Well into the second half of its upset win of LSU two weeks ago, Ole Miss had two true freshmen, Derrick Jones and Bobby Hill, as its cornerbacks.
Senior Charles Sawyer, who had started the game, was out with an injury. Sawyer was the replacement for Mike Hilton, hurt a week earlier, and Jones was in place of Senquez Golson. Golson was suspended for a violation of team rules.
So, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze reached as far as he could - to two true freshmen against a top-10 opponent in a pivotal game.
Despite their youth at the position, the Rebels are No. 7 in the SEC in passing defense. Still, there is a serious depth issues at cornerback, as LSU proved, and Freeze and company have searched far and wide for potential impact players to add to the recruiting class of 2014.
On Tuesday, they landed some help in four-star cornerback Kendarius Webster.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Webster committed to Ole Miss over Florida State and others, namely Georgia. Webster, of Stockbridge, Ga., is rated the No. 24 cornerback in the country by Scout.com.
“I have a chance to go in there and compete for a starting spot my freshman year,” Webster said of Ole Miss, in a previous interview with Scout.com.
“It’s also a good opportunity for me to help turn a program around. They’re on the rise, and they have a lot of good, young players. Plus, I have a good relationship with a lot of those guys.”
Webster visited Florida State last weekend. When he arrived home, he knew Ole Miss was where he wanted to be. Webster held additional offers from, among others, LSU, South Carolina, Clemson and Kentucky.
Webster was in Oxford for an official visit Oct. 11-13, when Ole Miss hosted Texas A&M. The Rebels lost a close game in the final seconds, 41-38. They’ve since rebounded with two straight wins to run their overall record to 5-3 (2-3 SEC).
Ole Miss hosts Arkansas Saturday at 11:21 a.m. CT.
“It went well,” Webster said following the visit. “I got to go to the Grove for the first time. That stood out to me the most, really. I love how the fans interact with the players. The fan base showed me a lot of love. I like how much support they show their players.”
Stockbridge High School is currently 8-1 overall, including a 4-0 mark in Regional play.