On what he called one of the biggest days of his life, 4-star wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge announced he is going back home.
Lodge used national signing day to verbally commit to Ole Miss on ESPNU. He chose Ole Miss over Texas A&M, as well as LSU, USC, Texas and Arizona State, and became the Rebels' highest-rated prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite ratings.
Before starring as a Texas wide receiver at Cedar Hill High School, Lodge was a proud resident of Jackson, Miss. He lived in the state until he moved to Texas the summer of his freshman year.
In short, his decision involved some home cooking of sorts.
"I followed my heart," Lodge told Bleacher Report. "It's just home. They have a great coaching staff, and the players care about each other. It's just where my heart is leading me."
The 6'3" receiver ultimately chose Ole Miss over Texas A&M, a school he decommitted from in September.
His decision came down to the offense he felt best suited his talents.
"It's pro-style," Lodge said of Ole Miss' offense. "They're going to get the ball to the guys who are going to make plays, and they should be throwing it around a little more this year."
Ole Miss averaged 419.1 yards and 28.3 points per game during the 2014 season. The Rebels averaged 263.6 passing yards a contest. More importantly, the Rebels spread the ball around. Seven players had double-digit receptions, and the team's top four receivers—Laquon Treadwell, Cody Core, Vince Sanders and Evan Engram—were only separated by 10 catches.
Lodge also has a chance to make an impact early in Oxford, where he'll be reunited with former high school teammate Quincy Adeboyejo and fellow Dallas-area quarterback DeVante Kincade. He'll have a solid foundation to learn about the offense.
While Ole Miss fans are happy, Aggies fans are left disappointed, as they hoped he would recommit to play with 5-star quarterback and friend Kyler Murray. The pair was at the center of recruiting-season drama a couple of weeks ago when they took a midweek visit to Texas together.
Lodge always said he would love to catch passes from Murray in college, which made the decision more difficult overall.
"It was pretty tough, but I knew I had to be happy and make a decision for me and not for [Murray]," Lodge said.
Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' Composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles