Matt Lubick -

Mico McSwain has been moved from pillar to post in his career at Ole Miss, and he's only a sophomore. Maybe now the versatile athlete has found a home at wide receiver. His coach, Matt Lubick, thinks McSwain has got what it takes. Read about that and a few of Lubick's comments on Marshay Green inside.

Changing positions in college football is not as easy as one might think, but sophomore Mico McSwain seems to do it without much fanfare.

After playing tailback last year, setting a freshman rushing record along the way, Mico reported back to camp this year as BenJarvus Green-Ellis' backup at the same position.

After eight games of not getting a lot of action due to the durability and effectiveness of BJGE and the rise of backup TB Bruce Hall, the coaches opted to try to help out a position that was not as productive as they had hoped - wide receiver - by moving Mico there.

The versatile McSwain played some wide receiver his redshirt year, but had not lined up out wide since.

"Mico is doing very well, all things considered," said Wide Receivers Coach Matt Lubick. "He's coming in on his own watching a lot of tape and he's getting more and more reps each practice so he's getting a better understanding of the offense.

"We want to get the ball in his hands and with each practice he feels a little more comfortable with our plays and what he has to do in them. The more plays he knows, the more we can get him in the game."

Lubick pointed out the change has not been difficult to Mico physically. The gifted athlete seems to be a natural anywhere the coaches put him.

"A lot of things come naturally to him. He has really good hands and he has a feel of running routes," Matt continued. "What he has to work on is how to react when coverages change on him and how to win with his press coverage technique.

"Mico does a good job of coming off the ball, he does a good job of catching the ball and he obviously has some skills with the ball in his hands. We saw that at tailback. He's a playmaker."

Lubick said the finer points of playing wide receiver are all McSwain lacks and he's picking those up daily.

"It's all about being exact. If he gets to where he's supposed to be in the route in terms of depth and width, it makes it easier on the quarterback. If you are running a streak and you are one yard from the sideline, you can't complete that ball, but if you are on top of the defender and you give the QB the room to make a throw, you have a chance to make a completion," Lubick explained. "Mico has not been exact at times. The more reps he gets, the better he will be."

McSwain is an amazing athlete with all the physical tools you'd want.

"As I said, Mico has great hands, speed, body control, vertical. It's not about his physicality," Lubick said. "It's about the mentality of the position and he's getting that down daily."

Freshman WR Marshay Green is second on the team with 18 receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns, but he's a player whose production has tapered off with the emergence of Mike Wallace, Shay Hodge and now McSwain.

"Marshay is having a good year and he's only going to get better," Lubick assessed. "We all have to remember, and remind ourselves daily, that Marshay was a running back in high school and we have him at the slot which is the most difficult position to play of the wide receiver positions.

"We ask a lot of our slot guy. He has to be able to block linebackers and in our running game, and he's got to get open in the passing game. We also try to use his running back skills with reverses and he's one of our top return guys in punts and kickoffs. He's helped us a lot in a lot of areas, some which don't show up in the stats."

Lubick believes Green's best years are ahead of him, even though he has had a successful debut his freshman campaign.

"What I like most about Marshay is that he comes to work every day. He has a great attitude. He's easy to coach - fun to coach, because he wants to do his best and he hates to disappoint anyone associated with the team. He goes hard every play," Lubick noted. "We constantly point him out in meetings for the way he practices and his attitude. In short, he loves to play football."

Green's year has not been an easy transition.

"Marshay had to start from scratch, literally, last spring when he unselfishly said he would move to wideout versus tailback that he had played his whole career," Matt stated. "He had never played a single down of wide receiver in all his years of playing football.

"He experienced the same things all new receivers do, and he's still experiencing some of them. Like Mico, being exact is something he has to work on daily. He's also had to learn not to tip his hand in routes, not give DBs clues as to what route he's running. Getting in and out of breaks quickly, and so on."

Lubick said Marshay has had a tendency to make more moves than necessary.

"Mike Espy did that a little bit last year and had to get out of the habit. Moves on air, so to speak, are no good. I call it dancing in the routes," Lubick closed. "It's wasted motion.

"The object is to get North and South, be explosive, get out of cuts quick and get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. All the dancing does, all the extra steps do, is allow DBs to close in on you. He's starting to figure out that concept."

Lubick is willing to wait - somewhat - for Green to become the complete package at wideout.

"Marshay does so many things to help the team in blocking and in the return game. His transition to wide receiver is ongoing, but as long as he continues to make steady progress, which he has done, I can have some patience," Matt closed.

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