Tyrese Fryfogle grew up deep in SEC territory, but he's set to pursue his college dreams in the Big Ten.
The star receiver signed with Indiana on Wednesday, becoming the first George County player to sign with a Division I program straight out of high school since Alonzo Lawrence signed with Alabama in 2008.
It's over 700 miles from Lucedale to Bloomington, Ind., but that won't be an issue for Fryfogle and his family. Many of his family members have already bought tickets for the Aug. 31 season opener against Ohio State in Bloomington.
“It's going to be exciting,” Fryfogle said. “I grew up watching Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State. Now I get to play against them.
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“It was hard leaving the state and leaving Ole Miss, a chance to play for my home state. It's tough, but I had to do what is best for me.”
Fryfogle chose Indiana over offers from Ole Miss and Idaho.
The 6-foot-2, 203-pound Fryfogle is confident he can realize his dream of playing in the NFL if all goes well at Indiana.
“It gives me a good chance if I do good the next four years,” he said.
With his signature on Wednesday, Fryfogle rewarded the loyalty of Indiana receivers coach Grant Heard, who served in that same role at Ole Miss up until this past December when he left for Indiana.
Heard continued to aggressively recruit Fryfogle and a trip to Bloomington for the athletic receiver helped close the deal.
“He's just been there every step of the way,” Fryfogle said of Heard. “We've been close for two years now. It's exciting.”
Other George County athletes signing on Wednesday were: Softball player Megan Morse (Faulkner State), baseball player Fisher Ray (MGCCC), baseball player Brycen Scott (PRCC), soccer player Anna Smith (Southwest CC), soccer player Vallory King (JCJC), soccer player Claudia Passeau (JCJC), basketball player LaRaymond Spivery (MGCCC), football player D'wan Williams (PRCC), football player Kaleb Gentry (East Miss. CC), football player Joseph Lawrence (MGCCC) and soccer player Eren Welford (PRCC).