Dontario Drummond hauls in a pass during his junior season at Laurel. He signed Wednesday with Ole Miss. 

(LL-C file photo)


Coveted lineman Young says he will 

take visits before signing in February


Dontario Drummond was a one-man wrecking crew when he starred at wide receiver for the Laurel Golden Tornadoes. 

And now he will be rejoining one of those teammates with whom he had amazing success in high school. 

Drummond signed Wednesday to play at Ole Miss, where he will join a talented group of receivers, including his former LHS teammate Octavious Cooley. 

“Dontario has tremendous ball skills and the ability to make the 50/50 catch,” said Ole Miss wide receivers coach Jacob Peeler. “He’ll bring championship experience and add a veteran mindset to our receiver room.” 

Drummond has found success at whatever school he has played. He spent the last two seasons at national junior college powerhouse East Mississippi, where he helped the team to back-to-back national championships. 

The son of Kelvin Chinn and Alma Jackson was a consensus three-star prospect by 247sports.com, ESPN and rivals.com. In two seasons at East Miss., he had 95 receptions for 1,466 yards and 21 touchdowns — good for the school record in the first two categories. 

In high school, he recorded 3,474 all-purpose yards in four seasons, including hauling in 17 touchdowns his senior season in 2016. He played on the 2014 LHS Class 5A state championship team and also the state runner-up team in his senior season. 

He also excelled on the basketball court, helping the Golden Tornadoes to a state championship. 

Drummond chose Ole Miss over Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado State and Arkansas State. 

Drummond was one of three Jones County players to sign with Division I schools on Wednesday, the first day players can officially sign National Letters of Intent. 

Byron Young of West Jones, in the county, has verbally committed to Alabama, but said he wanted to take all of his official visits before signing. 

If Young follows through on his Alabama commitment, he would join what has been rated the No. 1 signing class in the country by several publications. 

West Jones punter Walker Thompson also has committed to Ole Miss, but was not one of the 25 players to sign with the Rebels on Wednesday. 

In Ellisville, Jones College head coach Steve Buckley enjoyed a little early Christmas present on Wednesday. 

Fifteen of his Bobcats signed with Division I programs on Wednesday, the first day of the early national signing period for college football. 

“The two most exciting days of the year for me as a head coach would be our signing day when we bring our new class in and then watching our own kids realize the fruits of their labor,” he said. “To see them go on and sign with a four-year college is exciting and puts a stamp on the things we told them that could happen for them if they came in and committed to the program — trusting the process, so to speak.” 

Five players will be heading to play in the Southeastern Conference, including safeties Jonathan Haynes (Ray Brooks) to Ole Miss and Fred Peters (Columbia) to Mississippi State, cornerback Jamar Richardson (Aliceville, Ala.) to Ole Miss and end/linebacker Marquez Bembry (Atlanta) to Kentucky. Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV signed with Georgia. 

Tackle DaShawn Crawford (Bay Springs) is headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference to play for Virginia Tech. Three Bobcats will be playing in the American Athletic Conference, including cornerback Gabe Rogers (Jackson Callaway) and end Wardalis Ducksworth (Mize) to Memphis and linebacker Nick Anderson (Vicksburg) to Tulane. 

Three Bobcat offensive linemen are going to play for Tennessee-Martin of the Ohio Valley Conference – tackle Cru Birdyshaw (Jasper, Ala.), guard Kordel Watts (Vicksburg) and guard Malcom Miller (Warren Central). 

Linebacker Davis Harrison (Lamar School) signed with the University Central Arkansas of the Southland Conference, defensive tackle Edward Haralson (Yazoo County) signed with Louisiana-Monroe of the Sun Belt Conference, end Devonte Toles (Pass Christian) signed with the University of North Alabama of the Atlantic Sun Conference and offensive tackle Bryce Wade (Albuquerque, N.M.) is going to the UMass, which competes as an independent. 

Buckley notes that all 15 of these players are going to Division I schools. 

“Look back over the last three signing classes with our kids going on to four-year schools and we have had 63 kids to sign and 53 of those have signed Division I,” he said. “It speaks volumes to the kids’ commitment and what they have done for the program and our assistant coaches for doing a great job of recruiting the right kids.”

Shawn Wansley contributed to this report.

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