Former Ole Miss signee and current commitment John Jerry could have had numerous options for continuing his football career when his recruitment opened up after he enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy last summer. However, Jerry is not the typical recruit, torn about which school to attend. Jerry says Ole Miss is home for him and he's dedicated to completing his academic requirements and getting prepared to start as a true freshman next fall.
"Ole Miss is probably recruiting me harder now than they ever have," Jerry said. "I joke with the coaches that they can let up and go get after some of the other recruits, because I'm 150 percent a Rebel."
Ole Miss coach Tony Hughes made a home visit last Saturday night and according to Jerry, he is really impressed with everything about the new coaching staff at Ole Miss.
"We talked about a lot of stuff," Jerry said. "We talked about that you have to go to class at Ole Miss because if you don't Coach (Ed) Orgeron won't tolerate it. My mom was glad to hear that. Coach O and the Ole Miss coaching staff stresses academics as priority number one."
Jerry plans on using his experience at Hargrave Academy as a learning experience as well as a training experience. The three-star rated prospect by Rivals.com feels that the experience has prepared him to compete right away for a starting position at Ole Miss.
"I have been playing against some of the best talent across the country," Jerry said. "While many may not realize it, our defensive line will all be starting at Division I schools next fall. This has prepared me both mentally and physically to be ready to compete for a starting job and to compete in the SEC as a freshman next fall."
According to Jerry, he has kept up with Michael Oher this past season and realizes that can easily be him next fall as well.
"Oher made first team Rivals.com Freshmen All-American team, that's a goal and accomplishment I want to achieve next fall," Jerry explained. "Coach Orgeron and Ole Miss have proven that they will play the best player no matter what year they are in. They played 12 true freshmen this past season, I like that a lot. It also shows that our team was young last year and will only get better this fall."
Jerry plans on looking for guidance and will lean on Oher's experiences to make him better as a player.
"I will count on him and lean on him to show me the ropes as a true freshman coming in," Jerry said. "He knows what it takes to excel as a freshman in this league."
Another topic of discussion in the Jerry household last Saturday was the direction that the football program is headed in.
"I'm so impressed with Coach Orgeron and the staff," Jerry said. "Coach O has a very detailed plan on how to take Ole Miss to a championship level. I'm very happy to be a part of that. Getting to play only 20 minutes from home is another big plus for me. All of my family and homeboys will get to watch my continued success on the gridiron."
Jerry will use a different approach in preparing for his first season at Ole Miss.
The standout blocker plans to use the first two summer sessions at Ole Miss as his red-shirt season and plans to be 110 percent ready for fall camp.
"I plan on working this summer harder than I have ever worked before," Jerry said. "It won't start this summer but in the weeks to come, we all play 7-on-7 at Hargrave, even the big boys. We are out there running against some of the fast guys and we hold our own with them as well."
Jerry explains it really feels great to be wanted and needed as much as the Rebel coaching staff has shown him.
"I know it's not going to be easy," Jerry said. "There is no other school that I would rather be at, Ole Miss is home for me. I'm very focused I know that Coach O and Coach (George) DeLeone aren't going to give me anything; I will have to work harder than I have ever worked before. It will be worth it because I will be playing for the Ole Miss Rebels."