The Rebels have three seniors at the cornerback position in Kailo Moore, Tony Bridges and Carlos Davis. Ole Miss also switched three of their high school signees they recruited for the corner position to safety in Greg Eisworth, Myles Hartsfield and Montrell Custis.
The 2017 class has many holes to fill in for the corner position.
"We will take four corners for sure and possibly one more," Ole Miss cornerback coach Jason Jones said. "You never know. It depends on what happens during the season. We always try to find corners that are physical enough that can also be a safety. Being in a 4-2-5 defense a lot of times we have to have our corners to come down and make some SEC tackles. We put a little more emphasis on our corners being more physical than some other teams, but at the same time we need them to have the speed and athleticism to play some man-on-man coverage. We'll take four and possibly five in this year's class, but like I said, we'll see how the season goes. We could end up taking an additional corner if needed."
Ole Miss has committed three high school cornerbacks in this class in A.J. Harris, Devin Rockette and Jamar Richardson. They have committed a juco corner in Javien Hamilton. Are they looking to add another high school or juco corner for the last piece to the cornerback class?
"Going into it you always want to take the best available. If there is a high school guy that is better than a juco guy, of course you want to take the best available. And of course if you find a juco guy that you think that can come in and help you; getting a juco guy you are getting a guy with some experience. You also hope he's a little more mature. Going into it we just wanted to find the best available."
Coach Jones arrived in Oxford after a stint at Oklahoma State. One of his goals was to make the cornerback group, as a whole, longer. Has this goal been met?
"I think we have gotten the length that we are looking for. We still want to recruit the length and still recruit the speed. You want to get the guys with speed first. That's more important than length. But I think we have solved that. We have recruited guys with the length, but we want to continue to recruit guys with the speed and the length."
Ole Miss freshman Jaylon Jones is already making headlines at the cornerback position during the fall camp. Coach Jones believes he has a bright future within his group.
"I tell you Jaylon has some really quick feet, really quick feet. He has the savvy you want at corner. He gets in positions and doesn't panic, and he's smart, as far as understanding the defense and what we are doing. It doesn't take him long to understand our defense and pick it up. He's doing well. We just have to continue to bring him along and continue to challenge him to play at a high level."
As a whole does the Ole Miss defensive back coach feel good about what he has committed so far for the 2017 class?
"We feel good about what we have done so far. We still want to close it out the right way and find the best guys out there that can help us, and fits what we do, and helps us go out and win games. Losing three guys; we tell all the guys we are recruiting you have a chance to come in and compete for a job. We are going to play the best guys. If you come in and compete you are making the guy in front or behind you that much better. We do feel good about it. Now we just want to close it out with the right guy."
Coach Jason Jones' main recruiting territories are in the states of Georgia and Texas. Both states have been instrumental in Ole Miss' recruiting success.
"There are some good players in Texas and Georgia. I've recruited those states for a long time now. Long before I arrived at Ole Miss. We just try and find the best ones. Find the ones that fit us. We try and build a relationship with the kid, mom, grandmom, high school coaches and anyone that is close to the kid. We just try and build that relationship and let them see who we are and what we have to offer to help their son not only become a good football player but a good young man. We try and identify those guys and work our tail to sign them. I can honestly say that I've never been on a staff that puts as much of an emphasis on recruiting as this one. We just spend so much time building relationships over here at Ole Miss."
Has it been easier to recruit in the state of Georgia and Texas now that they have had some success in the past few classes from these two states?
"It has been. You get a couple guys from Texas and then you start recruiting some other guys they know. You sort of get a little pipeline going. The same thing for Georgia. You get some of those guys on your roster and you start having a little bit of success and then you are able to get some more guys from Georgia. It does help."
Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org