Ole Miss was unable to go into Georgia and snatch three-star Eric Stokes, who announced during a National Signing Day ceremony that he plans to sign with the in-state Bulldogs. Stokes is rated by 247Sports as the No. 66 cornerback prospect in the country.
Stokes ranks in the mid-600s among the nation’s overall recruits, but his offer sheet—which includes Florida, Georgia, Louisville and LSU—proved that he’s an SEC-quality athlete that would have been a nice pickup for new Ole Miss D-coordinator Wesley McGriff. He took officials visits to both Athens and Oxford.
Stokes, who’s most notable quality is his absurd speed, collected 1,565 all-purpose yards and 15 total touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball for Eastside High while tallying 21 tackles, two interceptions and six pass deflections as a DB. He’s been clocked as fast as 4.33 in the 40 and posted a blistering 10.4 100m dash as a track star—speed that could have come in handy for a defense that gave up 79 pass plays of 20 yards or longer over the last two seasons.
Rebel cornerback Tony Bridges is graduated and the future of Ken Webster, who blew out his knee in last season’s opener, is up in the air. Youngsters Jalen Julius and Jaylon Jones could be the starting duo for the next couple of years, though the Rebels have a wealth of young secondary players to fill in the ranks.