Ole Miss WR Jonathan Mingo Looking Forward to Playing with His Brothers in the Egg Bowl
OXFORD, Miss. – It is doubtful a 20-year-old college football player has Carly Simon on his iPod playlist, but for Ole Miss receiver Jonathan Mingo, the songstress’ 1974 hit could be his personal anthem this week.
“I haven’t got time for the pain.”
Mingo came back briefly last week in the Rebels’ 31-17 win over Vanderbilt after missing seven games with a foot injury he suffered in the week of practice preparing for the Alabama game.
But this week finds No. 8 Ole Miss traveling to Starkville to battle arch-rival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. So, Mingo simply does not have time for the pain as the Rebels look for the first ten-win regular season in school history.
“I really don’t try to think about pain in the game, just trying to do my assignment and get the job done. So, when I’m in the game, I try to block the pain out and just focus on my job.”
He had done his job quite well up until the injury hit. He had a career night against Tulane, catching six passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. A week before against Austin Peay, he narrowly missed the century mark with seven receptions for 99 yards and he found the end zone twice.
Mingo came back last week against Vanderbilt, playing 18 snaps and catching one pass.
The production was limited, but Mingo was just happy to be back on the field. Some thought his injury would keep him on the shelf for the season, but he had other thoughts.
“I (didn’t) think I was done for the year, so…I was just really thinking, just attack rehab hard and try my best every week (to) come back,” Mingo said.
“You know seeing my guys play every week motivated me every day to come in and rehab twice, three times a day, so it’s just a blessing to be back.”
Now Mingo and the Rebels turn their attention to Mississippi State.
Both teams appear in the College Football Playoff rankings with Ole Miss checking in at No. 8 and the Bulldogs at 25th. Each team also is riding a winning streak, the Rebels have won their last three, while State has reeled off two straight.
Either Ole Miss (9-2) or the Bulldogs (7-4) will keep that streak alive Thursday.
A winning streak, a 10-win regular season and a possible New Year’s Six Bowl are on the line for the Rebels, but for Mingo there is another reason to play this week – it is another chance to take the field with his teammates even if he is not completely healed.
“I probably won’t be 100 percent until after the season. But I’m good enough to go to just be out there with my brothers. I’ve got other brothers that are hurt – I’m hurt too – but we’re gonna fight to the end.”
The Egg Bowl kicks off at 6:30 p.m., and can be seen on ESPN.
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.