Ole Miss signs another junior college prospect in quarterback Jordan Ta’amu

Published 11:00 am Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ole Miss inked its first offensive player from the junior college ranks Thursday.

New Mexico Military Institute quarterback Jordan Ta’amu signed with the Rebels and will enroll in January. The 6-foot-2, 200 pound signal caller threw for 3,014 yards and 32 touchdowns as a sophomore this season at NMMI.

Former five-star signee Shea Patterson is the Rebels’ starter after having his redshirt pulled to start the last three games of this season, but Ta’amu gives Ole Miss some depth at the position with Patterson and redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin being the only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster with Chad Kelly out of eligibility.

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Ta’amu’s signing comes a day after the Rebels’ porous defense brought in three reinforcements.

On the first day junior college prospects could sign with four-year schools, the Rebels inked Jones County Junior College teammates Javien Hamilton and Markel Winters along with Northeast Mississippi Community College linebacker Brenden Williams.

Williams, rated as the nation’s No. 4 inside linebacker and 56th junior college prospect overall by 247Sports’ composite rankings, will immediately compete for playing time among a linebacking corps that only had one player record more than 44 tackles this season and is losing graduate transfer Rommel Mageo, who started the final four games at middle linebacker. Williams had 89 tackles as a freshman at NEMCC.

Winters, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end, could provide a boost to the Rebels’ pass rush. Ole Miss’ 20 sacks rank 97th nationally.

Winters, who chose the Rebels over Mississippi State, Auburn and others, racked up 16 sacks in nine games for JCJC this season. Marquis Haynes, the Rebels’ sack leader this season, will be back for his senior season, but the Rebels are losing two senior ends in Fadol Brown and John Youngblood.

Hamilton also fills a need with Ole Miss losing senior cornerbacks Tony Bridges and Carlos Davis. The 5-10, 170-pound Hamilton, a three-star prospect, was a second-team All-MACJC selection this season with 27 tackles and a forced fumble.

He had 22 tackles as a freshman and averaged 23.3 yards on kick returns that season.