Tony Conner is a phenomenal 5-star safety prospect due to his size and skill set. Any college football program would be lucky to have him, but ultimately he has chosen to attend Ole Miss in the fall.
Jackson Clarion-Ledger's Hugh Kellenberger tweeted a picture of Conner following his announcement:
Hugh Kellenberger @HKellenbergerCL
247Sports' composite rankings have the safety out of South Panola High School in Batesville, Miss. as the fifth-best prospect at his position. He is the second-best recruit in his home state and is ranked as the No. 32 overall player in the country in the 2013 class.
At 6’1.5” and 203 pounds, Conner already possesses prototypical size for a safety, and he will likely add weight while training at a top program. Many of the biggest teams in the Southeastern Conference showed interest in the senior, but 247Sports noted that the schools topping Conner’s list were Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Mississippi State.
Conner helped South Panola to the Mississippi 6A state championship this season with two interceptions in the title game, and as GulfLive.com’s Creg Stephenson notes, he received the division’s Defensive Player of the Year award. He was also selected to participate in the Under Armour All-America Game.
His résumé matches his potential and he has the ability to make a massive impact at the collegiate level. Conner is a rare prospect who has the speed and athleticism to make plays in the secondary, but also possesses the strength and explosiveness to be a force against the run.
In addition to talent, Conner also has the intangibles coaches look for in a top recruit. ESPN's Dave Hooker quotes South Panola assistant coach Jamie Easley saying, "His demeanor. His work ethic. His attitude. Just start writing good stuff down, good adjectives and that describes Antonio."
The Rebels have landed a prospect with incredible physical gifts and an ideal mental makeup to succeed at the next level. Conner’s name will certainly be popping up on Saturdays in the near future.