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New scene helps Broadway

Senior Jim Broadway took an unfamiliar path to becoming a starting punter in the Southeastern Conference. However, a new environment gave Broadway an opportunity that seemed nonexistent.
Anna Brigance/The Daily Mississippian

 
Ole Miss didn’t enter the season with a need at the punter position, but the emergence of senior walk-on Jim Broadway has allowed Ole Miss to attempt to redshirt Tyler Campbell. 
 
Broadway, who walked-on during the spring, took an interesting road to becoming Ole Miss’ starting punter. That journey started at Miami of Ohio in 2008. Broadway punted 17 times in 2009 for the RedHawks.
 
He elected to leave after his redshirt freshman season, and enrolled at Ole Miss.
 
“Well, I transferred from Miami (Ohio) after my redshirt freshman season,” Broadway said. “I was going to come out and try to walk on right when I got here, but academically, I switched my major. I had to catch up and I had an injury that set me back, so finally I’m back and it feels good to be back on the field.”
 
To keep his form and strength in good shape, Broadway ventured down to the Ole Miss intramural fields and punted by himself. 
 
So far through two games, Broadway’s return to the field has gone well, as he’s averaged just over 47 yards per punt. 
 
“I wasn’t really nervous, actually,” Broadway said after the season opening win against Central Arkansas. “To be honest with you, all of those punts, I didn’t even hit them that great. I guess it was maybe adrenaline; they carried a good ways. I was just glad to be able to help the team in that situation.”
 
It’s an opportunity that Broadway never thought he’d have considering that the Rebels had one of the conference’s best punters returning in Campbell. 
 
“I thought I was coming in, and I was going to be a backup that’s been there and had enough reps in live games to be able to handle it,” Broadway said. “Luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to step in when they need me.”
 
A coaching change at Miami (Ohio) pushed him to transfer, and a new coach in Oxford willing to do something a little outside of the box has given Broadway another opportunity at the college level. 
 
“We had had a coaching change, and I wasn’t too happy with the environment,” Broadway said. “I was kind of out of my element out there, but it ended it up working out for me.”
 
While the decision to redshirt Campbell isn’t finalized, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said after the season opener against Central Arkansas that being able to redshirt Campbell would help the Rebels out recruiting wise.
 
“I feel like if we can do that, we set ourselves up to steal a scholarship, so to speak, in next year's signing class because you don't have to worry about signing a kicker or a punter,” Freeze said. “We’ll continue with that plan now, but it’s not final. 
 
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