Three-star defensive tackle Ross Donelly said he felt at home the minute he stepped foot on Ole Miss’ campus for an official visit last weekend.
Well, now he can start picking out the carpet and drapes.
Donelly committed to the Rebels Monday night over Vanderbilt and SMU. He held additional offers from, among others, Mississippi State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Stanford.
“Ole Miss is known for its top business program in the nation, and I want to major in business,” he said. “And on top of that, playing in the SEC on the best scoring defense in the nation. I love the coaches. They stuck with me all the way.”
Donelly, of Cypress, Texas, is rated the No. 43 defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com. He visited Ole Miss three times in the recruiting process, including a trip to see the Rebels defeat then-No. 1 Alabama in Oxford.
“I loved the coaching staff. Amazing guys,” he said. “I love the feeling of the town; it’s so oriented around football. It’s such a great atmosphere. And on the official, I just fell in love.”
Ole Miss returns all four of its defensive-line starters from a year ago, including junior Robert Nkemdiche, an Associated Press and USA Today second-team All-American selection.
Nkemdiche is considered by many a likely candidate to forgo his senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
“They were saying that in the SEC, they rotate their d-linemen,” Donelly said of Ole Miss’ plans for him. “They need d-linemen. With Robert leaving next year, they’re in need of d-linemen. I don’t know how it’s going to work out, I’ve just got to go out there and work and prove myself.”
The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Donelly, a one-time Rice commitment, has a number of areas in his game he’s looking to work on before reporting to Ole Miss in the summer.
“I’m definitely going to try and get a little bit quicker, get a little bit faster and get a little bit stronger,” he said. “This is a great transition from high school to college.”