||Ole Miss inks four junior college standouts
OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) — Ole Miss has received national letters of intent from four of the nation’s top junior college prospects, head coach Hugh Freeze announced Wednesday.
Mississippi Gulf Coast cornerback Tony Bridges, Northwest Mississippi linebacker Terry Caldwell, East Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones and East Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly will join the Rebels this spring.
“I'm thrilled with the results of today,” Freeze said. “The young men and the families that decided to join our program fit with us, number one, and they fit needs that we have to make sure that our depth is what it needs to be to compete in this conference.
“We needed to create competition and depth at quarterback, and we were able to do that with Chad Kelly. With the loss of Senquez (Golson), we get a player like Tony Bridges, who can step in right there. There at defensive line, we lose Bryon Bennett and Lavon Hooks, and we sign a player of the quality of D.J. Jones. We lose three linebackers, so we certainly needed to sign a player there, and we did with Terry Caldwell.”
Bridges will join the Rebels from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where he earned NJCAA first team All-America honors. The 6'2", 175-pound cornerback is rated a four-star prospect by all the major recruiting services and listed as the top junior college cornerback by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Caldwell is a 6'2", 220-pound linebacker who played last season at Northwest Mississippi Community College, having spent the previous two seasons at Charlotte, where he was a member of the school’s first-ever recruiting class. Caldwell led the MACJC and ranked fourth nationally with 122 tackles as a sophomore.
Jones is a 6'2", 315-pound defensive lineman who spent the last two seasons at East Mississippi Community College and helped Buddy Stephens’ Lions to a combined 24-0 record and two NJCAA national championships. Jones is rated a four-star prospect and listed as the top junior college defensive tackle by all the major recruiting services.
Kelly earned NJCAA first team All-America honors, as he helped East Mississippi Community College to a 12-0 record and the national championship this year. Regarded as the top junior college quarterback, the 6'3", 220-pound Kelly completed 66.9 percent of his passes and threw for 3,906 yards with 47 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Kelly, who started his career at Clemson, is also the nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.