By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
ABERDEEN – Ole Miss fans can finally breathe. Channing Ward is officially a Rebel.
The Aberdeen defensive end, Rivals’ top-ranked player in Mississippi, sported a bright red shirt, hat and red and blue tie while meeting with media members on Wednesday.
He opened national signing day by faxing his letter of intent before 8 a.m.
“It’s finally over. No more phone calls and letters and coming to your house getting free meals,” Ward laughed.
Ward announced his verbal during the Under Armour Game in Florida on Jan. 5 and never wavered from the live announcement he made on ESPN.
The decision came after the Scout five-star and Rivals four-star athlete, narrowed his 20-plus long offer list to Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn and LSU.
‘best for me’
“It’s been crazy. Some people have been supportive. Some haven’t. It’s going to be like that wherever you go, wherever you pick,” Ward said. “You can’t make everybody happy so I just did what was best for me.”
Ward had 117 tackles and 16 sacks his senior season after previously helping lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back Class 3A state championship games.
In the Under Armour Game, he dominated among the best players in the country with seven tackles, six solo, a record-tying two sacks and a record 3.5 tackles for loss.
A projected defensive end, Ward was ranked as ESPN’s No. 5 player at the position.
“I can remember when he was an eighth grader and knew he was going to be a good player if he’d do the things he was supposed to do,” Aberdeen coach Chris Duncan said. “We’re going to miss him in the locker room and the coach’s office. He’s almost gotten to the point he’s wearing a headset.”