If Brent Venables was looking to make a splash with his offensive coordinator hire then he may have done just that. Reports are circulating Tuesday night that Jeff Lebby will be leaving Ole Miss, after the bowl game, to join the Sooners coaching staff. Of course this has been rumored since even before Venables was announced as Oklahoma’s new head coach but now it’s looking less like a rumor and more like a certainty.
Lebby, 37, spent four years on Bob Stoops’ coaching staff, and has since emerged as one of the most productive offensive coordinators in college football at Ole Miss under Lane Kiffin. Prior to making waves in the S.E.C. as the coordinator for the Rebels offense, he was with Josh Heupel at Central Florida. That pretty much checks all of the boxes in terms of experience needed to run the show in Norman.
The question is, what will current Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams think of the hire? With Matt Corral as the triggerman of the offense in Oxford, the Rebels ranked fourth nationally in 2021 with an average of 506.7 yards per game. Corral had the best passing season of his storied career at Ole Miss, throwing for 3,339 yards, while also running for another 597 yards and scoring a combined 31 touchdowns. Surely that would get Williams’ attention, right?
Williams was Oklahoma’s leading passer in 2021. The true freshman threw for 1,670 yards and 18 touchdowns but showed the type of speed and vision that made him the top dual-threat quarterback of his recruiting class by running for 408 yards (5.7 YPC) and six more scores. All of that and he didn’t make his first start of the season until October 16th.
I wouldn’t expect Venables to make the hire solely on the idea of appeasing his star quarterback but Lebby is proven to be the guy who could help a dual-threat quarterback thrive.
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