It didn’t take Winona’s An’Darius Coffey long to make up his mind about where he wanted to play college football.
Coffey went to Ole Miss’s football camp this past weekend and the Rebels offered him a scholarship on Sunday. Coffey then visited the school with his mother on Wednesday and made his commitment official later that day.
“Since I have been little, I wanted to be a Rebel,” Coffey said on Thursday morning. “It was really a dream come true for me. To sit in front of the head coach and the position coach, that really got me. I got to see all of the facilities and meet a lot of great people. It really shocked me on how nice everybody was to me. It just felt like home and I felt like they would support me all the way.”
Winona Coach Joey Tompkins said the Ole Miss coaches were really excited about Coffey.
“The defensive coordinator, Coach (Mike) MacIntyre just loved him,” Tompkins said. “They did some drills with him and put him in some coverage situations. He’s a 4.5, 40-yard dash guy and has a 42-inch vertical leap. On top of that, he’s a high-character guy and that’s what everybody wants. He will be a huge asset to their program. All I know is if we have to have somebody representing Winona, I don’t know if we could find a better person than An’Darius.”
Coffey, who stands at 5-foot-11 and weighs 175 pounds, is coming off a monster season for the Tigers, where he accounted for more than 2,800 yards of total offense. Coffey rushed for 1,445 yards on 192 carries and 19 touchdowns while throwing for 1,401 yards on 91-of-188 passing with 16 touchdowns.
Coffey said Ole Miss is recruiting him as an athlete but did say that McIntyre wanted him at cornerback.
“He said he just loved it there and thought it was the right thing to do,” Tompkins said. “That’s the word he used was excited and we are super proud of him. He said he will still take a visit or two but hopefully he will stay true to his commitment. I know I’m the kind of person that once I commit to something, I’m going to honor that.”
Coffey made his announced on Twitter that he was committed around 3 p.m. on Wednesday and released a statement there.
“First, I will give all the glory to God,” Coffey said. “I would also like to thank my loved ones and my football family that I love dearly. Without you, none of this would be possible. I have thought about hits decision thoroughly for the advancement of my academic and athletic career. With that being said, I would like to announce my commitment to the University of Mississippi. #HOTTYTODDY #FINSUP #MISSISSIPPIMADE.”
Coffey also had offers from Southern Miss and South Alabama.
For more on this story, see next week's edition of The Winona Times.