Coach's View: Tony Bridges

From 1985-88, Stevon Moore was a hard-hitting defensive back for Ole Miss. He then went on to play 11 years in the NFL. Now he coaches at Gulf Coast Community College as the DB coach. One of his pupils is Ole Miss commitment CB Tony Bridges. Stevon talked about Bridges with us recently.

"Tony has everything I look for in a corner," said GCCC DB Coach Steven Moore, an All-SEC corner himself in 1986 and 1988. "I believe he will go to Ole Miss and make an instant impact."

Moore called Bridges' high school career at Collins, MS, "dominant," and he knew instantly he wanted the 6-2, 190-pounder to play for him.

"Tony had star power back in high school. I knew he was very, very talented and had a bright future. I couldn't wait to get my hands on him," said Stevon. "In his time here, he learned how to work and not just rely on his natural ability. He became a leader."

For Moore, it was a matter of taking a diamond in the rough and shining him up.

"We are talking about a young man who has a 42" vertical jump and plenty of speed," Stevon continued. "When you combine that with excellent ball skills, outstanding hands and football instincts that can't be taught, you've got the total package."

Moore did not realize Bridges had those kind of instincts until he got him under his wing.

"I just knew he was an outstanding athlete, but after he got to Gulf Coast, I saw how he could read things and sense things that maybe some others weren't picking up on," Moore stated. "Tony also became a student of the game. He studies receivers and quarterbacks hard and can read them very well."

Stevon was, arguably, the most physical corner the Rebels have had. He appreciates the contact part of the game. He says Bridges likes to mix it up as well.

"Tony is a good tackler and is very physical. He loves contact. If it was up to him, we would have had live scrimmages every day in practice," Moore explained. "In one game, he hit a receiver coming over the middle in the chest - a clean hit, but it was so hard and so nasty that he was flagged for targeting and was suspended one game. It was shame because it was as good a clean hit as I have seen in years."

Bridges led GCCC in interceptions last year with 3 and in PBUs, despite the fact that most teams didn't throw at him much, said Stevon.

"Opposing teams didn't test him much and when they did, they usually paid the price," Stevon added.

In short, Moore is excited to see Bridges land at his alma mater and can't wait to see what the second half of his collegiate career brings.

"Here's what I know - he wants to be the best college cornerback ever. His goals are high, but he's got the attributes to reach that goal. He works hard, he's long at 6-2 with long arms, he has great athletic skills, he's a little nasty, he's not afraid to be great and he's not afraid to attack the ball and make plays," Stevon closed. "Those are all the traits great corners have.

"I'll be real surprised if Tony doesn't impact the program up there quickly as soon as he learns the techniques they are teaching and the defensive system."


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