Jarrian Jones isn’t going to play for the Ole Miss Rebels. He also isn’t playing for Mississippi State University. The transferring defensive back decided instead to take his talents down to Tallahassee. How did we end up here?
In a move seeming similar to his pre-collegiate recruiting cycle, Jones had his mind made up… until he didn’t. After just two weeks of being committed to Ole Miss, the Brandon, MS native took down his commitment post and replaced it with a new one. On June 1, Jones announced his intent to play for the Florida State Seminoles and Mike Norvell this coming season.
Jones is not the only Mississippi product making his way to play for Norvell this offseason. Another Bulldog, Fabien Lovett, jumped ship earlier in the spring. Lovett entered the transfer portal on April 3 and made his announcement on May 30. The pairing will join a head coach who made his name at Memphis as a defensive-minded coach.
Where does this leave Ole Miss?
I wrote about what impact Jarrian Jones could have for the Rebels just after his announcement. You can check that out here. As for Ole Miss, now, the Rebs need to try and shift their focus onto what they can control for next season.
The Ole Miss Rebels’ pass defense allowed almost 280 yards per game last season. Even if the Rebel offense improves tremendously under incoming head coach Lane Kiffin and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, Ole Miss will have little success against their 2020 schedule if the defense doesn’t improve.
The Rebels have one of the toughest schedules in college football next year, headlined by an opening week matchup against Baylor, a team that won 11 games last season, along with their normal SEC West schedule. If the team flounders defensively again, they won’t sniff five wins, let alone meet their bowl game aspirations.
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