Five-Star Safety Will Visit Auburn

Five-star safety prospect Antonio Conner talks about setting up a visit to Auburn, new coach Melvin Smith, and more.

St. Petersburg, Fla.—Rated as the number two safety prospect in the nation by FoxSports/, athletic Antonio Conner is a player that has been a known commodity since early in his high school career at South Panola High in Batesville, Miss. One of the top defensive players at the Under Armour All-American Game this past week, Conner was expected to make his decision in early January and put an end to his recruiting.

Things have changed for Conner however as he decided to wait on his decision following the move of defensive backs coach Melvin Smith from Mississippi State to Auburn. A veteran secondary coach and one of the most well-respected defensive back coaches in the country, Smith's move has Conner looking at the Tigers heading into the month of January.

"Auburn didn't have a good season this year, but I was still kind of looking at them," Conner tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "When I heard about Coach Melvin Smith going down there, he has always coached me up and camps at Mississippi State when I have been there just telling me what I'm doing wrong and helping me relax.

"When he got to Auburn he took my film and showed Coach (Ellis) Johnson and the head coach (Gus Malzahn)," he added. "They really liked it and called me up. They told me I would be a big help back there in the secondary and they want me to give them a look. I told them I would. That's what I did."

Planning to visit Auburn on Jan. 18, the five-star safety is a player that would have a chance to play early for the Tigers after a struggle at the position in 2012. That has Conner looking closely at Smith's new team heading into the final month of what should be a hectic recruiting calendar for both Auburn and Conner.

"It would be a good decision for me," Conner said. "I think it's somewhere I could go in and play early."

Also planning to visit Alabama and Ole Miss in January, Conner said he'll announce his decision on or around signing day at his high school on ESPN.

Conner was recently named Mr. Football in Mississippi and is the overall number 18 prospect in the country. This season he recorded 74 tackles and three interceptions as the Tigers won the Class 6A title. It was the third title for Conner and he also earned All-State honors for the third time.

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