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Safety Anthony Alford Leaves Ole Miss Football

The versatile athlete took snaps at safety, punt returner, and even quarterback throughout fall camp.

Anthony Alford as a quarterback for Southern Miss in 2012
Anthony Alford as a quarterback for Southern Miss in 2012

This isn't particularly great news for the No. 11 Ole Miss Rebels, particularly concerning safety depth:

Anthony Alford, who has seen game time this season both at safety and punt returner, will focus full time on his career with the Toronto Blue Jays. Since signing a hefty contract with them out of high school, he makes more than enough money as a part of their organization, so we obviously can't blame him for doing what he feels is best for his future.

A former standout quarterback and outfielder for Petal High School, Alford committed to Southern Miss out of high school. He also signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, making him ineligible to play college baseball without hurting his football eligibility. During the Summers, he would play in the Blue Jays' farm system as a center fielder, while staying on campus during the school year to play football.

After Southern Miss went a disastrous 0-12 in 2012, a year which saw Alford get a good deal of time as the team's starting quarterback, he transferred to Ole Miss to play defensive back. Due to his incredible athleticism, he was considered a shoe-in to eventually win one of the Rebel safety jobs, and saw several minutes against Boise State in the season opener.

By leaving Ole Miss to pursue his professional baseball career, Alford is foregoing two years of NCAA football eligibility.