After several months off the grid, your beloved Landshark Leaderboard has returned to deliver that delicious combination of why are you doing this and shark mascot content that makes people mad on the line. What brought this dog and pony show out of the darkest depths of the ocean was Ole Miss’ announcement that Eli Manning’s number 10 jersey will be retired this fall.
As someone who saw Eli play almost every game he started in three years in person, I can’t give enough stamps of approval. During his college career, the offensive skill talent around him was, AHEM, non-NFL caliber, yet he was good enough to mask that and overcome defensive liabilities on the way to three winning seasons.
He had the ability to make throws no other Ole Miss quarterback in my lifetime could make. In his first start at Ole Miss, he completed 18 straight passes and threw five touchdowns. The pass that would’ve made it 19 straight completions was a drop by a running back (Joe Gunn to be specific; SEARED IN MY BRAIN FOR SOME DUMB REASON).
I could get into the 2002 season, but I am incapable of discussing that without being told “Sir, this is an Arby’s.” Instead of that performance, let’s turn our attention to other Ole Miss players who wore number 10 in the modern era.
I say modern era not because I’m lazy and don’t want to spend two hours looking up numbers for the last 100+ years*, but because the internet is lazy and doesn’t give me old rosters with numbers. Be better, information superhighway.
*I have proven over and over again on this site that I don’t value my time, so if I could’ve found a source, I would’ve looked at every roster.
(1) C.J. Johnson
Our Philadelphia, Mississippi son was not only a great player, but a guy who cares about Ole Miss and the people around him. I will always love him but I especially love this clip of him from The Season, mostly because Mike Hilton said he’s old and wearing Copper Fit.
(2) Chad Kelly
Here’s a little fire for you: Had SWAG played three years at Ole Miss, we’d be retiring SWAG’s number and not Eli’s. I fanboy love Eli Manning, but SWAG was blessed with an arm that maybe five people on earth have.
SWAG will be mostly remembered for his lack of skill in making reasonable life decisions, but people forget that he was a monster in his year and a half at Ole Miss. In YEAR ONE, he was the second player in SEC history to account for over 4,500 yards of total offense. Year one!
Before his season-ending injury in year two, he was on pace to surpass his passing and touchdown numbers from the year before, which would’ve given him the second most passing yards in SEC history.
I often think about his touchdown pass to Damore’ea Stringfellow against Mississippi State in the 2015 Egg Bowl. I have run the science on the velocity here, and the computer tells me it’s “Updates are available. Would you like to install now?”. REMIND ME TOMORROW FOREVER.
(3) Marquis Haynes
A one-time wearer of number 27, Haynes made the switch to 10 prior to his junior year, probably knowing he wanted to one day appear in these rankings. Haynes holds the modern era Ole Miss football career sack record (32) and tackles for loss (47.5), and he’s also the career assist leader in John Youngblood touchdowns.
A 24-3 lead right before halftime! Surely that turned out fine!
(4) Jordan Ta’amu
Our Hawaiian son came to us by way of the New Mexico Military Institute, a junior college which I am totally confident in saying no Ole Miss fan had ever heard of, as well as New Mexico junior college football.
Ta’amu’s career started when Shea Patterson was injured against LSU in 2017, and it’s safe to say most of us did not think it would go well. Thankfully, we are all very dumb and wrong a lot, and Ta’amu turned out to be a better quarterback than Patterson.
Ta’amu made a lot of great plays and throws in his season and a half-ish as starter, but none of them were as good as this.
44 yards, from the far hash to the near sideline. QB FILM PORN.
(5) Vince Sanders
You’ll never convince me that Sanders weighed more than 150 pounds, even if there was footage of him being weighed.
It mattered not because all he did was get open. Well, that and put Tony Brown on roller skates in a somewhat important game.
(6) Ta’Boris Fisher
My main memory of Fisher is when I was a youth and still had a spark in my eye, I saw him catch a go-ahead touchdown pass against Georgia in Tommy Tuberville’s first year at Ole Miss, as documented here.
I can remember three things about him:
- He went to Provine in Jackson
- He was short
- He was exceptionally slippery
I scoured the internet for video of said slipperiness, and this is what I found.
Also a touchdown:
If you watch the rest of the video, Alabama starting quarterback Jay Barker gets injured (INTENTIONALLY HURTING QUARTERBACKS FOR DECADES). Eventually, Alabama put wide receiver/running back David Palmer in at quarterback and their offense became “let him run around and see if Ole Miss can tackle him”.
They could not!
Perhaps the most incredible thing about the win for Alabama is their kicker made (MADE, NOT MISSED) four field goals.
(7) Quentin Taylor
Taylor checks in here because he was the first player after Eli Manning graduated to wear number 10. We love to see the aggressiveness. Also, I have no recollection of him at all.
Currently in negotiations with my brain to delete the rest of the Ed Orgeron era from the hard drive.
(8) John Rhys Plumlee
Our fleet-footed son split his time last year running by a lot of defenses and throwing passes we did not love to see. As I’ve said many, many times, it would be ideal if he could figure out the passing because he’s one of the most dynamic runners Ole Miss has ever seen, and that combination would go well to quite well.
If you missed it, this is a great Twitter thread, which is about the packaging of plays, but it serves as a great highlight of Plumlee cookin’.
Ole Miss had some of the best Tite front beaters vs. LSU, that I'd seen in a long time. The individual plays weren't as impressive is how they were packaged together. They centered on sawing the defense in half and getting lead blockers to the perimeter.— Coach Vass (@CoachVass) June 21, 2020
A thread (1/14)
(9) Jesse Grandy
Ah yes, Houston Nutt’s obsession with finding another Dexter McCluster because Dexter McClusters are so readily available. To be fair to Grandy, he had some moments.
Here’s Houston convincing himself he recruited another Dexter:
“He’s so electrifying,” coach Houston Nutt said. “He can make people miss. He can start and stop on a dime. He’s so fluid. He’s a true weapon and he’s only going to get better.”
(10) Jacquez Jones
(10) Walt Hill
Our final two wearers of number 10 were the only other guys who wore number 10 in the modern era. Jones, a member of the team as we speak (though he changed to 32 this week), and Hill, who kept the number 10 jersey warm for Eli prior to his arrival in Oxford.
So there you have it. The last guy to wear number 10 before Eli and the last guy to wear number 10 post-Eli. I look forward to the podcast they start together.