Former 5-star recruit granted permission to transfer following Ole Miss sanctions Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 30: Shea Patterson #20 of the Mississippi Rebels reacts after throwing an interception for a touchdown against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Ole Miss Rebels finally received word of NCAA sanctions earlier this week and, while it could have conceivably been worse, the program will certainly feel the brunt of the penalties in the coming years. However, Ole Miss also may reportedly have to deal with replacing a top-tier prospect in the coming days, as David Johnson of 247Sports’ Ole Miss Spirit brings word that quarterback Shea Patterson “has been granted permission” to explore transfer options.

Patterson missed the final five games of the 2017 season with injury but, prior to that, the talented signal-caller was easily the biggest bright spot for the Rebels in an otherwise underwhelming campaign. At one point, Patterson was the top overall prospect in the 2016 class according to the 247Sports composite and, in short, there is no question about his lofty talent level.

While it is important to note that this does not necessarily spell the absolute end of his tenure in Oxford, the report also sheds light on a potential destination for Patterson.

Well-placed sources also told the Ole Miss Spirit that Michigan is probably the favorite to land Patterson, if he does execute a transfer from Ole Miss.

Those same sources told the Ole Miss Spirit that Patterson is using the opportunity to simply “explore options” and that it does not necessarily mean he is committed to leaving the Ole Miss program.

Jim Harbaugh and many other head coaches would almost certainly love to have Patterson keying their offenses in the future. Until a decision it made, though, the Ole Miss faithful wait on pins and needles.

Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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