By Robert Wilson
JACKSON PREP ALUMNUS AND OLE MISS RUNNING BACK JERRION EALY HAS SHOULDER SURGERY
Jackson Prep alumnus and Ole Miss sophomore running back JerrionEaly had surgery on his right shoulder Thursday and is expected to miss baseball season and spring football practice.
Ealy was Ole Miss’ leading rusher this season with 745 yards on 147 carries and scored nine touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 115 yards and one TD and returned 10 kickoffs for 282 yards, including a 100-yard TD return against LSU. Ealy was named the all-purpose back on the All-SEC second team.
“I talked to Jerrion earlier this week and we had a good visit, catching up about this year, his success and how difficult this year has been,” Prep football coach Ricky Black said. “I heard his surgery was a success.”
Ealy said Thursday on Twitter, “Surgery went well this morning. Thank you for all the prayers!! God bless!!”
Ealy was named a third team All-American running back by Pro Football Focus, Freshman All-American and All-SEC all-purpose back last season as a freshman.
When Ealy was at Prep, he was named the MVP of the Under Armour All-American Football Game. He was rated as the No. 19 best player in the country and third best running back in the country by ESPN.
An outfielder, Ealy was projected a possible first-round pick in the Major League Draft out of high school, but pro teams backed off after he signed with Ole Miss to play football. He was picked in the 31st round by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ealy started six games and played in 13 in the shortened baseball season this past spring as a freshman.
JACKSON PREP ALUMNUS CHANCE LOVERTICH TRANSFERS TO MISSISSIPPI STATE
Jackson Prep alumnus and former South Alabama quarterback Chance Lovertich is transferring to the school where he cheered for and went to games as a kid, Mississippi State.
“I’m looking forward to going up there and competing with all of the other quarterbacks,” Lovertich said. “Mississippi State has offered me an opportunity to compete and I will let my work speak for itself. I’ve always been a State fan and it’s awesome that I will be there playing for them. Also, I want to have a career in coaching and it gives me an opportunity to learn from (Mississippi State) Coach (Mike) Leach. He knows a lot of people and that will open up a lot of doors for me.”
Lovertich will be competing with Brandon High alumnus Will Rogers, who started this season as a freshman and Southern Miss transfer Jack Abraham. Also, MSU signed high school quarterbacks Sawyer Robertson of Lubbock, Texas, and Daniel Creek of Argyle, Texas, in December.
After winning a national junior college championship at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in 2019, Lovertich signed with South Alabama. He played in six games with one start and completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 619 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions. He was the first player to enter the transfer portal after head coach Steve Campbell was fired.
When Lovertich was a junior at Prep he threw 25 TD passes with no interceptions in 169 attempts. He completed 110 of those passes, 65.1 percent, for 1,926 yards and led Prep to a 13-1 record and a state championship. In fact, dating back to the end of his sophomore season, Lovertich didn’t throw an interception for 18 consecutive games. He threw 32 TD passes with only three interceptions as a senior and won his third straight MAIS state title.
WEST JONES ALUMNUS BYRON YOUNG MAKES BIG PLAY FOR ALABAMA IN NATIONAL SEMIFINAL WIN OVER NOTRE DAME
There was a photo used by media all over the country last week of Alabama’s No. 47 tackling Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book in the national semifinals. No. 47 is the pride of West Jones High, sophomore defensive end Byron Young. Young, a backup to starter LaBryan Ray, tackled Book for a one-yard gain on second-and-11 from the Alabama 13 early in the fourth quarter. Two incomplete passes later, Alabama took over on downs to keep its 31-7 lead. It was Young’s only tackle of the game, but he has been instrumental subbing for Ray all season.
Young has played in all 12 games and has 29 tackles, 12th highest on the team. He also has 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery.
Redshirt freshman cornerback Brandon Turnage of Lafayette High (No. 7) has played in two games and has one pass breakup. He is listed as one of the two players as second-string cornerback behind Josh Jobe.
Alabama plays Ohio State for the national championship Monday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.