Matt Luke has been head coach for a few weeks now and now he has his first official commitment as the full-time head coach. As friend of The Cup and Rebel Grove’s Russell Johnson reported, the Tupelo package deal is now complete as 2019 defensive back Tavario Standifer has decided to shut down his recruitment early and commit to the Rebels. The other half of the package deal is 2019 wide receiver Jordan Jernigan who committed on November 26th.
And I will be taking my talents too........ pic.twitter.com/2ZofQkvqva— Tay Standifer (@taystandifer) December 4, 2017
Standifer, a safety from Lee County holds a few offers early on after a solid junior campaign for Tupelo, but decided to commit to Ole Miss now that their head coach situation is resolved.
The No. 42 safety in the country and the No. 21 player in the Magnolia State has a small but good offer sheet that includes Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Memphis, and UT-San Antonio.
As a junior at Tupelo, he finished with 63 total tackles, seven passes defended, four interceptions, and two tackles for loss for the 11-1 Golden Wave who were No. 1 in 6A for most of the year before losing suddenly in the first round to Warren Central.
How does he fit in?
At 6’2 and 195-pounds, Standifer has excellent size to play at the second and third levels. He will be a welcomed addition to the Landshark defense that saw plenty of ups and downs in 2017. Ole Miss will lose C.J. Hampton, C.J. Moore, and Deontay Anderson to transfer in 2018 at the position so the chances for playing time are there for Tay since Armani Linton was inconsistent and unable to lock down that role for next year.
The third commit for 2019 will have his work cut out for him regardless because of underclassmen like Myles Hartsfield, A.J. Harris, C.J. Miller, and 2018 commit Jonathan Hess waiting in the wings. Tavario is a big, physical specimen who has no qualms with delivering death blows to receivers over the middle and coming downhill with bad intentions in run support.
He is a rangy defender who could play either corner or safety, depending on where he is needed the most. He reminds me of former Rebel and current Buffalo Bill Trae Elston, only bigger.