OXFORD, MS (WLBT) - Ole Miss' 2019 recruiting class will be the first in years signing from out under the shadows of NCAA scholarship reductions and a postseason bowl ban. But it also will be without some of its top in-state targets.
The start of the early signing period ended in disappointment for the Rebels when Horn Lake star linebacker Nakobe Dean announced he would be signing with Georgia live on national television. Dean says Ole Miss finished second.
“It was close with Ole Miss. It’s just hard saying no to them," Dean told reporters.
Dean added, “At the end of the day, I’m going to represent Mississippi wherever I go.”
In all, Ole Miss signed 25 players Wednesday. 16 of those 25 hail from Mississippi.
“We all knew the class of ‘19 was really, really good,” head coach Matt Luke told reporters Wednesday. “But to sign 16 guys from Mississippi, (we’re) really, really proud of that.”
Among those who signed with Ole Miss Wednesday is Brandon’s Jay Stanley. Stanley told WLBT it helped that the penalties imposed by the NCAA on Ole Miss were gone in making his decision.
Jackson Academy quarterback Kinkead Dent also signed with Ole Miss. He’ll join the Rebels for the spring semester next month as an early enrollee. Dent told WLBT he’s grown up in an Ole Miss family and has been going to games in Oxford for much of his life.
“It means the world,” said Dent of signing with Ole Miss. “I’ve grown up in Oxford being around the games, sitting in the stands at Vaught-Hemingway (Stadium). I just knew it was the right place and I just knew that I could make a difference at Ole Miss.”