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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
ESPN 150 S Conner talks Rebs, Tide

By Dave Hooker

Antonio Conner was hoping to visit Alabama last weekend for the Texas A&M game. When that trip fell through, the top prospect in the state of Mississippi took a familiar trip to nearby Oxford.

"They just need a couple more guys," the four-star prospect from Batesville (Miss.) South Panola said about Ole Miss' 27-26 loss to Vanderbilt.

It seems that help is on its way. There were several top prospects at the Ole Miss game.

The nation's No. 1 prospect, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson, was in attendance just days after announcing he was no longer committed to Clemson. Nkemdiche is thought to be leaning toward signing with Ole Miss as his brother, Denzel Nkemdiche, is a freshman linebacker for the Rebels.

ESPN 300 athlete Ashton Shumpert from Fulton (Miss.) Itawamba was also in attendance, as were several other top prospects. Then there was Conner, who is rated the No. 21 prospect in the nation and No. 2 safety in the country.

Not a bad haul for first-year coach Hugh Freeze. The former Arkansas State coach is proving that relationships and shooting for the nation's top prospects can create an incredibly positive vibe in Oxford.

"Me and Coach Freeze are real tight," Conner said. "We have long talks. Robert Nkemdiche was there and a lot of other top guys were there. He seems like a really, really good player."

Conner said he'd like to visit Alabama for a game this season. The Crimson Tide host Western Carolina on Saturday and Auburn on Nov. 24. He certainly doesn't seem worried about Bama, which was upset by Texas A&M on Saturday 29-24.

"I'm pretty sure they'll bounce back," he said.

Conner has yet to set official visits. With his team still alive in the state playoffs, he said he plans to do so after the season.