October 19, 2011

Ole Miss lands Indiana linebacker

Ike Spearman developed a strong interest in Ole Miss long before the 2011 season began.

Even with the Rebels struggling through the first half of that campaign, Spearman's positive feelings for the school and the football program have only grown.

On Tuesday, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound outside linebacker from St. John (Lake Central), Ind., committed to Ole Miss.

"I just had a great feeling about the school as a whole," Spearman said. "Ole Miss has always been at the top of my list. I just feel like they saw something more in me than other schools did. I like my decision. I'm very comfortable with it.

"I definitely have a good chance at early playing ability. They see me as a (weakside) linebacker. They feel comfortable with it. I want to play early and that's definitely something I have a chance to do there."

Spearman, who has led his team to an 8-1 mark entering Friday's sectional game against Maryville, said he chose Ole Miss over Minnesota, Cincinnati, UCLA and Louisville.

"They were very excited," Spearman said. "They have been waiting for it. They wanted me bad. Both sides are very happy about it."

Spearman said he's not concerned with Ole Miss' struggles so far this season. The Rebels lost at Vanderbilt in September and then were blown out at home last Saturday by No. 2 Alabama.

"I've watched a large majority of their games," Spearman said. "I see a young team. They're very young and in the building process. I feel like I fit in well and can help them out a lot. …It's not too close and it's not too far away. I just feel like it's the perfect place to be."

Spearman, who said he will take an official visit to Ole Miss sometime this winter, enters Friday's game with 95 tackles, seven quarterback sacks, two punt blocks (both returned for touchdowns), five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

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