"We feel like A.J. (Moore) just needs a little more seasoning and a little more experience," said Coach Hugh Freeze Monday. "Consequently, we are moving Mike Hilton from Rover to Husky."
Hilton has played Husky before "2 or 3 years ago," he said, so he does not anticipate a major issue in getting up to speed before Saturday's game with New Mexico State.
"There's a lot to the position, but I've already been working with Coach (Cory) Batoon and it's all coming back to me," Mike said. "I'll be fine. I'll be in the box more for run support, but that's OK too."
Mkie said he wasn't totally surprised by the move.
"A.J. was doing OK, nobody has lost confidence in him, he just needs more experience out there at that position that demands so much. He is a little disappointed, but he knows I'm going to help him through this and that this is just a learning process for him," Hilton explained. "It sounds like I am going to be there until Tony (Conner) gets back. We miss Tony - he is so good, but I intend to shore things up there.
"It's just another thing for me. You guys (media) know I am going to do whatever I have to do for the team. It's just another calling and another thing to help my team win."
Hilton said the Rebels got a real wake up call last Saturday when they got mashed by Florida in Gainesville.
"We got slapped in the face. A loss like that wakes you up. We are going to make sure we get our groove back this week," he noted. "We know we have to step our game back up. We just did not get it done against Florida and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.
"We just missed assignments and didn't play smart the other night. That's on us for not being ready. We think all of it is fixable,but we have to get back to work and make sure we take care of what's wrong."
In the last two games, Vandy and Florida both have been working the Rebels over with their tight ends.
"We have been so focused on the speed guys that we lost focus on the tight end and haven't been keeping a close enough eye on him. Our alignment and assignment was poor and we have to get that corrected," Mike added.
With Mike moving, Trae Elston will move back to Rover from free safety and C.J. Hampton iwll move up to starting FS.
"Trae has not forgotten how to play Rover, he played there three years, and I think C.J. has been groomed correctly and is ready to roll," Hilton stated. "In practice, he's always in the right spots at the right times and he makes the right calls."
Mike believes the Rebs learned a hard lesson in The Swamp Saturday night.
"I think we let the ranking get us a little overconfident and we didn't get ourselves mentally prepared to play a tough game," he closed. "We got hit in the mouth and it stunned us, but we are going to come back. We are going to be ready for the rest of the season."
Hilton to Husky
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