Junior wide receiver Dontario Drummond reels in a catch during passing drills at a summer practice session. (Photo courtesy of OleMissSports.com)


Drummond poised to help fill open leadership role for Rebels

In recent years, Ole Miss boasted some of the most elite receiving corps in all of college football.

Just last month, two Rebel receivers — AJ Brown and DK Metcalf — were selected in the second round of the NFL draft. 

With those departures comes the opportunity for other young wideouts to step up and assume leadership roles at the position. 

So far, through spring and summer workouts, former Laurel High and East Mississippi Community College standout Dontario Drummond looks poised to play a big part in helping to fill the gap. 

One of just two upperclassmen receivers on the team, Drummond’s two years of playing elite JUCO football makes him an ideal veteran presence for a pretty young depth chart. 

“He brings experience,” said wide receivers coach Jacob Peeler. “He’s a junior-college kid that’s won two national championships and an All-American at that level.”

Drummond racked up 95 receptions, 1,466 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns in his two seasons playing in Scooba for the EMCC Lions, becoming the program’s all-time leader in both receptions and receiving yards. 

By December of last year, 247Sports.com ranked Drummond as the fourth-best JUCO receiver of the 2019 recruiting class. He chose Ole Miss over several other offers from Arkansas, Arkansas State, Colorado State and Kansas.

“EMCC is like a four-year school,” Drummond said about his former school, famous for its sustained success and for being the original subject of “Last Chance U” on Netflix. “Really, you’re playing against a lot of D1 bouncebacks. Playing on that level really helped prepare me for this.” 

Drummond, a 6-foot, 1-inch speedster, said the mental aspect of the game, however, has become noticeably more challenging at the Division I level, which leaves a lot less room for error. 

“I’ve noticed that I have to play faster than what I have been because the DBs are smarter,” Drummond said. “So I’ve had to really work on my craft.” 

The extra work has not gone unnoticed, as coaches say Drummond has made vast improvements throughout his first offseason with the team. 

“He’s a guy that has done really well,” Peeler told reporters in the spring. “He’s taken to the offense and has improved drastically from Day 1.” 

Joining the Rebels reunites Drummond with former Laurel teammate Octavious Cooley, who is entering his fourth year at Ole Miss as a tight end. Drummond, Cooley and Arkansas State receiver Omar Bayless comprised one of the most prolific receiving trios in MHSAA history, leading the Tornadoes to 13 wins and a state championship in 2014.

Drummond said at this point he has no personal goals in his sights, rather he is focused on helping the Rebels return to the postseason in 2019. 

“My goal is helping my team win and make it to a bowl game,” said Drummond. “That’s all I want is to help my team accomplish that.” 

Drummond is scheduled to make his debut with the Rebels on Saturday, Aug. 31, in a road game against the Memphis Tigers. His first taste of SEC action will come just one week later when Ole Miss hosts Arkansas at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.


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