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Kirk Herbstreit Names The Country's "Best Kept Secret"

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit is seen during ESPN's College GameDay show at Times Square on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

It can be tough to go under the radar in the SEC, but Kirk Herbstreit thinks that's what is happening with Ole Miss running back Jerrion Ealy.

Ealy, a two-sport standout on the gridiron and the diamond for the Rebels, was part of Ole Miss' offensive breakout under Lane Kiffin last year. In nine games, he rushed for 745 yards and nine touchdowns on 147 carries while adding 15 receptions for 155 yards and another score.

Recently, Herbstreit unveiled his annual preseason "Herbie Awards" for the entire country. When it came time to name the "Best Kept Secret" in college football, he chose Ealy.

“All you hear about is Lane Kiffin, Matt Corral throwing the ball and how great they are and devastating they are as an offense when it comes to throwing the football,” Herbstreit said, per 247Sports. “But they’re balanced, man. They can run the ball, and Ealy is a big-time player in the SEC for that offense.”

A shoulder injury cost Ealy the 2021 baseball season, but the former five-star recruit is expected to be full-go for Kiffin's Rebels this fall.

"We've seen that over the years when (Lane Kiffin is) in charge of offense it's not just one guy," Herbstreit said. "He'll spread it around. He'll find weaknesses to a defense. Louisville better be ready because, again I want to reiterate with Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin people think about quarterback play, they think about wide receivers, but if you watch this offense that he has it's a very balanced attack and Ealy is a guy that if you're not paying attention to the box in the running game he'll get you for big plays. So excited to see what he can do on that opening night on Labor Day."

Ole Miss will open the 2021 season against Louisville at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, September 6. ESPN will broadcast the game.