Two weeks ago, the biggest fish Matt Luke had in the 2019 recruiting cycle snapped off the line. Four-star running back Jerrion Ealy, who’d been pledged to Ole Miss since December of 2017, abruptly de-committed, leaving a void in a class that desperately needs offensive playmakers.
True, there’s a very good chance that Ealy will end up playing professional baseball instead of college football, but his de-commitment underscored the reality that this Rebel class is light on top-end talent. With Ealy off the line, Ole Miss has just two current signees or commits who rank inside 247 Sports’ top-300 2019 prospects. For a team losing its quarterback, top three wideouts and three O-line starters (and will see its star running back depart next year), that’s a problem.
Both of the remaining top-300 prospects are four-star wideouts. One of them, Dannis Jackson, inked last month during the early signing period. But the other, Jonathan Mingo, remains unsigned. Though committed to the Rebels since July, the Brandon, Miss. native chose not to ink alongside Jackson in December, opting to hold out for the traditional National Signing Day on Feb. 6.
To be clear, the Rebels still appear to be in the lead for Mingo, who ranks 216th among all recruits in his class. He recently told Rivals that he’s “pretty much solid to Ole Miss” but that he’s still looking around. Last week he took an official visit to Starkville. After stopping by Oxford this weekend, he’ll head to either Florida State or Georgia for the last weekend before Signing Day.
“Schools would really have to open my eyes to make me feel more comfortable about their school to change my mind from Ole Miss,” Mingo told Rivals last month (before his trip to Starkville last Thursday). “I still feel like I am about 100 percent. The other school that would probably have the most chance right now would be Mississippi State.”
At 6’2, 200 pounds, Mingo is the type of big-bodied pass catcher the Rebels need now that A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf are NFL-bound. Those two guys produced some 3,700 yards and 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons. 2018 signees Elijah Moore and Miles Battle will be the top options coming into spring camp, but Mingo will get every opportunity to be an immediate contributor next season.
That, combined with the historical success the Rebels have had with putting wideouts into the professional ranks, is a major selling point to Mingo.
“I like [wide receivers coach Jacob] Peeler,” Mingo said. “I feel like he can develop me to be my best guy. He is like another father to me.”