It's a big blow for Auburn's 2015 recruiting class—JUCO cornerback Tony Bridges is now committed to Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss Rebels.
The announcement came earlier this morning. Bridges was considered by 247sports experts to be the top JUCO cornerback in the country at 4 stars. Bridges' flip now leaves Auburn with 19 prospects for 2015.
At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, Bridges would have arguably found his way into the starting lineup to bolster a defense that has seen its share of troubles this season, especially in the secondary. No doubt Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson will be disappointed with this turn of events.
After initially committing to Auburn in the spring, rumors gradually circulated that Bridges might have a change of heart later in the year.
Citing family reasons and a love of the campus and players in Oxford, Bridges credited Auburn's talented personnel, but ultimately claimed that being closer to home was the best decision he could make. For Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, this is the second commitment in the last two days.
Bridges is currently enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College—the same campus that gave the Tigers Duke Williams and Derick Moncrief.
This will definitely have a sour impact on Auburn's defense for next season. It seems that the Tigers have been on a defensive skid the last several games, and such a talented recruit at the cornerback position will be hard to replace in the coming months, especially as graduating seniors Robenson Therezie, Trovon Reed, and Jermaine Whitehead will leave gaps in an already shaky secondary. Expect head coach Gus Malzahn and DC Ellis Johnson to be hard at work to figure out the next step for an 2015 class that could certainly use a shot in the arm on the defensive side of the ball.