An Update on Jerrion Ealy’s Decision: MLB or Ole Miss?
Jerrion Ealy signed his National Letter of Intent with Ole Miss in February, but with the MLB Draft quickly approaching, Rebels still don’t know if Ealy will arrive in Oxford.
Jerrion Ealy was the most highly touted recruit signed by head football coach Matt Luke back in February; however, Ealy could also be a huge catch for an MLB organization by this time next week. With the MLB Draft set to start Monday, June 3, Rebel fans and coaches alike are holding their breath in hopes that the 5-star running back and baseball outfielder will suit up for the red and blue in 2019.
If you keep up with Ole Miss football, you know Ealy is a “once in a generation” running back. But, you probably also know the Jackson Prep graduate is a five-tool outfielder who is going to hear his named called in next week’s MLB Draft.
The looming question is whether or not he’ll stick with his commitment to Ole Miss football and baseball, or if he’ll take the MLB contract and head off to the minor leagues.
I wish I could tell you something definitive, but with just a week to go, there’s still not a clear indication of what to expect. Ealy has kept his cards close to his chest throughout this process, as just about every reporter who’s been able to speak with him has asked him the same question.
Ealy is a top-100 baseball prospect, likely to be chosen in the first two rounds next week.
Many hoped Ealy would report to Oxford this week with the rest of the 2019 recruiting class, but as of today he is still not on campus. As David Johnson of Rebels247 reported Thursday, Ole Miss coaches are not expecting Ealy to arrive until second summer session–depending on how things go in the upcoming MLB Draft.
5-star recruit Jerrion Ealy is a Kyler Murray-caliber two-sport athlete
He committed to Ole Miss as an RB, but he could go early in the MLB draft next month: “In five years, he’s going to be in the All-Star Game” https://t.co/6iTQBf1cZS pic.twitter.com/R4CfmnEXww
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 22, 2019
Ealy’s options are pretty simple…
- Sign with an MLB team and never suit up for Ole Miss
- Maintain his commitment to Ole Miss and turn down an MLB offer
- Play football for the Rebs in the fall and play pro baseball in the summer (that’s allowed, we promise)
Ealy is one of just four players in history to make the Under Armour All-America team in football and baseball, joining former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, 2019 four-star Memphis cornerback and LSU signee Maurice Hampton, and former Ole Miss wide receiver and current Tennessee Titan, A.J. Brown.
Murray, who went 9th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft, opted to play football for the Sooners and promptly won the Heisman Trophy last year before then being drafted No. 1 overall by the Arizona Cardinals last month.
Scouts say they see similarities between Ealy and Murray–but they also indicate they knew Murray would choose football. With Ealy though, they’ll admit that they don’t know anymore than we do. Like I said, Ealy has been incredibly tight-lipped about his future.
What we know
At this point, what we do know is the Rebels would desperately love to see Ealy in the red and blue. That first video shows just how elusive and athletic he is on a football field.
The second video isn’t as telling of his outstanding skills on the diamond. However, baseballs don’t fly off of a wooden bat with that sound for high school kids.
Let me throw out a few of his baseball metrics so you can see just how good he is.
- 60-yard dash: 6.13 seconds vs. class average of 7.22 seconds (99.96% percentile)
- Outfield velocity (throwing): 96 mph vs. 82 mph class average (99.09% percentile)
- Exit velocity (batting): 91 mph vs. 83 mph class average (85.09% percentile)
Measurements like that earn Ealy a rating of “10” from Perfect Game USA, a ranking considered to be indicative of a “potential very high draft pick and/or elite level college prospect.”
Those measurements also put him above the majority of current MLB players in those respective categories.
He would be an instant contributor in both football and baseball. Ealy and senior running back Scottie Phillips would make a great duo in offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez’ backfield. He would also make a great addition to head baseball coach Mike Bianco’s outfield, as there will be some holes left in the lineup after this season.
Ealy can run like the wind–on either the dirt or the turf. He can smack a baseball and a tackler like Bo Jackson, and he can also be the crown jewel of Matt Luke and Mike Bianco’s 2019 recruiting classes.
However, we will all just have to wait and see if the MLB signing bonus he will likely be offered is enough to draw Ealy away from Oxford. Of course, we hope to see him when the Rebels take the field at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium against Memphis on August 31. But if we don’t, we will still be thrilled for a terrific kid and athlete as he moves on to the next level.
Jake, a 2021 graduate of Ole Miss with a degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications, is from Nashville, TN. Along with his work at The Rebel Walk, Jake hosts “The Flagship Football Show” podcast. He’s also a huge fan of the Rebels, Titans, Predators, and Braves.