Andrew Ivins, 247Sports.com

5-Star RB Prospect Jerrion Ealy Commits to Ole Miss over Alabama, Clemson

Timothy Rapp

Ole Miss has itself a new running back. At least for now. 

Jerrion Ealy, a 5-star running back from Jackson Prep in Flowood, Mississippi, committed to the Rebels Wednesday over Alabama, Clemson and Mississippi State, according to Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.

This represents a huge recruiting win on National Signing Day with multiple Ole Miss rivals also missing out on a key prospect.

Ealy was one of the top remaining recruits left from the Class of 2019. He ranks as the No. 29 overall player, the No. 3 running back and the No. 3 player from Mississippi, according to 247Sports.com.

The interesting question for Ealy, however, is whether his future is in football or baseball. Ealy is MLB.com's No. 18 overall prospect for the 2019 draft, with the site breaking down his skills on the diamond:

"Unlike many players whose attention is divided between multiple sports, Ealy isn't extremely raw on the diamond. He needs to smooth out his right-handed swing, but also shows promising feel for putting the bat on the ball. He has a quick bat and packs plenty of strength in his compact frame, giving him at least 20-homer upside if he puts it all together at the plate."

Ealy has maintained that he could eschew football entirely if he does ultimately sign with an MLB team to pursue baseball exclusively, a risk Ole Miss was willing to take.

"I plan on signing in February on signing day, so whatever school I choose and sign with has a chance of losing a scholarship for that year," Ealy said in January, per Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com. "If I sign, but then go play baseball, they could lose out on one scholarship."

Ealy's upside in football is high enough for Ole Miss to live with that potential outcome.

The Rebels, after all, aren't exactly hurting at running back. Scottie Phillips (928 yards, 12 touchdowns) returns, while Ole Miss already added 3-star running back Jarod Conner.

Ole Miss currently has the 25th-ranked class in 247Sports.com's Composite Rankings, though Ealy's addition will bolster that ranking significantly. If Ealy decides to play college football, it will be a welcome bonus for the Rebels, but for at least next season they are also equipped to deal with him playing baseball exclusively.

Still, the hope in Oxford will be that Ealy sticks with football and becomes the next great running back for the school

   
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