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BATESVILLE, Miss. -- Unlike varying recruits around the country, there was little drama at South Panola Wednesday. Defensive tackle Isaac Gross and linebacker Temario Strong each signed a letter of intent to play for Ole Miss next season.

The two signees are added to the long list of players that have come out of South Panola High School.

Gross, who is a three-star defensive tackle according to Scout.com, is glad the recruiting process is over.

"Man, it just feels good. It's a pressure relief now," Gross said. "I just wanted to stay home and go where my heart was."

Some reports said last night that Gross was contemplating switching his commitment to Southern Miss, but Gross knew where he was going all along.

"There wasn't no heat, no pressure at all until I went on my last visit to Southern Miss," he said. "But other than that, Ole Miss, I feel like is the perfect place for me. I feel like I'll be happier there, so Ole Miss is the place for me."

Strong, who is a three-star defensive end according to Scout.com, said nearly the same thing.


Issac Gross
Austin McAfee

"I feel like I'm at home. I'm ready to play ball," Strong said. "I had a lot of my folks go there and tell me good things about (Ole Miss). Then, I went and saw it for myself. I got to meet the new coaches. I love the coaches. We've got an understanding for each other."

Aside from the excitement, Strong is just glad he can go back to his normal routine.

"I feel like I don't have to worry about this stuff anymore, so I can just focus on my grades," he said.

For Strong, it's a family tradition. His uncle, Eddie Strong, and cousin, Chris Strong, both put on the red and blue while in Oxford, and Temario can't wait to do the same.

"When I go over there, I'll be playing the same position they played at outside linebacker," the 6-2, 220 linebacker Strong said. "We're ready to play ball."

For Gross and Strong, they are just ready to get started.

"It's so close, so I'll be over there in the spring learning plays," Gross, a 6-2, 270-pound defensive tackle, said. "I'll already have a jump, so I'll go work out and see where it goes from there."

With a big grin on his face, Gross wanted to send a message to the Ole Miss faithful.

"It's over and done with now. I'm a Rebel."


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