For South Panola (MS) safety Tony Conner, a 247Sports composite four-star prospect and the top available safety left uncommitted, the process still has a ways to go -- he told 247Sports after his last game ($) that he is "wide open" and plans on making a decision at the Under Armour All-American game next February.
Holding offers from many of the top schools in the SEC and ACC, there are rumors that he has a final four of Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and LSU, with Alabama and Ole Miss listed as "warmer" on his 247Sports profile, but Conner claims that is not the case.
While Conner is publicly playing his recruitment close to his vest, he did say that he has several important things he is looking for in his future program:
I’ll look at their coaching staff. And then I’ll start looking at their roster to see how many seniors they have. The main thing I do is I’ll watch their secondary while I’m at the game. If a team has a bunch of seniors in their secondary, I feel like I can go in and get a starting position.
Based on that comment, it sounds like the potential for early playing time for be an important factor in his decision.
The opening depth chart for Alabama included only one senior among the five safeties listed on the depth chart, while Ole Miss features only one as well among the three starting positions in the Rebels 4-2-5 defense, buried third at the free safety position.
For LSU, both of the starters at safety are juniors, with freshmen and sophomores behind them. At Mississippi State, there are two seniors at the free safety position, including the co-starter there.
In other words, if those four are indeed the top schools under consideration from Conner, it appears that the Bulldogs would have the best opportunity to land him, but only by a small margin, as none of the schools will be enduring a mass exodus following the season at Conner's future position.
During the summer, Conner visited Alabama and Mississippi State, while his only trip during football season was to Ole Miss to see the game against UTEP. His profile does not list any scheduled upcoming visits.