What went wrong with Jevan Snead?
A sure-fire NFL prospect, the former Ole Miss quarterback never stuck in the NFL after leaving school early. And, really, he never even got a cup of coffee in the league.
Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman recently sat down with Snead's former high school coach -- and newly hired SMU coach -- Chad Morris for his podcast, The Audible. What could have been with the former Rebel gunslinger came up.
"Bruce, he might very well be the very best quarterback I've ever coached to this day," Morris told Feldman. "That year, it was Sam Bradford, Jevan Snead, had Jevan been able to come out that year. Heading into his junior year, the two top quarterbacks (were) Sam Bradford and Jevan Snead at Ole Miss.
"That's the kid I had. He was probably going to be a top 10 pick."
When Snead transferred to Ole Miss from Texas following the 2006 season, he was considered one of the top signal callers in the country with big-time NFL potential.
Things never panned out, however, for the tall Texan.
A prep All-American out of Stephenville, Texas, with a blend of arm strength and athletic ability that was unparalleled among his peers, Snead played sparingly his freshman year at Texas before transferring to Oxford. After sitting out the 2007 season, Snead helped lead the Rebels back to the postseason and a Cotton Bowl victory.
After finishing second in the SEC in touchdown passes (26) and third in both passing average (212.5 yards per game) and pass efficiency (145.5) as a sophomore in 2008, Snead seemed like the real deal -- remember Need4Snead.com?
Although the Rebels returned to the Cotton Bowl the following season, Snead didn't look like quite the same quarterback. One year after throwing for more than 2,700 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, Snead threw for 2,632 yards and 20 TDs, but also threw a whopping 20 interceptions.
Instead of returning for his senior season, Snead opted to leave school early and enter the NFL draft.
Snead went undrafted, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but never saw time in a regular season NFL game.
"Unbelievable talent. I'm talking unbelievable. Big. Had it all. Gun for an arm. Rocket. 6 (foot) 4. Runs," Morris said. "I can tell you exactly what happened: He lost it between the ears. He lost his focus. He got involved, as we've seen it many, many times -- he was enjoying being a college quarterback, I guess, at Ole Miss.
"As you can imagine, the scenery and the girls, and he lost his focus. I think some of it is he lost some supporting cast around him that hurt him. He lost Michael Oher the year before. He lost the big wide receiver, Mike Wallace, and so, I don't think he put the effort and work in that he did the year before."
Feldman asked if Snead's confidence went as a result.
"I think so. He threw more picks than he did interceptions and several of his picks were just tip-ball picks. I remember him coming down to my house and telling me he was going to come out early," Morris said. "I told him, 'Don't do this.' It was after they beat Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. And so he about gets his head took off out there in that game that night and I just thought to myself, 'Don't do this Jevan. Don't do this. You don't need to do this right now, Jevan. You need to stay. You need to stay another year.'"
Morris said Snead filled out the paperwork to receive a draft evaluation and received a fourth-round grade.
"He wanted to go do it and make some money and it just didn't happen," Morris said. "He lost his focus and couldn't get his confidence back.
"I still tell him to this day, I tell him, 'to this day, brother, you very well may be the best I have ever coached.' Now, Tajh (Boyd) was good, but this kid had an arm. Crazy."
Morris told Feldman that Snead now works in San Antonio, Texas, and sells oil field supplies.
What could have been for one of the best that never was.