"I called the staff at Ole Miss to let them know I was coming," said
an excited Ike Spearman. "They were definitely excited, like me. I think
both sides just feel very good about it. I think we are just both ready for
me to get started. I want to get down there as soon as I can."
Scout.com's No. 83 rated outside linebacker felt like Ole Miss was the right fit
for him for several reasons.
"I had a really good feeling about the school every time I went down there
and visited. Out of all of the schools I have been to, Ole Miss felt the most
at home. I have been talking to them more and more lately. And after seeing their
interest was still high on me after looking at my senior film, they felt like
I could get on the field early and get some early playing time. I thought it
was the right time to do it. I feel like I have made a really good decision."
Ike expands on his expectations at Ole Miss and where the program is headed.
"I feel really good about my ability to play early, and they think I am
one of the best WLB out there. I definitely want to start a new winning tradition
at Ole Miss and be a part of a really good young team. I know what I can do,
and I am going to show everyone else what I can do."
Who else was under consideration?
"Cinci (Cincinnati), Louisville, UCLA, and Minnesota were the other schools I was considering."
The Lake Central standout has finished his regular season and is gearing up
for the playoff stretch.
"We had a great regular season. We finished 8-1 and now we face Marryville
Friday. I feel like like I have improved a lot from last season. I am playing
at a lot of different positions than last year and that has helped me become
more versatile. Last year we played a 4-3 defense, and I was a middle linebacker.
This year we are playing a 3-4, and I play outside linebacker. On some formations
I line up at strong safety and this week I am playing free safety. That has
helped me out a lot learning to play a lot of different positions on the field.
It helps me become more versatile and how to make plays from all over the field."
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker has seen several improvements in his game
"I just got so much stronger in the off season and that definitely helped
me out in the running game. I also improved my speed and that has helped me
get more comfortable in the passing game."
Ike finished the regular season with 95 tackles, 25 for losses, 7 sacks, 2 blocked
punts, 2 fumble recoveries, and 4 forced fumbles.