OXFORD, Miss. – It’s not every day a fan base gets to help one of its players realize a dream. But that’s just what happened for Ole Miss Rebels and wide receiver Markell Pack this weekend.
Markell recently accepted an invitation to play in the SPIRAL Tropical Bowl, a college all-star game for seniors (who have completed their eligibility) to be played in Daytona Beach, Fla. on January 14.
Thanks to many wonderful Ole Miss supporters, Markell will be able to attend the game, joining Rebels’ defensive tackle Herbert Moore who has also been invited to participate.
Helping one of their own
Players in the game must cover the cost of their own expenses to and from Daytona Beach, as well as their accommodations. Ole Miss fans recently helped Moore so that he might travel to Florida, and one of Markell’s family friends thought that might be one way to ensure Markell could play in the game, too.
Becky Robinson, a diehard Ole Miss supporter, is friends with Markell’s mother, Demetrice Magee. Together, they set up a GoFundMe account in hopes of raising money for Markell’s trip to the Tropical Bowl.
“When I read that Markell was invited to the Tropical Bowl I was so excited for him,” Robinson said. “I contacted his mom to congratulate her, and I mentioned doing a GoFundMe to help Markell reach his goal. Markell and his mom are very humble and private, but they decided the next day to do it. From there it took off,” she explained.
“I have no doubt God put us in each other’s path. Their faith in God is amazing and it was a God thing!“
Becky Robinson, family friend of Markell Pack and his mother
Please help Markell Pack get to the Tropical Bowl! He’s been selected to play in the game & needs help covering the cost of expenses to get to Daytona Beach for the game. He’s got a GoFundMe. Any amount would be so appreciated. Hotty Toddy @_Tha_Pack11 https://t.co/wFkt1WOl7o
— Evie Van Pelt (@OleMissEvie) December 30, 2017
Rebels respond quickly and generously
Needless to say, the response to the GoFundMe was overwhelming. The goal of $2,500 was met in a matter of hours, as Rebel Nation responded generously to ensure Markell has the opportunity to play in front of NFL scouts–something for which Markell is most grateful.
“I am blown away by how much has been donated and by the people who care and have helped send me there.”
Magee echoed her son’s sentiments. “We appreciate all the love and support from everyone and are grateful for how much has been raised so fast,” she said.
“It means the world to Markell. God is so good!“
Demetrice Magee on what the donations mean to Markell and his family
Ole Miss fans on twitter made clear their support–both financially and emotionally–for Markell.
Go Pack Go! I donated, help a Rebel’s dreams come true! ❤️💙🏈✈️💯✔️ https://t.co/jIAsiL8yM5
— PReneeWrightNP (@np_wright) December 30, 2017
Congratulations on a great career at Ole Miss. All the best Markell #thankyou for being a Rebel!
— EXPRockstar (@exprocks) December 31, 2017
Markell’s career at Ole Miss
Markell, from Purvis High School in Mississippi, arrived at Ole Miss as a U.S. Army All-American and a consensus 4-star recruit in the 2014 class. Throughout his career for the Rebels, Markell played in 45 games and caught 63 passes for 777 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 5.3 yards on 18 punt returns. During his sophomore season in 2015, he notched 31 receptions for 380 yards and three touchdowns.
Markell was obviously moved by the donations made on his behalf, posting the following on Twitter Sunday morning:
Thank you to everyone who donated! Words can’t describe how happy & excited I am. I will go make RebelNation proud! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! 🙌🏾🔵🔴
— Markell Pack #⃣1⃣1⃣ (@slimreaps11) December 31, 2017
Rebels will no doubt cheer Markell on in the all-star game, as well as in the NFL.
Info: Tropical Bowl
The SPIRAL Tropical Bowl is an all-star game that showcases top college football seniors to NFL scouts and GMs. The weekend is focused on scouting and teaching the players who have an opportunity to perform in front of NFL decision-makers. At the inaugural event in 2016, 25 NFL teams and more than 70 scouts attended the game. According to the Tropical Bowl, over 110 of its alumni have gone on to the NFL since it’s inception in 2016.
This year’s Tropical Bowl will kickoff at 8 a.m. CT on January 14. The game will be live-streamed on the Internet exclusively by Flo Football. A subscription to Flo Football is required to view the game.