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Who will be Lane Kiffin’s ArDarius Stewart at Ole Miss in 2020?

There are several candidates.

Grayson Weir-Red Cup Rebellion

Ole Miss’ new head coach had a plethora of weapons during his time as offensive coordinator at Alabama. But, out of all the blue chip players, it was ArDarius Stewart who seemed to make one of the biggest impacts.

The former four-star from Fultondale, Ala. was dynamite in 2015 and 2016. Stewart did a little bit of everything for Kiffin and the Crimson Tide, hauling in 117 catches for 1,564 yards and 12 touchdowns in his last two years in Tuscaloosa. But it wasn’t just the statistics, it was the way he was utilized in the offense that made him so effective. And now that Kiffin is in Oxford, one would imagine that he would like to find someone to fill this same role in his inaugural season at the helm.

There are several names that come to mind when thinking of who this could be. Freshman All-American Jerrion Ealy comes to mind immediately with his game-changing speed and ability to change directions extremely quick. Elijah Moore could be a candidate as well, using his speed to create mismatches. And even 2019 viral sensation John Rhys Plumlee could do it.

So let’s try to decode this, shall we?

Here we see one of Kiffin’s favorites with the motion man coming underneath and taking a quick pass in the flats and scoring with ease. This could be any of the aforementioned candidates with speed. Kiffin loves utilizing athletes in space and those dudes would all be effective in this role.

This one caters to Moore. Stewart lines up wide right and runs a simple post that meshes with the inside receiver running an out, freeing him up just enough to beat the corner deep. Elijah has the wheels to do this and are definite take the top off the defense dudes for 2020.

Yes, I know, Ealy can do this, too, because he’s fast as well, but this is a little more natural for the receivers to execute.

This one seems perfect for Ealy and Plumlee in my opinion. Both can achieve top speed in a few steps and have exceptional quickness and shiftiness in the open field. Stewart comes in motion, takes the pop pass, and is already at full-speed before the defender whiffs at the line of scrimmage. This is a perfect example of getting the ball to your play makers the easiest way possible.

“Keep it simple, stupid.” - Michael Gary Scott

Here’s another play where Stewart took the jet sweep hand-off and is already running with a full head of steam while the defense is left stationary at the snap and trying to catch up in lateral pursuit. Again, this is just a gimme with the weapons on Ole Miss’ offense.

Get speed in space. That’s it. That’s the sentence.

This one is creative and you could involve all the weapons here. Stewart lines up wide right and comes around on a reverse after the quarterback does that same pop pass to a receiver who motioned towards the formation. This is a ton of fun to imagine Matt Corral in the open field getting after someone, leading the way to the end zone.

Another one of Kiffin’s staples in his spread attack is the quick wide receiver screen. The play starts with a simple play action to the back then a quick pass out to the field side. The other two receivers in the trips formation attack the defensive backs, giving the receiver with the ball a one-on-one situation to make the guy miss.

All three candidates could be involved in this formation. Again, we see Kiffin keeping it simple and just getting his dudes involved essentially with a long hand off.

Kiffin utilizes the art of deceptive eye candy on this snap, showing that same jet motion towards the formation, but instead uses an aggressive, fast-flowing defense against them.

The outside receiver runs a go route towards the middle of the field, clearing out the corner and safety while Stewart, who is lined up in the slot, fakes running up field and takes the screen pass and gets vertical in a hurry with the help of the left tackle who erases the pursuing outside linebacker. It’s a quick developing play that is, again, simple and effective.

Lastly, here we see Kiffin utilizing an ancient formation of the quarterback being used under center. The play starts as if it is run play to the left but quickly shifts to play action with Stewart coming underneath against the grain and taking another quick pass in the flat. We see him get up field, make a guy miss, and get the first down.


The point is, Ealy, Moore, and Plumlee are all explosive players who are going to thrive in this offense with the ball in their hands. Kiffin and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby should be licking their chops right about now at what they have at their disposal.

The only question is— who will be the guy?