July 13, 2008

Ole Miss in tight race for South Panola star

Michigan has hopped into the David Conner, but there's bad news for the Wolverines, apparently.

Conner, a three-star strong safety from Batesville (South Panola), Miss., likely won't leave the Southeastern Conference's Western Division.

Conner, a fast-rising, 5-foot-9, 185-pounder, said Saturday evening that Auburn leads Ole Miss in the race for his signature. Michigan, Mississippi State and Southern Mississippi are in the mix, but those three programs are well behind the Tigers and Rebels.

Conner, who had 98 tackles, 12 sacks and three interceptions for the perennial state power Tigers last season, recently returned from a trip to Auburn to check out Tommy Tuberville's program. He came away impressed.

"That's who the leader is right now for me," Conner said. "I thought it was great. Everybody showed me a great time. I liked the town and the campus. I met a lot of people when I was down there."

Auburn isn't a slam-dunk choice, however. Conner said he will very likely attend Ole Miss' invitation-only camp on July 26, and the Rebels aren't far behind the Tigers in the battle for his services.

"They're right on the tip-toes of Auburn," Conner said. "They're right there. They just have to continue to show me that they really care about me, not only on the field but also as a person and a student."

Conner said he plans to wait until sometime during _ or just after _ the football season to make a decision.

After all, he's in no hurry. Months ago, Conner was under the radar _ in large part because of his lack of height _ so he's learned to be patient. In addition, he's picked up some perspective which he thinks will help him make a rational decision and not be blown away by big-name offers and/or attention.

"I've been going and just looking around," Conner said. "Being around everybody has helped."




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