Ole Miss has depth and experience at most positions on defense. The glaring exception is cornerback where there will be two new starters.
One will most likely be Tee Shepard. The other will definitely be Tony Bridges. If that’s the pair that will give Ole Miss two starters who have not played college football.
A year ago when Shepard sustained a toe injury that caused him to miss the season Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said he lost then what he considered to be “arguably” his best cover corner.
There’s been more buzz about Bridges than Shepard in this camp. Coaches have had a lot of good things to say about sophomore Kendarius Webster too. Those three will make up the top three players in the rotation.
It was Chief Brown last week who told us Bridges has 10 interceptions in camp. I asked Bridges if that was an accurate figure. He was proud to confirm that it is.
Getting 10 picks in camp is a lot different than getting 10 in the regular season, and that’s what the Rebels are trying to replace in the departed Senquez Golson.
It’s pretty clear, though, that Bridges — who was rated the No. 1 juco cornerback by Scout, Rivals and ESPN — has been using his athleticism to make plays, and that’s why Freeze and defensive coordinator Dave Wommack had no qualms about moving senior Mike Hilton to Rover at the beginning of spring drills.
It wasn’t a situation where they were half-way into spring and said, ‘Hey, that Bridges is pretty good. Let’s put Hilton at Rover.’ No, they were confident in Bridges from the beginning, and it appears that confidence is paying off.