Nakobe Dean spurns Ole Miss and Alabama, signs with Georgia

HORN LAKE, Miss. – Despite late rumors that Ole Miss was making a heavy push, the top high school football player in the state of Mississippi is going to Georgia. Nakobe Dean of Horn Lake made his decision Wednesday afternoon, live on ESPNU from the Horn Lake auditorium. To Rebel fans dismay: Nakobe Dean is a Bulldog.

“I feel like they gave me everything. They checked all the boxes academically and with development,” Dean said. “I just felt comfortable there.”

A five-star prospect, Dean is the top-rated inside linebacker in the nation according to 247Sports. He ranks 14th nationally, position independent. Dean said Georgia took the lead three days ago, but Ole Miss was always in the running.

For Ole Miss, landing Nakobe Dean would have been a monstrous step in the right direction for Matt Luke and an Ole Miss football program that has underperformed both on the field and in recruiting circles since the departure of Hugh Freeze. Now, they’re sinking back down.

Georgia was the heavy favorite to land Dean right up until the wire, and Ole Miss and Alabama were also coming at him hard – standard stuff for the best linebacker in America. But Dean chose Georgia, something he said he made his mind up on today.

“I gave everyone a chance and it went back and forth, but I finally landed on UGA,” Dean said. “It was close with Ole Miss. It was hard to say no with them.”

At Monday’s Mississippi v. Alabama All-Star Game, Dean made a big tackle for loss to which he followed up with a landshark gesture, thus raising eyebrows as to if he would actually come to Oxford.

“I was leaning (Ole Miss). It was about 50/50 then,” Dean said. “I didn’t have anything to do with UGA. I don’t know what they do. So I threw up the landshark.”

A second Horn Lake player was also considering Ole Miss, but like Dean, Rydarious Jones is going elsewhere. Jones, a four-star athlete and the 16th rated player in the state committed to LSU Wednesday. He was considering LSU and Ole Miss. Jones says he will play corner.

“I felt like I was at home there. I felt like I could be developed as a (defensive back),” Jones said. “We just had to make a business decision… it’s a large history with LSU and (defensive backs). I want to be a part of that.”

Jones and Dean were together last night, mulling the decision. Jones said they were on the phone for three hours, before they finally made up their minds this morning.

For an Ole Miss coaching staff that had come under fire by fans following a disappointing season, Wednesday’s signing day has had some ups and downs for Matt Luke and company. Not landing Dean, thus making a statement by locking down the best in-state products, will certainly be seen as a failure.


University building new mechanical plant


UM Graduate chosen as 2023 Marshall Scholar


Oxford featured in “Small Town Christmas” episode airing Dec. 16


Select ornamental kale for garden color, produce


UPDATED: New Chick-fil-A Site Plan Under Review by Oxford Planning Commission


One car crash this afternoon, person in critical condition


UPDATED: Severe Thunderstorm Activity Continues in North MS

Lafayette County

UPDATED: NWS Issues Severe Storm Warning for Lafayette County


Alert: Tornado watch in effect in effect until 7 p.m.


Boil water notice lifted


Harmontown man charged with attempted sexual battery, molesting of minor


Updated results expected Saturday after E. coli found in Oxford water samples


Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department Dec. 8 crime report


Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department Dec. 7 crime report


Here’s what you need to know so far about businesses affected by the Oxford water advisory


Oxford under boil-water alert; 14,650 customers affected

Lafayette County

Oxford’s weekend weather whiplash


Ole Miss Pre-Dental Society joins Oxford’s Adopt-a-Street program


Oxford High School marks Pearl Harbor anniversary with stirring tribute


Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department Dec. 6 crime report


Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department Dec. 5 crime report


Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department Dec. 4 crime report


Zhuzh up your garden for January. Gnomes might work.


OPD collects donations for needy