Family Ties

Barry Brunetti

After leaving West Virginia in December, Barry Brunetti had but a short time to make a decision on a school for transfer. In the end, he ended up where most had expected all along – at Ole Miss.

Barry Brunetti wanted to get it right.

After leaving West Virginia in December, the former U.S. Army All-American had but a short time to make a decision on a school for transfer. He immediately targeted three schools – Ole Miss, Memphis and Arkansas State – with his sights set on deciding by mid-January.

He allowed each of his finalists a sales pitch, cramming a full recruiting season into a few short weeks. He toured all three campuses and met with each school's head coach.

Barry Brunetti

Sure, he didn't want to rush, but time didn't permit a lengthy process.

And in the end, Brunetti ended up where most had expected all along – at Ole Miss. The 6-foot, 207-pound dual-threat quarterback announced his intentions to transfer to Ole Miss via his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon.

He'll arrive in Oxford later this month to begin classes.

"They're looking for a guy who can run and throw," Brunetti said in an earlier interview with the Ole Miss Spirit.

"(Coach Nutt) really loved me out of high school, but I committed to West Virginia kind of early. I appreciate them giving me another chance."

He joins an already crowded depth chart at quarterback.

Ole Miss returns juniors Randall Mackey and Nathan Stanley, and signed Zack Stoudt, who has two years of eligibility remaining, of Iowa Western Community College in December.

Brunetti has four years to play three. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he won't be eligible to play until the conclusion of the 2011 season. However, he intends to file for a family hardship waiver with the NCAA, and should he qualify, would be allowed to play immediately.

Brunetti opted to leave West Virginia to be closer to his mother, Elna, who was injured in a car wreck in September. Elna, as was reported by Jason Smith of the (Memphis) Commercial-Appeal Dec. 29, could no longer travel to Morgantown for games.

"It had been on my mind since like September, after I found out about my mom's situation," Brunetti told Smith. "She came to the first two or three home games, and that's when she really started having problems with her neck. She started going to the doctor and stuff, and when she was in the car for a long time it just kept hurting and kept hurting."

Brunetti appeared in four games for the Mountaineers in his only season, completing 4 of 9 passes for six yards. He also had one carry for four yards.

"I feel like I made a good choice coming back home closer to my mother," Brunetti said.

Brunetti was named the nation's 20th-best quarterback out of high school by Scout.com. Among his list of offers were West Virginia, Tennessee and Mississippi State. He led Memphis University School to back-to-back state championships over his junior and senior seasons, when he combined for over 4,700 yards and 72 touchdowns.






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