June 5, 2011

Hilton lands new offer, names top two

Mike Hilton arrived in Oxford, Miss., early Sunday, checked out the Ole Miss campus and then got set to work out for the Rebels' coaches.

Two of the greatest needs on the Ole Miss roster are running back and cornerback, so Hilton spent time at both positions Sunday during the second and final day of the Rebels' annual elite camp.

"It went pretty well," Hilton said later Sunday, as he made the drive from Oxford to Starkville for Mississippi State's camp Monday. "I got around to see the campus, met the coaches and did some one-on-ones. Then I went over to cornerback and shut down some receivers. I think that's where I impressed them the most. They like my versatility."

Ole Miss liked Hilton so much that the Rebels offered 5-foot-9, 175-pound athlete from Tyrone (Sandy Creek), Ga., a scholarship on the spot.

"It was actually great," Hilton said. "When we first got down to Ole Miss, I said, 'OK, I have to step my game up.' I came out with an offer. It feels great. It's a confidence-builder."

Hilton said the Rebels want him to play running back at the collegiate level, "but if I have to switch to corner, they wouldn't mind switching me over. I just want to get on the field and help the team. I really don't have a set position."

With the offer, Ole Miss moved into solid shape in the race for Hilton's signature. Hilton, who has offers from Buffalo, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Marshall, Southern Mississippi and Western Kentucky, said the two Southeastern Conference programs on his offer list are likely his finalists. He plans to visit Lexington on June 17.

"Obviously everyone wants a big-time back, but Ole Miss and Kentucky want speed and a playmaker," said Hilton, adding that Kentucky coaches are telling him he could be another Randall Boyd in Lexington while the Rebels' brass are selling him on being another Dexter McCluster in Oxford. "That fits me."

Hilton said he probably won't commit quickly, though he said he will likely focus in on either Ole Miss or Kentucky after his visit to see the Wildcats later this month.

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