Jonathan Mingo is launching pad for what he hopes is his big year

Jonathan Mingo has a ton of expectations on his shoulders. Many of those expectations came with Mingo from Brandon, Miss., when he arrived at Ole Miss as a highly-touted and heavily-recruited four-star wide receiver in the class of 2019. There was AJ and then DK, then Elijah and now. ..well, Mingo.

He’ll be a senior this year and there is an argument that could be made that he has yet to live up to his billing. Oh, he’s been good and at times very good. Just not great. His highest catch season came in the 2020 season when he had 27 receptions for 379 yards and three touchdowns. In 2021, he missed a chunk of games due to injury, finishing with 22 catches for 246 yards and three scores.

Now, in a talented room of receivers, he is the man expected to lead in what could be his final season in Oxford.

“I feel the expectations, but that’s something I try not to worry about,” Mingo told Inside the Rebels. “I just try to play my own game and focus on what I can control and ignore all the outside noise.”

But that noise is there. So far, it has been good. Mingo, as expected, has been catching his passes with the first-team Ole Miss offense through the first three days of fall camp, mostly with fellow receivers Jaylon Robinson and Malik Heath. He has looked and performed as one might expect from a leader.

Is Mingo ready to launch into his big year? What would define a successful season for him in his mind?

“For me personally, staying healthy all season. I know what I can do on and off the field, so my biggest goal is staying healthy this year,” he said.

Jonathan Mingo looks a ball into his hands during a recent Ole Miss practice. (Photo: OMA)

Last year, Mingo suffered a broken foot during a practice leading up to the Rebels game at Alabama.

Neither Robinson nor Heath lined up next to Mingo this year. They were on other teams. Thanks in part to the transfer portal, Mingo’s room is full of unfamiliar faces brought in to help. How good can this Mostly unknown and in some instances unproven room be this fall?

“I feel like we are in better shape than we were last year,” he said, nodding his head in the affirmative. “From a standpoint of talent-wise and depth. We have a lot of new transfers coming in and freshmen coming in, too. But I feel like with more bodies and more depth everybody can have subs that are talented.”

And who of these new faces stands out the most to Mingo. If he were on a playground drafting a kickball team, who does he pick first?

“That’s a hard one. I’d probably say from what I’ve seen…he’s got the speed, he’s got the lead, I’d probably say Jaylon Robinson maybe Malik Heath…they’ve all been doing pretty good over the off-season,” said Mingo.

And finally, we asked Mingo to predict who the Rebels starting quarterback will be when the Rebels open the season on Sept. 3, versus the Troy Trojans.

“I’d probably say Nick Broeker,” he jokingly smiled, referring to his All-American offensive lineman. “Yeah, Nick Broeker.”

Mingo doesn’t care who throws him the football. They just want to catch it.

Ole Miss holds its fourth practice of fall camp Saturday morning. It is closed to the public, although the media will be there to watch. We will have full reports coming on Inside the Rebels throughout the day on Saturday.

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