HORN LAKE, MS (WMC) - The nation’s top ranked inside linebacker is now a Georgia Bulldog. Nakobe Dean, the 2018 MS Gatorade Player of the Year, chose the Bulldogs over Ole Miss, LSU and Alabama during the early national signing period on Wednesday.
With ESPN broadcasting the announcement, Dean pulled out a shoe box with a Georgia shirt and put it on to show his commitment to the Bulldogs. The 5-star linebacker said he chose UGA because he felt the Bulldogs can “develop him on the field and off.”
“UGA took the lead probably three days ago,” Dean said. “Today was crazy. I probably should’ve turned off my phone. I gave all the schools a chance, and went back and forth, but finally landed on UGA.”
Dean said he struggled choosing between the in-state Rebels and Georgia. He even used the Ole Miss “Fins Up” celebration at the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game on Monday, which made some Rebel fans believe Dean would sign to play college football in Oxford.
“It was about 50-50 between UGA and Ole Miss," Dean said. “They were my top schools when I did that. I didn’t have nothing to do with UGA. I don’t know what they do (to celebrate), so I just threw (the ‘Fins Up’), but UGA took the lead these last couple of days.”
“I love Ole Miss and at the end of the day I’m going to represent Mississippi wherever I go.”
Dean’s teammate Raydarious Jones chose LSU over Ole Miss. The 4-Star ATH played quarterback for Horn Lake, leading the Eagles to a MS Class 6A State Championship earlier in the month, but will play defensive back in college.
“I’m relieved,” Jones said about signing early. “All the stressing and headaches is over now."
“It’s how I felt. I felt like I was at home (at LSU). I feel like I can be developed as a good DB there.”