OXFORD, Miss. — After practice yesterday, true-freshman running back Jerrion Ealy met with the media. In the first game-week depth chart of the season, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound running back is listed as the co-backup behind Scottie Phillips with Snoop Conner and Isaiah Woullard following the completion of fall camp.
One thing is for sure; Ealy is very comfortable in his own skin. He jokes and smiles a lot—and obviously loves to talk. He doesn’t have any problem talking to the media, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise after he was labeled a five-star running back prospect and possibly an early round MLB draft pick in high school.
When asked if he was nervous about the game against Memphis on Saturday, he spoke confidently, but not in a bragging manner. “Not at all,” Ealy said.
“Hey, it’s just like any other game. It’s another game that I’ve got to go out and play. I’m a man that lives by, if you go out and play hard, God will take care of everything. So for God, just play hard and God will take care of the rest.”
RB Jerrion Ealy
As fall camp has progressed, Ealy has become more and more comfortable as a playmaker in this offense. “I’m very comfortable now,” he explained. “I feel like when I go out and play, I’m just playing, not thinking about plays and thinking about my assignments or anything like that. Right now, I’m just going out and playing full speed,” he added.
After watching Phillips during fall camp, Ealy, who played high school ball at Jackson Prep. (Miss.), says he has learned to be more patient after getting the ball in his hands when running north and south between the tackles. “Patience,” he said, when asked what Scottie has taught him.
“I’ve become a more patient back. At first, I was kind of hitting the holes too early and not allowing my blocks to fully set up. So now, watching his (Phillips’) run scheme and watching him just go about his thing every day, he’s taught me a lot of patience,” said Ealy.
The consensus out of fall camp is Ealy will be used all over the field. That we do know of for sure.
“Sometimes they ask me to get in the slot a little bit, play running back, return kicks, return punts… They look to give me the ball in space. That’s all I know.”
Some in the national media question the lack of experience on the Rebels’ offensive line, a unit that lost several veterans to the NFL Draft and graduation. Ealy, however, doesn’t believe the offensive line will limit this team’s potential to run the ball this fall.
“We can push up front. Our big guys, once we get on our tracks and they get going, they’re phenomenal to run behind.”
Jerrion Ealy on the Ole Miss offensive line
Don’t be shocked to see Ealy get over a hundred all-purpose yards in his first appearance. He’s going to be lined up all over the field and, frankly, it’s going to be hard for Coach Rich Rodriguez to keep the talented back off the field. He’s too explosive and shifty to stand on the sidelines.
Watch out for No. 9. He’s going to be a star in the SEC for years to come.
Jerrion Ealy speaks with media Tuesday, August 27. (Video: Derrell Hart, The Rebel Walk)