Just like for anyone signing on National Signing Day, it was about the best fit for Jerrion Ealy.
And that fit for him was Ole Miss.
Ealy, a five-star running back and also the MVP of the Under Armour All-American Game, officially signed with the Rebels in front of a packed auditorium at Jackson Prep on Wednesday morning. Ealy had head football coach Ricky Black throw a football to him where he sat down and pulled out a Ole Miss hat that was stuffed in the football.
After decommitting from Ole Miss a month ago he picked the Rebels over Clemson, Alabama, and others.
“It’s been a long process and I’m glad it is over with and I’m happy I am a Rebel,” Ealy said. “I just had to make sure it was the right fit for me. I made the decision last Wednesday and told Coach Luke then. The main reason I committed there was very genuine. I didn’t feel like I was being recruited there and I felt like I was being recruited at Clemson and Alabama. I felt like I was a person and felt at home at Ole Miss.”
Ealy also signed to play baseball and still has a plan to wait how things will fall in June in the MLB Draft where he is projected to be in a first round draft pick.
He mentioned Clemson had a real close shot at signing him.
“I actually wanted to get out of Mississippi, so I was really close. If signing day was three or four weeks ago, I was going to Clemson,” he said. “It changed after my official visit to Ole Miss. I just felt more comfortable. The way I look at is like Dabo Swinney said if little ole Clemson can do it than little ole Oxford can do it too. It would be a better feeling to bring a national championship here rather than go join a program that’s done it. I want to start my own legacy.”
Ealy helped lead Jackson Prep to a 12-1 record in 2018 and its seventh straight MAIS Class AAAA, Division I state championship. He will also help the Patriot baseball program make a run at their fourth straight state championship.
“Choosing to come to Jackson Prep my seventh-grade year was the best decision of my life,” he said. “I almost quit playing football when I got here and focus on baseball because the school I came from didn’t have a good football program. Coming here was a great decision. ”
Ealy will be joining Jackson Prep teammate and linebacker Adam Norsworthy, who also signed with Ole Miss as a preferred walk-on on Wednesday.
Norsworthy was sidelined for the second half of the season after suffering a torn ACL against MRA.
“The process was hectic just because I come from a Mississippi State background and when both MSU and Ole Miss were recruiting me I had to put everything to the side and choose what was best for me,” Norsworthy said. “The family atmosphere at Ole Miss is unreal, and the coaching is incredible, so that’s why I chose to go there. Me and Ealy getting to play together is a dream we’ve had since the seventh grade and now it’s a reality.”
Like Ealy, Brandon four-star wide receiver Jonathan Mingo had to find his best fit.
Mingo, who has been committed to Ole Miss since July, officially signed with the Rebels on Wednesday morning.
He chose Ole Miss over Georgia and Mississippi State.
“Ole Miss was the best fit for me and I feel like when I get there I can get on the field,” Mingo said. “Focusing on getting better every day and doing my job for this season.”
Mingo had 77 catches for 1,451 yards with 14 touchdowns in 2018 and helped lead the Bulldogs to a 13-2 record, a Region 3-6A championship and reached the MHSAA Class 6A South State Championship game.
“A big role in my decision was that Ole Miss has a tradition of sending wide receivers to the NFL,” Mingo said. “They have guys that are in the NFL now that come back to train and I hope I can continue that legacy.”
Greenwood chooses Air Force
When the opportunity came for Jackson Prep wide receiver Peyton Greenwood to go to the Air Force Academy, he took his time, but in the end it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“I decided and made it official last night,” Greenwood said. “It was a long stressful process over the last two or three weeks. It was a lot of opportunities waiting for me there and I am excited about it.”
Greenwood chose the Falcons over a preferred walk-on spot at Mississippi State.
“A degree from the Air Force Academy means the world. Once you graduate you are set for life,” he said. “A guaranteed job for at least five years right there and great money, so I’m excited about that.”
He helped Prep go 12-1 in 2018 and claim its seventh-straight MAIS Class AAAA, Division I state championship.
He helped lead the Patriots to a 51-2 record in his four-year high school career at Prep.
Other notable signees
The class of 2019 in Mississippi was nothing short of absolutely loaded, so here is a list of other prospects that made their college decisions on National Signing Day.
Louisville four-star defensive end Charles Moore was a big surprise signing with Auburn over Mississippi State, LSU and Florida among others.
Oak Grove four-star quarterback John Rhys Plumlee signed with Ole Miss after committing to the Rebels on Monday night after being committed to Georgia since last summer.
West Jones four-star defensive end Byron Young signed with Alabama over LSU, Florida, Ole Miss and Mississippi State among others. Young committed to the Crimson Tide back in July.
Starkville three-star linebacker Zach Edwards signed with Louisville over Memphis, Ole Miss, LSU and Mississippi State.
Other key signees were Lake Cormorant defensive end Cade DeGraw signing with Kentucky; Brandon offensive lineman signing with South Alabama; East Central linebacker Avery White signed with Southern Miss; Starkville kicker Garin Bonoil signed with Louisiana Tech and Ocean Springs running back Micah Kelly inked with Toledo after getting some late pushes from NC State and Kansas State.
Mendenhall quarterback Christian Allen continued the family legacy as he inked with Jackson State, where his father and uncle played. Hattiesburg running back Drexlan Allen also inked with Jackson State.