A.J. Harris (Photo by Chad Simmons)

Pair of three-star Ole Miss defensive back commitments visited Ole Miss over the weekend

The 2016-17 recruiting season has been a rollercoaster of sorts for Ole Miss football.

One constant, however, has been the commitment of three-star safety A.J. Harris. 

Harris pledged to Hugh Freeze and the Rebels in July despite other offers from, to name a few, Florida State, Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Louisville. He’s held firm ever since, and this past weekend he visited Ole Miss officially. He liked what he saw.

“It went good,” he said. “This weekend I wanted to become closer with teammates and get some of the other big time recruits to be a part of the great team.”

Ole Miss brought in 22 prospects for its last official visit weekend before National Signing Day on Wednesday. The 6-foot, 174-pound Jones, who is rated the No. 36 safety in the country by Scout.com, said he attempted to do his part in landing the Rebels some talent.

Ole Miss expects to sign 22 prospects Wednesday. The Rebels currently have 14 committed.

“A running back from Hattiesburg, Mississippi (Isaiah Woullard) and a safety from Georgia (Eric Stokes),” he said. “Can’t recall their names. When I see them, I’ve been working on them and trying to get them to come here.”

Harris said his decision to forgo any recruiting drama and hold with Ole Miss was primarily due to the school feeling like home the minute he stepped foot on campus for camp in the summer.

“First time I came here it was like home,” he said. “I’m from Alabama, and this makes me feel like I’m from Alabama again, like my hometown. I love the environment and the people.”

Harris said he will sign his letter of intent at 1 p.m. at his high school, Bob Jones in Madison, Ala. Harris was hosted by former four-star and current sophomore Rebel running back D’Vaughn Pennamon. He said the recruits took in the Ole Miss basketball game on Saturday. The Rebels hosted No. 5 Baylor, though their upset bid fell short, 78-75.

“It was a nice atmosphere,” Harris said. “Basketball game didn’t go as planned but it was a great night. You could see it in (recruits’) eyes and how they lit up and how excited they were to be there.”

Richardson to JUCO? 

Like Harris, fellow three-star prospect and Alabama native Jamar Richardson has been committed to Ole Miss since July.

Actually, his pledge came but a day after Harris announced for the Rebels. But while Harris is worry free heading into National Signing Day and simply readying to begin his Ole Miss career, Richardson is in a holding pattern. He’s got work to do academically, and he might have to wait to kick start his time in Oxford.

The current plan, he said, is the junior college route for a season.

“My plan for Wednesday is Jones County Junior College,” Richardson said. “Ole Miss wants to send me there for a year. If I don’t qualify, then Wednesday I’ll half sign here and half sign with Jones County.”

The 6-foot, 167-pound Richardson, who is rated the No. 119 cornerback in the country by Scout.com and is credited with a verified 4.47 40-yard dash, said the issue is his ACT score. He takes the test again next month and again in April.

But despite the academic hurdles he’ll have to jump, Richardson is all Ole Miss, and his official visit went well, to say the least.

“My visit was real life-changing experience,” he said. “Love the coaches around here. I was trying to get Eric Stokes to come down here with me. Other than that, I’ve just been hanging out and stuff.”

Stokes is among Ole Miss’ top targets at cornerback. A three-star prospect, Stokes is considering Georgia, Florida and Ole Miss.

“I think I did a good job of recruiting him, but I really don’t know,” Richardson said. “He has Georgia and Florida with him but I think Ole Miss is where he’ll pick.”

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