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Mississippi backup safety turns focus to baseball


OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Mississippi sophomore Anthony Alford has left the football program to pursue a professional baseball career with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The school announced Alford's departure on Tuesday afternoon. The Petal, Mississippi, native played in all four games this season as a backup safety and punt returner.

Alford was selected by the Blue Jays in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft but signed a contract that allowed him to play football at Southern Mississippi while playing in the Blue Jays' minor league system during the summers.

He transferred to Ole Miss last year and quickly became a contributor in a backup role. He made six tackles this season.

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The 11th-ranked Rebels (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) host No. 3 Alabama (4-0, 1-0) on Saturday.