Markel Winters, a 6-4, 260-pound defensive end at Jones CC, came to the Ole Miss-LSU game last year and left with an indelible kimpression.
"I liked the atmosphere. The crowd was amped and it was great. I also liked the facilities, grade A," said Winters, who played for Jones last year after redshirting a year at East Carolina, where the Tallahassee, FL native signed out of high school. "Coach (Chris) Kiffin and Coach Barney (Farrar) stayed with me all the way. Ole Miss made sense."
Winters did not remember much about his stats last year at Jones, but he did remember one game.
"I had four QB sacks, recovered a fumble and blocked a field goal," he noted. "I ended up with eight tackles overall. I believe I had a pretty good year and I'm looking forward to next fall and then going on to Ole Miss."
Winters, who was also getting looks from Mississippi State, Louisville and Florida, said his strength is his "knack" for being around the ball.
"I use may hands well on the pass rush and I have a knack of making plays in the backfield," he stated. "I will keep working on my speed, but it's pretty good now. The last time I maxed on the bench, I pressed 350 pounds, so I want to get stronger too."
Winters expects to play defensive end at Ole Miss, but he said he could also play outside linebacker if the Rebs employ a 3-4 look.
"I can put my nand on the ground in a 4-3 or stand up in the 3-4. I am doing that at Jones now," he closed.
Winters is the first commitment of the 2017 class.