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June 13, 2011
Rebels' quarterback commitment impresses at camp
C.J. Beathard committed to Ole Miss on May 2.
A little more than a month later, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound quarterback from Franklin (Battle Ground Academy), Tenn., was in Oxford for the first time since making that pledge, this time working in front of Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt and offensive coordinator David Lee at the Rebels' annual elite camp.
"There's still pressure," Beathard said prior to the workout. "I'm still nervous and stuff. There's no relief. I guess there's a little bit, but I'm still going to go out there and do the best I can. I'm not going to half-ass anything. I still have to prove myself and stuff like that."
Beathard lived up to his advance billing, displaying an accurate arm and precise footwork during passing drills inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The experience, he said, served as further motivation for what he hopes is a successful career under Lee's tutelage.
"It was my dream since my freshman year," Beathard said. "I'd been wanting to go to Ole Miss for so long and when they offered me, I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to go, so I went ahead and committed."
Beathard hasn't known Lee long, but there are family connections. Beathard's grandfather, longtime NFL executive Bobby Beathard, knows Lee, a former assistant with the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins, well.
"He told me what a great guy (Lee) was," Beathard said. "After he came to our school and I got to meet him, I couldn't think of anybody else I'd rather be playing under than Coach Lee and Coach Nutt. They seem like great guys, very respected and stuff like that."
Beathard said SMU and Tulane have offered scholarships in the weeks since he committed to Ole Miss. Tennessee has been calling frequently as well.
"They want me to come down, but I already committed, so I don't think I'll be able to go down," Beathard said. "(Tennessee) has been real interested lately. I'm pretty sure this is where I want to go. I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be, so I'm pretty sure this is where I want to go."