Ole Miss Lands Custis

Four-star defensive back Montrell Custis won’t be a Signing Day decision.

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Custis, rated the No. 28 overall safety in the country by Scout.com, opted to make his college choice early, naming Ole Miss his school of choice after long being committed to Alabama.

The 6-foot, 185-pound Custis visited Ole Miss for its biggest recruiting weekend of the year Jan. 23 along with 18 other top-ranked recruits, 11 of which were rated four-star and five-star prospects.

“Ole Miss is just a different place,” Custis, who will start out at cornerback at Ole Miss, said Monday. “It has such a great college atmosphere, and it has a great family feel to it. Me and their coaches just clicked. I wanted to be a part of all that.”

Custis, of Lovejoy, Ga., was hosted on his official visit by former high school teammate DeMarquis Gates, a sophomore linebacker for the Rebels. Gates, Custis said, sold him on calling Ole Miss home.

“I knew I could trust what he was telling me about Ole Miss,” he said. “It’s not like I’m going to some strange place. They have a lot of Georgia boys at Ole Miss and I can relate to all them.”

That includes four-star running back Eric Swinney, a fellow Georgia product and one of the Rebels’ strongest commitments. Swinney chose the Rebels in May and never looked back.

“One of my best friends is Eric Swinney,” Custis said. “We’d been talking a lot about Ole Miss since last summer. Me and Eric hang out with a lot of the same people and know what each other are about.

“He kept telling me that once I got up to Ole Miss I would see why he loved it so much there. On my official visit, I got to really hang out with most of their players and just some of the people around the community. Everyone is laid back and all about Ole Miss.”

Ole Miss tight ends coach Maurice Harris and cornerbacks coach Jason Jones shared the responsibility of recruiting Custis, and they had their work cut out for them. Along with Ole Miss and Alabama, Custis held offers from, among others, Florida, Kentucky, Clemson, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

“It was like 50/50 with coach Jones and coach Harris. They both called me weekly, and they’ve been staying in contact with me since last summer,” Custis said. “I really clicked with (Ole Miss head) coach (Hugh) Freeze, too. He’s a family person who’s all about character and education.

“But what I really liked about him is he’s got that fire in him. He’s ready to win a national championship.”

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