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Top JUCO Jonathan Kongbo signs with Tennessee over Ole Miss

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The Rebs miss on another big defensive prospect.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A great start to Ole Miss' National Signging Day is taking a quick turn south. Shortly after five-star D-lineman Jeffery Simmons unexpectedly picked Mississippi State, four-star defensive end Jonathan Kongbo singed with Tennessee.

Kongbo, rated the top JUCO player in the country, played last season at Arizona Western College, announced his formal commitment to the Vols during a National Signing Day ceremony. Kongbo visited Oxford back in October, and Hugh Freeze took an in-home visit -- first to see Kongbo in Arizona, then to Canada to meet his parents -- but it wasn't enough to sway him.

He originally committed to Tennessee, but reopened his recruitment during the first week of January. The Vols remained a player in the Kongbo sweepstakes, as did USC and Florida State (he spent last weekend on campus in Tallahassee).

Kongbo, a 6'5, 264-pound defensive monster, is originally from the Congo, but his family fled the war-torn nation when he was five years old and moved across the Atlantic to a town just outside of Vancouver. Despite not picking up football until his senior year, he was offered and accepted a scholarship to Wyoming, where he redshirted his freshman season in 2014. He then transferred to Arizona Western, where he piled up 11 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss as a freshman.