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“5 at 5” Football Edition Installment #20, Original Analysis, Safeties Preview

Picture by Joshua McCoy (@olemisspix)
Picture by Joshua McCoy (@olemisspix)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Counting down to the first week of Ole Miss football practice the week of August 7, HottyToddy.com’s own Collin Brister, former sports editor of the Daily Mississippian, will bring you exclusive “5 at 5” analyses of either A) the opponents Ole Miss will be facing this season or B) some background on Ole Miss’ players at each position. It’s being called “5 at 5” because each original piece will give you 5 key things to know, and we will post these stories at 5 p.m. every Monday-Friday.

NUMBER 1:

Tony Conner

Before his injury last season, Conner was disruptive in the Rebels’ defense against other football teams.

The former South Panola Tiger is great in run support and is skilled in pass coverage as well. From his husky position, Conner does not allow teams to get outside on run plays, funneling everything inside towards Ole Miss’ linebackers.

Conner was hurt last year during the game against Alabama Crimson Tide. When he went out that night, the Crimson Tide began making plays on the Rebels and the lack of experience started to show for Ole Miss.

NUMBER 2:

C.J. Hampton

The Rebels will have to replace seniors Trae Elston and Mike Hilton from last year’s secondary. Hilton and Elston were two four-year starters for the Rebels and someone is going to have to take over their spot.

C.J. Hampton has seen time at the safety positions over the previous two seasons, and seems like the most likely candidate. The former four star recruit from Meridian is extremely athletic, and could provide the Rebels a solid replacement for the aforementioned seniors.

NUMBER 3:

Myles Hartsfield

Hartsfield came to Ole Miss via prep school. Hartsfield looked quite talented during spring practice. As of right now, he would be a starter at one of the safety positions. The freshman is extremely long for a defensive back and is versatile enough to play any of the five defensive back positions. Hartsfield, with his year in prep school, is more ready for Division One football than most of the incoming freshmen.

NUMBER 4:

Deontay Anderson

Anderson is a four-star member of the 2016 signing class who committed to Ole Miss by jumping out of a plane. I kid you not.

The Texas native could see early playing time as a freshman as he compares admirably to starting safety for LSU: Jamal Adams. Anderson played Texas high school football and is probably Division One ready from the day he starts fall practice.

NUMBER 5:

Analysis

This could be one of a more interesting position during the Rebels 2016 season.

Hilton and Elston both went undrafted, sure, but both of them provided Ole Miss with a ball-hawking mentality in the secondary. Hilton was extremely versatile as he played all five defensive back positions during his four years at Ole Miss.

In saying that, Ole Miss may be more athletic at defensive back positions this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Rebels are going to be better. They’ll be playing guys outside of Tony Conner at the safeties who have never had to play many significant minutes of Division One football. While they’re all highly-recruited athletes, the lack of experience could come back to bite Ole Miss. The good news for Ole Miss is that the Rebels wouldn’t play many quarterbacks who could take advantage of their potential struggle in the secondary.


Collin Brister is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at collin.brister@hottytoddy.com.

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