National Signing Day 2019: Five-Star RB Jerrion Ealy Signs With Ole Miss, Plans to Also Play Baseball

Ealy, one of only four players to be named an Under Armour All-American in both football and baseball, said 'baseball has my heart' on ESPN2.
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Running back Jerrion Ealy, who entered National Signing Day as the second-best uncommitted prospect in the Class of 2019, is headed to Ole Miss. Ealy was one of only three five-stars who remained unsigned after the early signing period, along with offensive tackle Darnell Wright. The third-ranked running back in the Class of 2019, Ealy verbally committed to Ole Miss in December 2017 but reopened his recruitment in January 2019. Now he’ll be playing for Matt Luke after all.

That is, unless he chooses to play baseball instead. Ealy is projected as the 18th-best prospect in the 2019 MLB Draft by and appears in numerous mock drafts. When pressed to choose between sports at his announcement ceremony, Ealy said "baseball has my heart" and expressed a desire to play both sports in Oxford, but if he is taken in the top 20 of this summer's MLB draft, his plans could change.

Ealy is one of only four players to be named an Under Armour All-American in both football and baseball. While the obvious comparison is to Kyler Murray (another one of those four dual All-Americans), Ealy himself has recognized that he’s not exactly in the same position.

“Kyler has already played college football and won a Heisman,” Ealy told ESPN last month. “I don’t really have as much leverage as he does.”

A better comparison would be Jordyn Adams, a four-star receiver who committed to UNC in December 2017. Six months later, the Los Angeles Angels selected him 17th overall (eight picks after Murray) in the 2018 MLB Draft. He hit .267 in rookie ball. UNC went 2–9 and fired Larry Fedora.

Ole Miss ranked 15th in Rushing S&P+ in 2018, lead byjunior Scottie Phillips, who racked up 928 yards on 6.1 yards per carry. Whether he starts or splits carries (or even plays baseball) in 2019, Ealy is the first five-star to choose the Rebels in three years, dating back to before the NCAA hit the program with a bowl ban and scholarship reductions tied to the recruiting methods of past staffs, primarily under Hugh Freeze.

Ealy racked up a slew of high school honors. Beyond the All-American nod, he led Jackson (Miss.) Prep to its seventh-straight state title last year, rushing for 1,526 yards on 8.9 yards per carry while also leading the team in receiving yards and touchdowns. He posted similarly gaudy numbers his junior year. At the All-America game in January, he set a new game record with 119 rushing yards, which came on 16 carries.