Tony Conner

Ole Miss starting DB Tony Conner out at least four weeks

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Ole Miss is still celebrating its win over Alabama from the weekend, but there is some reason for concern as well. Defensive back Tony Conner will miss at least the next four games after suffering a torn meniscus in the victory in Tuscaloosa. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday.

Conner had been starting at nickel for Ole Miss. He has been backed up by A.J. Moore on the depth chart. It is expected Moore will step in and start in Conner’s place until he is ready to return. Given the schedule in front of them, Ole Miss should be able to manage just fine the next four weeks.

Ole Miss will play host to Vanderbilt this week and visits Florida next week. Ole Miss returns to non-conference play after that with a home date with New Mexico State for homecoming. Ole Miss could have a tricky spot the following week when they visit a Memphis team that continues to play some good football and is riding a 10-game winning streak while making its case for the top Group of Five big bowl spot at the end of the season.

If Conner is able to retrun after that, he will do so just in time for a key SEC West battle with Texas A&M. The Aggies like throwing the football and have been looking solid in the early going this fall. A road game at Auburn and a home game against Arkansas follow before Ole Miss reaches the bye week in mid-November.

Surprise! Mountain West leads all conferences on Jim Thorpe Award watch list

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Today may be the beginning of college football’s media day season, but it also marks the continuation of watch list season. Today’s watch list reveal came from the Jim Thorpe Award, which named 42 of college football’s top defensive backs. In what may be considered a bit of a surprise as far as watch lists go, the Mountain West Conference landed the most players on the watch list for the award. Take that power conferences!

Six players from the MWC appear on the watch list, including a pair of players from Boise State (Donte Deayon, Darian Thompson). The ACC and Pac-12 each had five players on the watch list, including 2014 semifinalists Jeremy Cash (Duke) and Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech). The Big 12, Conference USA, MAC and Sun Belt Conference each have four players on the watch list, and the Big Ten, SEC and American Athletic Conference each have three.

2015 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List

Ishmael Adams, UCLA
Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
Tony Annese, Central Michigan
Budda Baker, Washington
Adairius Barnes, Louisiana Tech
Dante Barnett, Kansas State
Vonn Bell, Ohio State
Quin Blanding, Virginia
Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee
Michael Caputo, Wisconsin
Jeremy Cash, Duke
Tony Conner, Ole Miss
Donte Deayon, Boise State
Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Nate Holley, Kent State
Adoreé Jackson, USC
William Jackson, Houston
Randall Jette, Massachusetts
Jonathan Jones, Auburn
Karl Joseph, West Virginia
Damontae Kazee, San Diego State
Montres Kitchens, Troy
Mitch Lane, ULM
Richard Leonard, FIU
William Likely, Maryland
Paris Logan, Northern Illinois
Trent Matthews, Colorado State
Adrian McDonald, Houston
Doug Middleton, Appalachian State
David Mims II, Texas State
Fabian Moreau, UCLA
Parry Nickerson, Tulane
Kevin Peterson, Oklahoma State
Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
Max Redfield, Notre Dame
Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma
Jordan Simone, Arizona State
Weston Steelhammer, Air Force
Darian Thompson, Boise State
JJ Whittaker, San Diego State
Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech