Jack Tannehill’s dream of playing football for Ole Miss appears dead.
The Oxford kicker decommitted from the Rebels on Tuesday night, announcing his decision on Twitter. Tannehill told the Daily Journal he actually reopened his recruitment in January, when new Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin pulled his scholarship offer.
“He told me he wasn’t going to offer a scholarship to any kicker,” Tannehill said.
Still, he hoped he could walk on and earn a scholarship.
But about an hour after Tannehill’s tweet, Caden Costa – a kicker from Mandeville, Louisiana – tweeted that he was committing to Ole Miss. And he has a full scholarship offer.
“So I was like, all right, I’m out,” Tannehill said.
Tannehill committed to Ole Miss in June of last year, when Matt Luke was still head coach. In his tweet, Tannehill thanked Luke along with then-assistants Jacob Peeler, Chris Rippon and Brennon Chapman.
Tannehill said special teams coordinator Blake Gideon is the only member of the current coaching staff with whom he has spoken, “and he and I have hardly talked.”
It’s a tough blow for Tannehill, who grew up going to Ole Miss games. His mother, Robyn Tannehill, is the mayor of Oxford.
“When you’re a little kid in Oxford, you go to the Grove and think about playing football for the Ole Miss Rebels,” Jack Tannehill said. “But part of me committing was if Matt Luke’s job was on the line and if he was to get fired, hopefully I’d still have a scholarship there. We see how well that worked out, though.”
Tannehill has been as reliable as they come for Oxford. Over the past three seasons, he’s made 28 of 39 field goal attempts (71.8%) and 92 of 93 point-after tries.
He was 13 of 18 on field goals last season and helped lead the Chargers to the Class 6A state championship.
All Tannehill can do now is focus on his senior season and try to find a college program that wants him. He has offers from Southern Miss and Eastern Kentucky.
“It’s a business,” he said. “It could’ve happened to anybody – unfortunately, it was me. (I’ll) just come back harder than ever and make whoever I’m going to play for glad they got me.”