Hilton says he can handle double duty

In the last two practices open for partial media view, Mike Hilton has been a Huskie one day, a cornerback the next.

That’s a lot of moving back and forth, but he says he can handle it.

“They make sure I’m on top of everything. I watch film with the corners one day, then go watch it with the Huskies and make sure I’m not making too many mistakes,” Hilton said.

How much Hilton plays at Huskie may depend on the confidence coaches have in sophomore Derrick Jones, and that won’t be known until there are some game snaps to evaluate.

I found it interesting on Media Day that defensive coordinator Dave Wommack was adamant that Hilton would start somewhere, not just play, but start.

Usually coaches talk about groups of players in rotations. Wommack was certain that Hilton would be on the field at the beginning of the game in one position.

Well, they’ve got a good thing going with Tony Conner at Huskie, so that leaves corner for Hilton.

Clearly depth at Husky is a concern after the June injury to Chief Brown, and Tee Shepard’s injury was another hit for overall depth in the secondary.

Hilton made plays at Huskie as a freshman when he won the job in the middle of the year. He made an easy transition to cornerback last year and says he’s even more comfortable at corner now with more confidence in his press coverage.

“I didn’t press too much at the beginning of the season. Toward the end I started doing it more. That’s what we’ve been practicing on. I’m more comfortable pressing. I think I can run with everybody. I can get underneath their pads and get my hands on them because you know I’m a little short. Most receivers are tall. I think that will help me,” he said.

If Hilton proves too valuable to move off corner it wouldn’t be a shock to see Denzel Nkemdiche move out to Husky. There’s good depth at linebacker now, and the older Nkemdiche began as a safety.

Just a thought.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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