MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The first day of practice for the 26th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game have come and gone with players fighting through bone-chilling weather conditions. While there are times in which the lesser known prospects shine out of the gate in all-star games and practices, it was much more of business as usual for the top prospects on the Mississippi team on Tuesday.
Five-star safety Tony Conner was impressive Tuesday during practice for the 26th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game, despite not having very many opportunities to defend passes.
Here is a look at the top performers.
Tony Conner, S, Batesville (Miss.) South Panola
While there wasn’t a lot of action the way of the 6-foot-2, 203-pound five-star prospect Tuesday afternoon, his quickness and ability to read and react with suddenness showed up on two or three occasions in the team portion of practice. The physical safety prospect with coaches dream instincts left little doubt he was the best prospect in the Mississippi secondary even on a day in which there weren’t a lot of passes in the air over the middle of the field and in the seams. Following practice, Conner again said he plans to visit Ole Miss, Alabama, Mississippi State, Georgia and possibly LSU.
Chris Jones, DE, Houston (Miss.)
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Mississippi State commitment is easily the most imposing physical presence on the Mississippi squad. Throw in the fact that he has a quick and long first step, the ability to open up and pursue, the ability to drop in a zone blitz and use his length and quickness to affect windows and his shear athleticism. The No. 35 overall prospect in the 2013 class according to 247Sports continues to show his vast upside. Jones was one of three defensive lineman that dominated the practice.
Kailo Moore, RB, Rosedale (Miss.) West Bolivar
There isn’t a faster player on either team in a straight line than Moore, who is committed to Mississippi State with Ole Miss strongly in the mix to turn him. The No. 77 overall prospect in the class had the look of a 10.5-second 100-meter sprinter even on a day in the low 40s and with sweat pants on. On two plays he took a toss sweep, showed patience setting up his blocks and accelerated to the corner for what would have been sure-fire scores against any defense.
Ashton Shumpert, RB/Athlete, Tupelo (Miss.)
Top247 prospect Ashton Shumpert showed off impressive hands during Tuesday's practice for the 26th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.
Shumpert not only passes the eye test at 6-foot-2 and a chiseled 212-pounds, but he also showed all of his versatile qualities in the afternoon session. He showed the ability to play in his hips and make the first defender miss in the hole at running back, but impressed as much as anything as a sure-handed receiver in the passing game. On a pair of receptions, he didn’t fight the ball, snatching the ball out of the air with sure hands and arms extended, quickly put the ball away and turned up the field.
Dylan Bradley, DE, Noxubee (Miss.)
Some players are just football players, period, and that is the 6-foot-0, 245-pound Bradley. A Friday night force on the edge, Bradley played inside Tuesday in practice and placed a sound whipping on any lineman that attempted to block and control him. What Bradley lacks in size, he more than makes up for with active hands, first step quickness, a physical mentality and a motor that is relentless. Bradley continues to be an under-valued prospect with offers from Memphis, Arkansas State and SMU among others.
- When taking a look at the offensive lineman on the Mississippi team, the prospect with the best body type is Mississippi State commitment Kent Flowers (Hollandale, Miss./Simmons). The 6-foot-4.5, 290-pounder has the frame to carry more than 300-pounds with near ideal proportion. Flowers appears to have the best shot to play tackle at the next level with fellow teammates and Bulldogs commitments Jake Thomas and Deon Mix likely to move inside to guard.
- At corner, Tony Bridges (Hattiesburg, Miss.) impressed. The 6-foot-0, 180-pounder flashed quick feet, the ability to recover and impressive natural strength. Bridges had the full attention of junior college coaches from East Mississippi and Hinds.
- Along with Jones and Bradley, defensive end Xavier Pegues (Oxford, Miss.) dominated the two-hour practice. While Jones and Bradley did the majority of the damage, the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder used his long arms and power to easily dispose of would be blockers.
- Mississippi State three-star commitment Tyre’oune Holmes (Tylertown, Miss.)
showed quick feet and the ability to change direction in team. While he needs time to gain strength, and weight, he does possess the baseline talent to develop.