National signing day: South Panola's Tony Conner chooses Ole Miss over Alabama

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Creg Stephenson |

Ole Miss held off a late recruiting charge from defending national champion Alabama and signed Batesville, Miss./South Panola safety Tony Conner on Wednesday.

Conner, rated the top safety in the country by most recruiting services, made the announcement live on ESPNU. Batesville is a little less than 30 miles from the Ole Miss campus, and the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Conner expressed a desire to state close to home.

"I'm going to play my four years at ... Ole Miss," Conner said. "... Ole Miss is right down the road. I feel more comfortable playing in my home state instead of going out-of-state. I want to do something in my state to put Mississippi on the map."

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