After Signing Day: Safeties

Going position by position for the Rebels after signing day …


As his first spring with Ole Miss was winding down defensive coordinator Dave Wommack told us he felt like he had five or six SEC players.

Not All-SEC players, just SEC players.

Times are changing.

As Hugh Freeze talks about adding depth with the Class of 21014 no where is that more apparent than at safety when you can take a guy like Meridian’s C.J. Hampton — the No. 2-rated player in the state by Scout and Rivals — and add him to a position where you return your top three guys and will add an impact transfer, Anthony Alford.

Trae Elston and Chief Brown, listed 1-2 at Rover on the last 2013 depth chart, are back as is Cody Prewitt, who was named first-team AP All-American last year. Elston and Brown will be juniors, Prewitt a senior.

Prewitt’s backup was senior Brishen Mathews, so there’s one available spot on the 2-deep.

Maybe Hampton comes in and shows himself worthy of playing time right away. That would thrill Wommack is excited to see more competition at all positions.

Signee C.J. Moore — one half of the Bassfield twins — will start out with the safeties.

There has been experimentation with wide receiver Cody Core at safety, and it won’t be surprising to see others moved around.

Prewitt was the team’s big-play leader last year with six interceptions, seven pass break-ups and two forced fumbles. His 71 tackles were second on the team.

Elston had solid numbers too, at times motivated by the presence of Brown on his heels.

Elston had 62 tackles, broke up six passes, recovered two fumbles and forced another. Brown had 38 tackles.

That’s a lot of production from the group, and you figure Alford is going to get in the mix too. Many consider him the best athlete on the team.

Hampton brings the versatility Wommack likes. At Meridian High School he played both safeties plus some situational cornerback as well as tight end and wide receiver.

His role as a freshman remains to be seen, but collectively the safeties offer an intriguing mix of proven playmakers plus new parts.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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