Ole Miss flipped wide receiver Dannis Jackson from Mississippi State earlier this year and are certainly hoping for more flips down the stretch with some of their top targets. Well, maybe this is the start of the FLIP-FLIP-FLIPADELPHIA party now that Hattiesburg star Jarod Conner has changed his verbal commitment from Memphis to Ole Miss.
The No. 63 running back in the country committed to Mike Norvell and the Tigers back in August, but after the Rebels began their search for a running back to join Jerrion Ealy in the 2019 class, Conner became a primary target. As we have stated multiple times, despite Ealy’s presence in the class, he will most likely never make it to campus due to MLB money.
And with Eric Gray now most likely ending up in Tennessee, the Rebs made their move and Conner jumped at the opportunity. The Hattiesburg High star had a banner career for the Tigers, rushing for 1,622 yards and 27 touchdowns and passing for 2,324 yards and 24 touchdowns, earning him Mississippi’s 5A Player of the Year award.
Conner chose the Rebels over other offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, South Alabama, Southern Miss, and Tulane. Granted the offer sheet is star-studded, but Jacob Peeler has been a great evaluator during his young career in Oxford, so if JP says he’s good enough to be a Reb, I’ll take his word for it.
The newest Rebel commit officially visited last weekend and one could hope that he will be able to sway his four-star teammate, Jaren Handy, who is currently committed to Auburn. The strong-side defensive end was another key cog for Hattiesburg, making 29 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and five sacks.
Conner was a large part of the Tigers’ dominating 2018 season, going 13-0 before getting upset by West Jones in the 5A playoffs.
Conner talked with David Johnson from the Ole Miss Spirit about his commitment and why he took a bit to look around despite his commitment to Memphis.
“They told me Tuesday, but they have been recruiting me since my eleventh-grade year. (Running backs) Coach (Derrick) Nix has always kept up with me, so I knew it was going to come soon,” said Conner.
His primary recruiter at Memphis was Mississippi native Will Hall, who was just hired by Tulane. Conner told Johnson that he felt the need to recalibrate after he left Norvell’s staff.
“Me and Coach Hall, we had a good relationship. We talked on a daily basis. I believe when he left that made me take a step back, because I had already been hearing rumors about coaches leaving. When he left, I didn’t hear from him any more,” said Conner.
The Rebs submitted an offer to Conner later in the process and the state’s No. 30 player knew “it was time to stay home...represent my hometown.”
Johnson asked Conner about early signing day and he revealed that he will in fact sign early and enroll in time for January intercession.
How does he fit in?
The 5’11, 210-pounder impressed at the Rivals Camp in Mobile earlier this year, putting his impressive skill set on display. Despite his sturdy, compact frame, he displays quickness in small spaces, athleticism whether in the pocket as a quarterback or on the edge as a running back, and plenty burst. The MS/AL All-Star Game selection may not have the home run speed that most people covet, but the guy produces in bunches.
In three years at Hattiesburg, the back known as “Snoop” rushed for 3,465 yards in 37 career games, averaging 7.7 yards a carry, and scoring 63 touchdowns. As mentioned above, he played some quarterback as well and was a pretty damn good signal caller for HHS. All he did in 28 games as a quarterback was throw for 4,879 yards, 49 touchdowns, and a quarterback rating of 104.6
Not bad for a makeshift QB.
Maybe it’s because he’s a running back-turned-quarterback, but he does have a little Cam Akers in him. He looks comfortable receiving a snap and shows exceptional vision and can set up blocks and cuts in the open field. He runs with good pad level and has no issue lowering the boom on a defender. Get him in a college strength and conditioning program and see what he can do once he arrives on campus.
Ignore the ranking, he has some sneaky speed and is a load to bring down. Not to mention, success on the coast is hard to come by for the Red and Blue.