Your thoughts on possible position switches in 2012

Submitted by Moleskyn on January 31st, 2012 at 11:17 AM

As we look ahead to the next season, who do you think is a candidate to switch positions? I know some people think Jake Ryan could move down to the defensive line (I'm not one of them), but who else do you think could end up moving around?

I'll throw one out there: Keith Heitzman to TE. With little depth at TE I could see this happening. He's currently listed as a DE, but he played TE in high school and is listed at 6'3", 251. We have a lot of depth at the DE positions, so it wouldn't hurt to move him.



January 31st, 2012 at 11:24 AM ^

I do think we will see more packages that put Jake Ryan on the line, but I doubt he makes the move permanantly.  

Not much of a change, but Roh could possibly move to SDE to get our best players on the field.  


January 31st, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

Recently, Ondre Pipkins told another recruit on Twitter that he won't be wearing 56 like he wanted because "Mattison wants his D-linemen to wear numbers in the 90s."

That should tell you what position the coaches think Jake Ryan, #90, will play going forward.


January 31st, 2012 at 12:01 PM ^

That could be possible.  I was going to be an ass and ask you why guys like BWC, Washington, Roh, etc. haven't changed number.    But, I guess it makes more sense that the younger guys are changing numbers because we basically never saw them on the field with other numbers.  Moving forward it seems like we can put more stock into numbers now that Mattison wants certain position groups to wear certain numbers.

Mr. Yost

January 31st, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

JiBreel Black was #55 last year...he was in his 2nd year, just like Jake Ryan

Frank Clark was #57 last year...he was a true freshman

Kenny Wilkins was #41 last year...he too was a 2nd year guy like Ryan and Black

Richard Ash? #54 last year...a 2nd year guy

Nathan Brink #67...a 3rd year guy

Campbell and Washington have #'s in the 70's, but they're older and it was said that it was for younger players so I'll leave them out.


January 31st, 2012 at 12:02 PM ^

This defense in a lot of ways is set up to look like a 5-2, at least on early downs.  I think that is a big reason why the coaches liked Morgan so much (he started even when he appeared indistinguishable or worse than Hawthorne early in the year, I think because they wanted more of an MLB type body at that spot).

Ryan is basically that 5th lineman on run downs, and he stays in the game and slides down on passing downs.  I don't think the staff wants to change his position or body type in any significant way, but whatever label you give his spot, his job (this past year and going forward) is to get into the backfield and eat quarterbacks for lunch.


January 31st, 2012 at 12:03 PM ^

a fan of this.  I always thought it was super bad-ass when a DL had a low number.  The first time I noticed this it was LaVar Arrington, who I think wore something like #11,  The smaller numbers typically use less material and thus weigh less.  Therefore a DL will be able to get to the QB quicker.  Those guys running around with #99 or #98 on their backs are suffering from the extra weight. 

Bo Knows

January 31st, 2012 at 11:25 AM ^

From the scouting report of Beyer out of high school, a move to tight end would seem like a good idea.  However, I don't see it happening.  Paskorz or Heitzman to TE will probably happen, just not both of them.  Barnum will likely be moved to center as well, he was recruited as a center so it shouldn't be too rough of a transition.    

Mr. Yost

January 31st, 2012 at 11:30 AM ^

I don't necessarily THINK any of these will happen, but I wouldn't be shocked if they did.

  • Justice Hayes to Slot WR
  • Ricky Barnum to Center
  • Keith Heitzman to TE
  • Jordan Paskorz to TE
  • Brennen Beyer to TE
  • Brennen Beyer to DE
  • JiBreel Black to DT
  • Jake Ryan to WDE
  • Josh Furman to WLB
  • Raymon Taylor to FS



Mr. Yost

January 31st, 2012 at 11:37 AM ^

Before someone else does...Devin Gardner to spot duty at WR.

Personally as irrational as it sounds, if Devin WANTED to do it and I was head coach and felt like we're better when he's happy and involved. I'd do it. Northwestern had their backup QB in Coulter playing WR last year. Texas A&M had Tannehill playing WR until he became a full-time starter. I know the board is likely to explode at the thought, but I wouldn't be against it if it was something DEVIN wanted to do.

And don't give the injury excuse...Woodson could've gotten hurt playing offense or returning kicks, Desmond could've gotten hurt on KR return as well...If Devin WANTED to play WR, the only reason I'd say no is if I felt it would stunt his growth at QB in the future. If not, go for're in college, if you're good enough to play...they play.


January 31st, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

in your scenario, I worry that Denard will have to come out and Devin will now have 2 positions on his plate. He already has a lot to work on as a QB, let's let him work there. I'd rather have  Devin be a GREAT QB than a decent QB who sees spot time out wide. (Same for denard fwiw)

Mr. Yost

January 31st, 2012 at 12:03 PM ^

Gardner would definitely still be the backup...just like Coulter at N'Western when Persa got hurt...he quit WR duties and was the full-time QB.

All I'm saying is if it's something DEVIN approached me about and I was Coach Hoke, I'd say "go for it." I wouldn't go out of my way to approach Devin about it. But from the little things I've heard, he - like most players, is better when he's involved and his head is in the game.

I've heard Denard's injury was the main reason Devin was getting snaps mid-year, but it was also because he was getting a little disinterested in practice because he truly is one of the better players on offense. By getting him some snaps, he felt more involved and it was better in the long run. (Also heard that the "it was to prevent him from transferring" argument was bullshit).

I'm not a mind reader, and I could be completely wrong...but I remember seeing Devin on the sidelines of the EMU game when we kept running Denard. He seemed kinda off. Again, maybe it was personal issues, maybe he just lost a NCAA Football '12 Tournament. But he seemed disinterested. Then he gets a couple plays vs. Minnesota when the game actually matters and he's jumping all over the place. He's visibly smiling. He took to Coach Hoke's "atta boy" when he tucked the ball rather than trying to throw the double pass --- I just felt like he was into the game.

Anyway, he'd still be the backup, and I'd make sure he knew the gameplan as a QB before anything else. But if DG said "Coach, I'd like to try to help the team by playing 15-25 snaps a game at WR"...hey, if he's earned that PT, why not?


January 31st, 2012 at 11:41 AM ^

I agree with you on all of those except:

- Jibreel Black: He's listed at 6'2", 260. I feel like he's someone who could feasibly pack on another 20 pounds or so, but even then, he'd be undersized to move to DT. I could see him moving to SDE.

- Josh Furman: He's only 6'2", 208. He'd have to bulk up a lot in order to play linebacker. Plus, with all of the linebackers we have coming in, I feel like he would only add to the logjam that's there.

- Raymon Taylor: Again with the size, he's only 5'10", 170. If he found a way to put on 20 or 30 pounds, I could see it, but I think he's more suited to nickle/corner back.

Mr. Yost

January 31st, 2012 at 11:51 AM ^

Once again...I'm not saying I think any of these are GOING to happen. So I don't want to argue this into the ground. But for the sake of good message board banter and constructive rebuttals, I'll play along.

Black: Many coaches and "insiders" have said Black's skill set is perfect for the 3-Tech DT spot where you have to be able to penetrate the double team. This is why RVB started at that position. Black is 260 now, but he could play that spot at 270-275. That's not unreasonable weight gain.

From what I understand, the 3-Tech spot actually suits his skill set better than 5-Tech (SDE) where you have to be able to hold the edge.

Furman: He's not a FS, let's clear that up...he's a SS. I should've added that to the list (I will when I'm done). He's way too stiff to play FS and he's got awesome straight line speed but he's built like a LB. He's built like Ernest Shazor. He's listed at 208, but he can EASILY add some weight and get to SS or even WLB. Especially in a passing down only role. He's tough to watch at FS because he's roaming around in no man’s land. Get him closer to the line of scrimmage!

Note: I couldn't edit the original post - but I personally think Furman should back up Kovacs and Marvin Robinson at SS next year.

Taylor: This one was based on skill set. He too has good straight-line speed, not excellent hips. His skill set would be nice to have at FS, but again he'd have to add some weight. I think he stays at CB, but it wouldn't shock me if one day he was playing deep safety. He's a smart kid, good ball skills...he just doesn't have hips like Avery or Countess.


Mr. Yost

January 31st, 2012 at 11:40 AM ^

Good hands at DE means the use of your hands and the placement of your hands...not "he can catch." I've never seen him play TE...can he catch?

I do know he's a DE/DT prospect who is a big time thrower in track and field. That leads me to believe he's a little stiff and he has terrible hands, but awesome upper body and core strength. But again, I've only seen him on the defensive line.

Mr. Yost

January 31st, 2012 at 11:54 AM ^

Well hell, stranger things have happened...hopefully someone can shed some light for the both of us. Like you said, highly unlikely, but I'm sort of intrigued.

I'd also like to see a 2-way player or two down the road. Not a true freshman, he's got enough on his plate. But to see a TE/DE combo down the road wouldn't hurt depth wise.


January 31st, 2012 at 11:56 AM ^

It would even be better if Brian hadn't basically guaransheeded the position switch 2 or 3 times in front page posts and in the podcast.

So it's a good thought just not an original one.


Roy G. Biv

January 31st, 2012 at 11:58 AM ^

I would love to see Furman get a serious look at RB.  He has good size, blazing speed and too much athleticism wasting away on the bench.  With whom we have coming back and coming in, his propects of getting in to the rotation at S don't seem all that great.  Get him up to speed at RB, and run the Wishbone in short yardage situation w/ Denard, Fitz and Hopkins/Rawls.


January 31st, 2012 at 12:17 PM ^

My predictions for what has a good chance of happening:

-Paskorz to TE

-Morgan to MLB to back-up Demens with Poole taking over WLB and either Ross or Ringer taking over the backup spot.

-Black to SDE as I think Roh has WDE nailed down and Clark has a chance to come on strong at WDE.

-Beyer to WDE to take Clark's spot in the rotatation with Cam Gordon coming back to take Beyer's spot in the rotation at SLB.


January 31st, 2012 at 12:28 PM ^

Just a couple of thoughts.

Justice Hayes will move to Slot Receiver

Drake Johnson will move to WR (he's got height and elite speed, I could easily see him becoming a deep threat WR)

Paskorz to TE though I think Devin will come right in and get playing time so TE depth won't be as bad as some think

Who do you guys think will return punts and kicks? I saw someone mention Furman to RB, what about Furman returning kicks and punts? Possibly Hayes or even Drake Johnson with his kind of speed?


January 31st, 2012 at 1:47 PM ^

Good call, I knew there was someone returning who had done a lot of the kickoff and punt return duties and Dileo wasn't bad at all. Not sure if he'll do the returning this year or not, but I don't see why giving Drake a shot would hurt. At worst, Dileo would just have to continue the duties if Drake just wasn't ready. At best, Dileo gets some more rest and can focus on being an even better receiver.