Saturday, October 31, 2020

Running Back Jerrion Ealy Steps Back On the Gridiron

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor
adam.brown@hottytoddy.com

Ole Miss running back Jerrion Ealy met with members of the media following practice on Wednesday. Ealy, who is also an Ole Miss baseball player, discussed what it felt like to switch once again from the diamond to the football field. 

Normally, Ealy would have to play catch up to bring his playbook knowledge up to speed with the rest of the team’s after devoting his springtime efforts to baseball. However, because COVID-19 forced the football team to cancel spring practices, Ealy is starting this year off at the same level as his teammates. 

Jerrion Ealy breaks a 78 yard run to the end zone for a touchdown against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics

“It’s normal for me to learn a playbook over the summer, but it has been really good,” Ealy said. I like or concepts in what we have designed for our players. I think it is going to be an exciting year for our offense.”

The Walnut Grove, Mississippi, native appeared in all 12 contests his first season with the team as a true freshman with four starts, 104 attempts for 722 yards and six touchdowns.

According to Ealy, Kiffin and his staff want to give players the ability to make plays in the open field. 

“The coaches plan for me is to give me the ball in space (to) put me in the best position to make plays,” Ealy said.

Kiffin has previously compared Ealy to Heisman trophy winner (later forfeited) and former player for the University of Southern California, Reggie Bush. 

“Reggie was one of my favorite players growing up,” he said. “I try to mimic Reggie a lot. We kind of have the same, similar builds and the same playing styles.

“Knowing that he was there with him and at Alabama with Kendrina Drake, and TJ and all of them. It was exciting to see that, and he knows what he is doing. We also have got us a position coach (Kevin Smith) who knows what he is doing on how football is played to be the best group in the country.”

Ealy said that Ole Miss players are excited to be back on the field. 

“It was great to be out. Everybody was flying around, and it was exciting to be in pads for the first time since the Egg Bowl.”

Last season, Ealy was known for being a dynamic threat out of the backfield, carrying the ball and catching passes. He still wants to improve his game in 2020.

“I want to improve as a blocker and more consistent with my runs,” Ealy said. I left a lot out there last year, and I want to take full advantage of everything that the defense gives me.”