Ole Miss Football 2014 Position Previews – Huskie


The 2014 Ole Miss football season is just around the corner. Here at Ole Hotty Toddy, we want to bring you the most coverage you can find to get you prepared for the upcoming season. In this article series, we are going to take an in depth look at each position for the Ole Miss Rebels. We are going to cover what happened with each position in 2013, the impact players of each position, and the future of each position. Hope you enjoy!

We want to take the time and say that we appreciate all of our readers staying glued to our site for preparation of the upcoming football season. It looks as though these position preview articles are going over very well. So, we are going to still to the trend. Hope you all continue to enjoy!

Today, we start to take a look at the Ole Miss defense. I know Rebel fans are ready to get a glimpse of what the landshark defense has in store for the upcoming season. All of the hype is building around that the Ole Miss defense is actually suppose to be good this season. Ole Miss will be returning twelve starters on defense. Many of them are sophomores from the historic 2013 recruiting class. These guys will know have one year of experience under their belt in the nation’s toughest conference.

Dec 30, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Mississippi Rebels defensive back Cliff Coleman (6) catches a pass during warm ups prior to the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

In this article we are going to look at the huskie position. These are the guys who can spread out the coverage of the secondary or move in and take over a linebacker role. Last season, Ole Miss fans got a glimpse of some top-rated talent who performed very well their freshman year.

In 2013…

On National Signing Day of 2013, Ole Miss signed Tony Conner out of Batesville, Mississippi. We all know about that amazing talent that comes out of South Panola all too well. Conner was rated a five-star prospect and as high as the number two ranked safety in the nation coming out of high school. Conner was know best for his size and having amazing ability of making plays. His talent was something that the Rebels’ secondary had been longer for, due to a lack of depth.

Tony Conner lived up to all the hype and expectations his freshman year at Ole Miss. Conner finished the season with 66 total tackles (3rd on the team). He would also add 5.0 TFLs, 1.0 sack, one interception and seven passes defended on the year. In his very first collegiate game (against Vanderbilt), Conner snagged an interception on his very first defensive play. Conner also received Freshman All-America first team honors at the end of the season.

Oct 19, 2013; Oxford, MS, USA; LSU Tigers running back Jeremy Hill (33) advances the ball and is tackled by Mississippi Rebels defensive back Tony Conner (12) during the game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Hilton backed-up Conner for much of the season. Although, Hilton would suffer a hamstring injury in the game against Texas A&M, which resulted in Hilton missing the games against LSU and Idaho. This forced the Rebel secondary having to spread out to fill depth. Hilton did finish the 2013 season with 52 total tackles (5th on the team), 5.5 tackles for a loss, and tied for fourth on the team with five passes defended (including an interception).

Cliff Coleman moved from cornerback to huskie in the spring of 2013. Last season, Coleman played in twelve games, recording eight total tackles (six solo) and a tackle for a loss. Coleman filled in the extra depth the Rebels needed in the secondary and performed exceptionally well.

During The Offseason…

After the conclusion of spring practices, it looks as though Tony Conner will once again be the predominate starter for Ole Miss at the huskie position. Mike Hilton and Cliff Coleman are slotted to back-up Conner in the second-string defense.

Coach Hugh Freeze had some good things to say about Coleman when asked about “surprising” talent after the conclusion of the 2014 Grove Bowl…

"”The first one that jumps out just because of the body of work that he put in during the 15 days is Collins Moore. Collins Moore and Cliff Coleman got the Most Outstanding Player awards. I’Tavius Mathers is just special. We’ve got some good backs. Today he made a phenomenal run. Yesterday he made a run where he made two guys miss in space. That guy has improved. I’m excited about a lot of those backs. Defensively I’m really excited about Christian Russell. He adds a lot of speed. Temario Strong had a good day today. Those guys have improved. Bryon Bennett has turned a corner in his buy-in. If he continues, he will have a special year.”"

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In 2014…

Tony Conner is an amazing talent. I expect him to be a standout on the Ole Miss defense this season, backing up his amazing performance of last season. It is good to see Mike Hilton healthy again. Conner will need his experience to help him back-up with depth in the position. I am very interested in seeing the hype of Coleman coming out of spring Hopefully, we will see those results on the field.

Give us your feedback of the huskie position in the comment section below this article.