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Video: Ole Miss Football Inks Four JUCO Standouts

Ole Miss has received national letters of intent from four of the nation’s top junior college prospects, head coach Hugh Freeze announced Wednesday.


Mississippi Gulf Coast cornerback Tony Bridges, Northwest Mississippi linebacker Terry Caldwell, East Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones and East Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly will join the Rebels this spring.
“I’m thrilled with the results of today,” Freeze said. “The young men and the families that decided to join our program fit with us, number one, and they fit needs that we have to make sure that our depth is what it needs to be to compete in this conference.
“We needed to create competition and depth at quarterback, and we were able to do that with Chad Kelly. With the loss of Senquez (Golson), we get a player like Tony Bridges, who can step in right there. There at defensive line, we lose Bryon Bennett and Lavon Hooks, and we sign a player of the quality of D.J. Jones. We lose three linebackers, so we certainly needed to sign a player there, and we did with Terry Caldwell.”
Bridges will join the Rebels from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where he earned NJCAA first team All-America honors. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound cornerback is rated a four-star prospect by all the major recruiting services and listed as the top junior college cornerback by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Caldwell is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker who played last season at Northwest Mississippi Community College, having spent the previous two seasons at Charlotte, where he was a member of the school’s first-ever recruiting class. Caldwell led the MACJC and ranked fourth nationally with 122 tackles as a sophomore.
Jones is a 6-foot-2, 315-pound defensive lineman who spent the last two seasons at East Mississippi Community College and helped Buddy Stephens’ Lions to a combined 24-0 record and two NJCAA national championships. Jones is rated a four-star prospect and listed as the top junior college defensive tackle by all the major recruiting services.
Kelly earned NJCAA first team All-America honors, as he helped East Mississippi Community College to a 12-0 record and the national championship this year. Regarded as the top junior college quarterback, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Kelly completed 66.9 percent of his passes and threw for 3,906 yards with 47 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Kelly, who started his career at Clemson, is also the nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.


 
Tony Bridges
CB | 6-2 | 175 | Hattiesburg, Miss. | Hattiesburg/Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Rated a four-star prospect by all the major recruiting services … Listed as the No. 4 junior college prospect by Rivals.com, No. 6 by Scout.com, No. 8 by ESPN.com and No. 11 by 247Sports.com … Listed as the top junior college cornerback by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com and No. 2 by 247Sports.com … Helped Mississippi Gulf Coast to back-to-back 8-2 seasons and MACJC semifinal appearances … Earned NJCAAfirst team All-America honors … Earned MACJC Most Valuable Defensive Back, All-Region and All-State honors … As a sophomore, in nine games, he totaled 33 tackles, three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and nine pass breakups … He also returned 16 punts for 234 yards, a 14.6-yard average, including a 55-yard return for a touchdown … As a freshman, in nine games, he totaled 28 tackles with a forced fumble and two pass breakups … He also returned nine kicks for 267 yards, a 29.7-yard average, and 17 punts for 132 yards … Coached in junior college by Chad Huff … HIGH SCHOOL: Rated a three-star prospect and rated the No. 100 cornerback by Scout.com … As a senior, he helped Hattiesburg to a 9-5 record, intercepting two passes, returning one for a 99-yard touchdown, in a first-round win over Gulfport … Earned first team All-State honors … Participated in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … A four-sport athlete, he was named Best Offensive Player in the MAC All-Star Basketball Game … Coached in high school by Danny Nowell.


 
Terry Caldwell 
LB | 6-2 | 220 | Wilmington, N.C. | John T. Hoggard/Charlotte/Northwest Mississippi CC
JUNIOR COLLGE: Rated a three-star prospect by ESPN.comRivals.com and Scout.com … Listed as the No. 2 junior college inside linebacker by ESPN.com … Listed as the No. 80 JUCO prospect by Scout.com … Helped Northwest Mississippi to the MACJC semifinals … Earned second team All-MACJC honors … Earned MACJC Defensive Player of the Week Honors (Nov. 7) … Led the MACJC and ranked fourth nationally with 122 tackles, to go along with 12.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, five breakups, five quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble … Totaled a career-high 19 tackles in the MACJC Semifinals vs Copiah-Lincoln … Coached in junior college by Jack Wright … CHARLOTTE (2013): Played in 10 of 11 games, making seven starts … Started each of the first five games … Led 49ers in back-to-back games with eight tackles vs. Chowan, Sept. 7 and seven tackles vs. NC Central, Sept. 14 … Finished season fifth on team with 55 tackles (34 solo) … Shared team lead with 9.5 tackles for loss … His 2.0 sacks were tied for second on team … Named third team FCS Independent All-Conference by CollegeSportsMadness.com … CHARLOTTE (2012): Signed with the 49ers on Feb. 1, 2012 as a member of the 49ers’ first-ever recruiting class … Practiced throughout year as the team prepared for the 2013 inaugural season … Coached at Charlotte by Brad Lambert … HIGH SCHOOL: Helped lead Hoggard to a 7-3 record as the All-Area Defensive Player of the Year … Totaled 101 tackles as a senior, 13 of which went for loss … Also forced three fumbles and had two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown … Named to All-Conference, All-Area and All-State teams … Coached in high school by Scott Braswell.


 
D.J. Jones
DL | 6-2 | 315 | Pelzer, S.C. | Wren/East Mississippi CC
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Rated a four-star prospect by all the major recruiting services … Listed as the No. 3 junior college prospect by 247Sports.com and ESPN.com, No. 6 by Rivals.com and No. 12 by Scout.com … Listed as the top junior college defensive tackle by all the major recruiting services … As a two-year starting nose guard, helped East Mississippi to a combined 24-0 record and two NJCAA national championships … As a sophomore, in 12 games, he totaled 29 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles … As a sophomore, he earned MACJC All-Region and All-State honors … As a freshman, in 12 games, he totaled 49 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks and a forced fumble … As a freshman, he earned MACJC All-State/North Division first team honors … Coached in junior college by Buddy Stephens … HIGH SCHOOL: Played high school football at Wren High in Piedmont, S.C. and was a Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas participant during his senior season … Coached in high school by Jeff Tate.


 
Chad Kelly
QB | 6-3 | 220 | Buffalo, N.Y. | St Joseph’s Collegiate Institute/Clemson/East Mississippi CC
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Rated a four-star prospect by ESPN.com and Scout.com … Listed as the No. 10 junior college prospect by Scout.com, No. 29 ESPN.com and No. 57 by 247Sports.com … Listed as the top junior college quarterback by Scout.com and the top dual threat quarterback by 247Sports.comESPN.com and Rivals.com … Helped East Mississippi to a 12-0 record and the NJCAA national championship … In 12 games for East Mississippi, he completed 66.9 percent of his passes and threw for 3,906 yards with 47 touchdowns and eight interceptions … Rushed for 446 yards and four touchdowns … His 47 touchdowns tied the nation’s lead and his 3,906 yards ranked second in the nation … Earned NJCAA first team All-America honors … Earned MACJC Most Valuable Back, All-Region and All-State honors … Earned East Mississippi Most Valuable Offensive Player and Mississippi Bowl Committee Player of the Year honors … Completed 40-of-53 passes for 434 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for a team-leading 33 yards in the NJCAA national title game … Coached in junior college by Buddy Stephens … CLEMSON (2013): Was 10-of-17 passing for 58 yards in 55 snaps over five games … Completed 58.8 percent of his passes … Had 117 rushing yards and one touchdown on only 16 carries … Was 2-of-6 passing for 11 yards and added six yards on two carries in his first career game against S.C. State on Sept. 7 … Was 1-of-1 passing for six yards along with three yards on two carries against Wake Forest on Sept. 28 … was 1-1 passing for six yards along with 28 yards on two carries at Syracuse on Oct. 5 … Was 5-of-7 passing for 27 yards along with 56 yards and a touchdown on seven carries at Virginia on Nov. 2 … Was 1-of-2 passing for eight yards along with 24 yards on three carries against Georgia Tech on Nov. 14 … Suffered a torn ACL in the Spring Game after he was 6-of-7 passing for 43 yards and a touchdown … CLEMSON (2012): Did not see action and was redshirted … Coached at Clemson by Dabo Swinney … HIGH SCHOOL: Listed as the No. 84 overall prospect and No. 4 quarterback in the nation as well as No. 1 prospect in New York by ESPN.com … Listed as the No. 4 dual-threat QB in the nation and No. 2 prospect in New York by Rivals.com … Listed as the No. 101 overall prospect and No. 4 dual-threat QB by 247Sports.com … SuperPrep All-American … Member of the Elite 11 … Participant in the Under Armour All-American Game … Passed for 3,050 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 991 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior … Passed for 2,159 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1,059 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior … Led his team to the state championship game as a junior and senior, winning the state title as a junior … Four-time National Punt, Pass, & Kick winner … Coached in high school by Dennis Gilbert… Nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.

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