By Wil Crews
Opelika’s Jarell Stinson is taking his talents to Oxford.
The senior defensive back on the varsity football team announced his commitment to Ole Miss via Twitter last Friday.
The 5-foot-10-inch prospect is the rated No. 47 defensive back in the country and the No. 19 at the position in the state of in Alabama, according to 247’s composite rankings.
Following a prolonged commitment to Auburn University, Stinson re-opened his recruitment in July and the likes of UCF, Florida, Penn State, Florida State and Ole Miss began coveting the versatile athlete.
Stinson told WTVM that he made the decision to commit to Ole Miss because of “the coaching staff,” and “things like the football team going up.”
Stinson further said Lane Kiffin played a big role in his commitment as he feels like “it’s going to be a journey,” and that “it’s going to be very, very fun” and he cannot wait to get to campus.
Ultimately, he said Ole Miss feels like “the perfect spot” for him.
Opelika high school head coach Erik Speakman talked about what an honor it has been to watch Stinson grow as a player from a young age.
“It’s been really fun to watch him just really grow up,” Speakman said. “I’ve probably known him since he was in about third grade. You could always tell Jarell was a great football player and most importantly a great kid and great person.”
Despite being slightly undersized, Stinson makes up for it with elite-level speed. A multi-sport athlete, Stinson is the defending 6A outdoor 100-meter (10.52), 200-meter (21.22) and 400-meter (47.74) state champion.
“I think the sky is the limit for him when he gets to college and continues to grow,” Speakman said. “He’s such a hard worker, always working on his speed, his footwork … he’s always in here lifting weights trying to get better. I think that Ole Miss is really getting a steal on a player coming over here and getting a kid that can probably help them year one or year two.”
Last season as a junior, Stinson anchored the Bulldog secondary making 95 tackles and one interception, while also returning nine punts for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Stinson earned plaudits for his contribution to the team, later being named to the 2020 6A All-State team.
Despite missing three games due to injury early this season, Speakman praised Stinson’s work ethic and impact on the team —as well as spoke highly of his leadership characteristics.
“He’s one of the hardest workers on the team,” Speakman said. “And that’s always good when your best players are your hardest workers because it really shows these other guys how to act, how to play, how to approach the game and how to approach the weight room. He’s been a great role model for these young guys coming along and I imagine that he will continue to do that once he gets to Oxford.”