Ole Miss on December 23 secured a commitment from Miami (OH) cornerback John Saunders, the Rebels’ fourth commit from the transfer portal. On3 ranks Saunders as the #9 cornerback in the portal so far. A native of High Point, NC, Saunders will be a junior in 2023 with two years of eligibility remaining. After taking a redshirt in 2020, Saunders logged 13 tackles, 3 interceptions (one returned for a TD), and four passes defended in 2021. In 2022, he added 52 tackles, a forced fumble, two more picks, and 10 passes defended, earning second team All-MAC honors. Saunders’ height differs depending on where you look; he’s listed as short as 6’2 and as tall as 6’4. Either way, he’s a tall, rangy cornerback who has produced at a high level for two years.
Saunders tweeted a video highlighting his sophomore season here:
Saunders didn’t waste much time in his recruitment; Ole Miss offered on December 12, visited the weekend of December 17, and committed on the 23rd.
Ole Miss lost senior cornerback Miles Battle to the transfer portal; like Saunders, Battle stands about 6’4, and was often tasked with locking down bigger receivers. As previously mentioned, Saunders is listed as the #9 cornerback in the portal by On3; Battle is ranked #48, which in my opinion is more a knock on the On3 rankings than it is on Battle. Regardless, Saunders is expected to be a valuable upgrade to a cornerback room that’s already pretty damn good, with starters Deantre Prince and Davison Igbinosun both returning, along with Markevious Brown, who was generally one of the first Rebel defenders off the bench this year.