Photo/Zac Chamblee

Two defensive players who proved key to Oak Grove’s recent run to the state championship game are headed to play at the Division I level. On Wednesday during the early signing period, defensive back Jarius Reimonenq signed with Arkansas State and defensive lineman Jack Harris with Mississippi State. 

Both players had been committed to their respective school since before the start of the 2018 season. 

Harris was the first to announce his pledge in June, choosing the Bulldogs over a dozen other Division I opportunities. His grandfather, Bubba, played a major role in the decision. 

“He was really pushing for me to go there,” Harris said. “He passed away about a year ago, and that’s when it really hit home, that I wanted to do this for him.”

The plan is for Harris to play defensive end in Starkville, where he’ll reunite with defensive lineman and former Oak Grove teammate Jaden Crumedy. In Crumedy’s final season in a Warrior uniform back in 2017, he and Harris combined for 25 quarterback sacks. 

“It’s gonna be awesome playing with Jaden,” Harris said. “Me and him played together last year at defensive end. It’s gonna be fun to see what we can do in college together.”

Harris says staying in-state will also be a lot of fun. 

“I’m very excited to represent my home state with Mississippi State.”

Jarius Reimonenq, on other hand, is headed out of state to Jonesboro, Arkansas. He’s been committed to the Arkansas State Red Wolves since August and says Wednesday felt like a wedding day for him. 

“It’s kinda like I’m getting married, because this is a commitment and I’m signing my life away for a good reason,” he said. “My family and I are really excited about this day.”

Reimonenq, who will play safety at the next level, chose the Red Wolves over Southern Miss, Vanderbilt, FAU and Louisiana. 

“Arkansas State really stood out to me because, first of all, they win. And I wanted to go to a school and be a part of a program that wins,” he said. “Secondly, it’s a family, and I can tell they really care about me and value me as not only a player but also a person, and that’s what stands out to me.

“I’m a little nervous because it’s five hours away, but I’m very excited.”