While lots of experienced talent returns for the Ole Miss defense there are a couple of key areas to address this spring, and coaches are doing that by moving around a couple of veterans: CJ Johnson from end to linebacker and Mike Hilton from corner to rover.
Johnson says it has really hit home – after it was brought up recently by defensive coordinator Dave Wommack – how close the Rebels were to being in the first four-team college football playoff.
Johnson says the Rebels were only three plays away.
“There was a dropped interception against Auburn, a dropped interception against LSU, and that drive that LSU scored on, I missed a sack on third down. It’s stuff like that we have to get better at,” he said.
The move of Hilton to safety was somewhat expected and not that big a deal for the senior from Georgia who has already played every position in the secondary.
Johnson played linebacker in high school but quickly settled into a play-maker at defense end when he got to Ole Miss.
“It will be a big learning process for me, but I’m ready for it,” he said.