Jeremiah Pegues received his first scholarship offer from Ole Miss when he arrived at their junior day in February. He returned this past Saturday with a different mind set.
"It feels great," Pegues said as he arrived for the Ole Miss visit. "Many people from Oxford, Miss., don't get scholarships from the SEC schools, like Ole Miss. It's a blessing to have one, and for it to be from Ole Miss. Wow."
What did the Rebels like about Jeremiah to offer him so young?
"I came to their summer camps I think eight times. I guess I did well. I was an 8th grader and came to one of their senior camps. I was working with some of their top senior guys, and I guess I was hanging with them. They liked my motor and athleticism for a guy my size."
"J.J." makes no quarrels about who he grew up rooting for.
"I grew up a huge Ole Miss fan. When they offered my parents were just so happy. They grew up Ole Miss fans too. We are all big Ole Miss fans. Every since I started watching football I've dreamed of being an Ole Miss football player. I've got a chance to fulfil my dream now.."
Outside of being a "fan" there are several other positive factors for Ole Miss.
"I like how they work. I like their work ethic. I just live down the road so I get a chance to see them practice a lot. I like how the coaches build relationships with their players on and off the field. They have good relationships and bonds with the players."
There has been a growing number of players from Oxford that are now on the Ole Miss roster. They include OL Eli Johnson, WR D.K. Metcalf, RB D.K. Buford, LS Chadwick Lamar and LB Elliot Markuson. The Rebels have also offered several more local high school players recently in '19 LB Brandon Turnage (Lafayette), '18 Jaquan Webb (Oxford) and Jeremiah Pegues (Oxford).
The three "locals" have had conversations about playing for the Rebels together.
"Me and Brandon Turnage and (Jaquan) Webb are real close. We sometimes work out with each other and talk about our chances of coming to Ole Miss. We talk about it a lot."
Now that Pegues has gotten his first offer out of the way; does it make it easier or more difficult?
"I would say more difficult because people are saying this year I have to have a breakout season so I can get some more scholarships. People tell me that just because I'm a freshman more scholarships are going to come. I still have to work for it but it's probably going to come."
Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at email@example.com