Hutchins works both sides of ball

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 1999

What do Charles Woodson, Champ Bailey and Von Hutchins have in common? Hutchins hopes to have the answer to that in a couple of years.

Hutchins, a freshman wide receiver at Ole Miss, was switched to defensive back last week.

&uot;They just needed some help temporarily over there because of a couple of people getting injured,&uot; Hutchins said.

Email newsletter signup

Despite practicing on both sides of the ball, Hutchins expects to get red-shirted this year.

&uot;I’m pretty sure I’ll be red-shirted, but they haven’t really decided,&uot; said 5-foot-11, 175-pound Hutchins, who was Metro Player of the Year as a quarterback at Cathedral last year. &uot;Right now I would like to be red-shirted to have the opportunity to get stronger mentally and physically. It’s a total different ballgame up here. It’s nothing like high school. With an extra year I would be able to get my grades academically and get stronger on the field.&uot;

Hutchins said he has also learned a lot from Rebel players.

&uot;I’ve learned a lot from Cory Peterson and Grant Heard and the seniors on defense,&uot; he said. &uot;They are good role models.&uot;

Hutchins, who would like to follow in the shoes of two-way college players Woodson and Bailey, said it was a big adjustment going from receiver to defensive back.

&uot;It was just like going from quarterback to wide receiver,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m learning now how to hold receivers up and what to watch for. It’s different. It takes some getting used to. But I did play some cornerback in high school.&uot;

Hutchins admits he likes the offensive side of the ball.

&uot;But I’ll play wherever they need me,&uot; he said.

Ole Miss is 2-0 on the season, struggling past Memphis before routing Arkansas State in their home opener last week.

Hutchins said he enjoyed walking through The Grove, which is part of the pregame ritual at Ole Miss where the players walk to the stadium through fans.

&uot;It’s a great atmosphere,&uot; he said. ‘It’s just indescribable. The fans are all over you, patting you on the back, shaking your hand and just getting you all pumped up. And with an SEC&160;game this week (Vanderbilt), it’s going to be an even thicker atmosphere.&uot;