quit, and they told me I could stay. I appreciated that type of feedback and understanding, but I had made up my mind," Buchanan said. "We didn't want to announce this right before signing day because we wanted everyone's attention to be on that great class the coaches were putting together, but it's OK now."

In two seasons backing up Bo Wallace and Kelly, Buchanan completed just 20 passes for 171 yards, two touchdowns and two picks. Kincade completed 25 passes for 206 yards and two scores.

Good luck, Fratcannon. May your hair forever swoop.