Last spring, Marshay Green was moved from wide receiver to cornerback and quickly beat out a slumping incumbent, Dustin Mouzon.
In early August, Mouzon returned to form and returned the "favor," edging out his good friend for starts in the first two games of the Rebel season.
Turnabout is fair play.
Green, despite having a crucial pass interference call on the winning Wake Forest drive, made enough plays to get bumped up ahead of Mouzon - again - for the Samford game this weekend at V-H Stadium.
"We're trying to get our best 11 players on the field and that comes from being consistent, something we didn't have last week against Wake Forest," said CB Coach Chris Vaughn. "We are going to make a change at one CB slot and see what Marshay can do.
"He has practiced very well this week, so now he's getting his shot. I've told him to just do his job - not do too much or someone else's job. He's got a great opportunity coming up and we'll see how it turns out."
Grenn's successes, not Mouzon's failures, in the Wake game were the reasons for the switch, according to Chris.
"Marshay graded the best of all the corners in the last game and when that happens you have to give him the opportunity to be the fulltime guy and he's getting that now," Vaughn noted. "He knocked a sure touchdown down and that helped his confidence a lot. It was good to see him make that play in that atmosphere and in live competition."
The switch from receiver to corner has not been instantaneous for Marshay, even though he had a good start in spring training.
"The biggest thing is that on offense you are acting and on defense you are reacting. There is a big difference. As a receiver, you know where the route is going and you know the timing of the throw. The CB does not know that. You watch the receiver until he gives you the keys and moves to trigger you to look back," Vaughn stated. "But there are also similarities. Ball skills are necessary and you have to be a competitor at all positions."
Vaughn said Green's mental makeup is conducive to what great corners possess.
"Marshay is an athlete who has a great competitive spirit, which you have to have at corner," Chris continued. "You can't like to compete, you have to love to compete to survive at corner. You also have to have a short memory and a lot of confidence.
"You play the best in the country on an island by yourself. There is nothing easy about that. I'm glad I was a linebacker in college because I don't know if I could have been a corner. It takes a different breed to be successful out there."
Reflecting, Vaughn said he knew Marshay was going to make it just fine when he didn't ask to move back to offense after he was demoted in August.
"That was huge for his advancement not to hang his head then. The average Joe would have gone back to offense. He said 'I got demoted - I did it. And I am going to get my spot back.' That's what competing is all about and that is what will make him a success," Chris recalled. "He took responsibility and didn't point fingers at anyone else. He was determined to work his way back, which he has done.
"But now he has to keep the job. Dustin is a good player as well and I'm sure he will fight to get the job back too."
Chris Vaughn -
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