OXFORD - It's possible Ole Miss defensive back Mike Hilton could play a third primary position this season as the Rebels evaluate their secondary play in the upcoming bye week.
Ole Miss next plays on Nov. 14 at home against LSU.
Hilton, a senior, began this season at rover, the Rebels' strong safety position, as part of a plan to replace safety Cody Prewitt and cornerback Senquez Golson, two All-Americans from last year's secondary.
Hilton moved to nickel back when Tony Conner was out with an injury. Conner played 30 snaps against Arkansas, and as the Razorbacks torched Ole Miss with their passing game, Hilton eventually showed up at cornerback, a position he played most of his sophomore and junior seasons.
"Well, getting Tony back and trying to get your best 11 out there and to rotate those corners to keep them fresher was part of it," Freeze said at his Monday press conference. "Mike is such a solid tackler and football player for us. When they were in certain personnel and you want to get your best guys out there you've got to figure Mike Hilton is one of those. And Tony Conner."
Hilton had 20 starts at cornerback going into this season and was named the Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner last spring.
Hilton started the Arkansas game at nickel back but moved to corner as the Razorbacks rolled up almost 200 passing yards in the first half.
After the game Freeze bemoaned the Rebels' inability to win one-on-one matchups in the secondary.
"Their tight ends and receivers are going to be in a lot of one-on-one situations, and they won a large, large percentage of those," Freeze said. "So schematically, we probably should have done some things differently and tried to play the run differently. Honestly, in individual one-on-ones we've got to find a way to win more."
Morris has career-ending injury
Offensive tackle Christian Morris, who would have been a candidate to replace Laremy Tunsil at left tackle, said over the weekend on social media that his career is over.
Morris sustained a spinal contusion against Texas A&M and doctors' evaluations show that continued play would carry risk of a more severe injury.
Morris will complete his degree and hopes to enter coaching. He will become a student assistant coach at Ole Miss.
Conner played 30 snaps against Arkansas, his first action since surgery for a torn meniscus following the Alabama game in Week 3.
The question now is how did the knee hold up and how might Conner hold up for the last two games? There was swelling in the knee, which was expected. Conner received treatment to drain the knee Monday afternoon and will be further evaluated.
More surgery will be required after the season.
"The plan all along had been to try and get him through the last few games," Freeze said. "We'll see how he feels and kind of judge what we can do with him based on that."
In his limited action, Conner had four tackles and half a tackle for loss against Arkansas.