OXFORD -- Tylan Knight played all three phases of the game for Class 6A champion Pearl High School.

Now he'll get the chance to do the same in the SEC.

Knight, whose only FBS scholarship offer was Ole Miss, was moved from running back to safety on Tuesday as Rebels coach Matt Luke and his staff continue to firm up a secondary hit hard with injuries.

As Luke and defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff announced the move of running back Armani Linton -- a former defensive back -- to safety on Monday, McGriff said other changes were possible.

Ole Miss lost starting free safety C.J. Moore with a torn pectoral muscle in the LSU game. Luke initially was hopeful that Moore would be out for several weeks, but safeties coach Jason Jones said it appears Moore's injury will be season-ending. He is the third secondary starter to be lost for the season, and reserves have missed significant playing time too.

Knight, a 5-foot-6, 171-pound freshman, practiced at the Star position, the nickel back in the Rebels' 4-2-5.

"I do anticipate him being able to progress and being able to help us," Jones said.

Jones said McGriff has done a good job of keeping things simple for young guys to pick up things quickly. He didn't rule out the possibility of Knight playing some cornerback down the road.

"Everyday we grade the film. We chart mental errors and things like that. If we look at it and see a lot of mental errors then, 'Hey maybe there's too much on him, and we need to take something off his plate."

The move of Knight comes one week after his best game as a running back with six carries for 62 yards against Kent State. He had no carries in the Rebels' 45-16 loss at No. 5 LSU.

Knight had a 41-yard run against Kent State, his longest of the season. Offensive coordinator Phil Longo said then that he was "surprised" he hadn't seen that from Knight earlier but revealed no plans to use Knight any differently moving forward.

Knight is the Rebels' second-leading rusher with 107 yards on 19 carries. He hasn't caught a pass. He's returned three kicks for 50 yards, all in Week 2 against Southern Illinois.

In other depth chart news Tuesday starting linebacker Kevontae Ruggs, a freshman, did not run with either the first- or second-team units during media viewing periods. Ruggs had five tackles and a half tackle for loss against LSU but also had penalties for roughing the passer and a late hit out of bounds.

The starting linebackers Tuesday were Mohamed Sanogo at middle and Willie Hibbler at outside.

The second-team linebackers were Jacquez Jones and Donta Evans.

parrish.alford@journalinc.com

Twitter: @parrishalford

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