MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Antonio Conner (Batesville, Miss./South Panola) might be the nation’s No. 2 safety in the ESPN 150 rankings, but he’s getting a turn at running back during practice this week for the Mississippi team in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.
“Kailo Moore went down, and coach asked me if I was willing to play running back,” Conner said. “I told him anything to help out the team, so that’s what I had to do today. It’s real good. You’ve got to see the hole and have great vision.”
Moore, a Mississippi State commitment, missed practice on Thursday with a groin injury. He’s questionable for the game on Saturday. If Conner sees time in the backfield, he’s got one goal on his mind -- get in the end zone.
Regardless of whether or not he scores, it’s his play on defense that has nearly every college program in the country after him. As signing day approaches, he maintains the same top five with Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
During the season, he visited Tuscaloosa three times, most recently for the Mississippi State game in October.
“I’ve been over there for a couple of games,” Conner said. “I met the players, took a tour around. Everything looked real big. It felt like I was at home. Everybody took care of you, and the games would be real live.”
Conner also visited both Mississippi State and Ole Miss this fall and was in Oxford, Miss., when the Rebels won the Egg Bowl against their in-state rival.
“Coach [Hugh] Freeze told me he’s going to get things changed around, and he’s been getting things changed around this year,” Conner said.
Ole Miss could be even more appealing if they land a commitment from the nation’s No. 1 player, Robert Nkemdiche. According to Conner, it’s all but a done deal, but he won’t let that affect his decision.
“He’s going over there,” Conner said of Nkemdiche. “His momma even told me that he’s going over there. He’s going over to play with his brother. It would be a good decision for me to go, but at the same time, he made his own decision, so I’ve got to make mine.”
Conner plans to start taking his official visits next week and will announce his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 4.