February 8, 2012

Conner honored, motivated by first Rivals100

Rivals.com released its initial top 100 for the 2013 recruiting class Wednesday.

Antonio Conner was slotted at No. 38 nationally, a ranking that perturbed some fans in Mississippi, who feel the 6-foot-2, 192-pound safety from Batesville (South Panola), Miss., should be even higher on that list.

For his part, however, Conner said he saw the ranking as one part validation, one part motivation.

"To tell you the truth, I'm glad I'm ranked," Conner said. "At the same time, I really don't look at it like that. I'm just grinding and looking forward to getting to the next level.

"It makes me feel good. It makes me want to keep up the work I'm doing on the field and in the classroom. I want to keep my grades right."

Conner is picking up interest from all over the country. However, he said Wednesday he remains pretty much locked in on three top schools - Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Alabama.

"Those are the three," Conner said. "No doubt, I'm going to keep those three in mind."

Conner recently attended Ole Miss' first junior day under new coach Hugh Freeze.

"We talked to a lot of the new coaches there," Conner said. "Everything over there is real good. I like Coach Freeze. I like what he's speaking about."

Conner said he hopes to attend an upcoming junior day in Starkville. He likely won't see Byhalia, Miss., offensive tackle Davion Johnson there. Johnson committed to Ole Miss and has since been recruiting Conner to join him in Oxford.

"Davion called me. He was telling me about everything and about how they were treating his family," Conner said. "He said he feels like he's at home there."

Conner said while he'll make the decision that is best for him, he's keeping an eye on the recruiting of a handful of other prominent Mississippi prospects.

"(Rosedale running back) Kailo Moore, I want to see where's going," Conner said. "He and (Batesville offensive tackle) Deon Mix and (Fulton running back) Ashton Shumpert, I'm watching them to see where they go."

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