The final question involves guys who are playing new positions.
Spring Football Question Number Five:
How will guys adjust to their new positions?
This is an important question because we'll be relying on some of them this spring, and some of them even during the year. I won't look at everyone who is switching, just the ones that I think will make some noise.
Cordary Allen: He moves from TE (where he had moved from RB) to DE. He's an athletic kid, but he ran high as a running back and didn't have the hand for TE. DE is a position of need for us, so hopefully he can give us some meaningful snaps there, even if it's just during the spring. He has some quickness, so at the very least he'll help test our offensive line in some of the drills, even if he isn't a practiced technician.
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Nick Kasa: Of all the guys to switch positions, he probably will have the biggest impact. I'm like 99% certain that Alex Lewis will be our LT next year, so I'm basing it off that assumption. Kasa will be that big, blocking TE that our coaching staff wants. He switched towards the end of last season and he looked good in the few opportunities he got. I don't know how effective he'll be as a receiver (but he was pretty solid in High School), but he can be a devastating blocker. He has long arms and a lot of pop. I think he can actually have the kind of season that will get him looks by NFL teams. He's got prototypical size and excellent speed. There's a reason Florida wanted him to play on the offensive side of the ball.
Parker Orms: He's not making as drastic a switch as Allen and Kasa, but his switch should have a pretty big impact on the team. Orms is best suited as a safety. He did well for us playing out of position when we needed him to, but he should be better as a strong safety. He has coverage skills, but he also play physically against the run. We just need him to stay healthy, but I think the position switch may actually give him a chance to do just that. He may be tough to unseat at that position.
DaVaughn Thornton: Like Kasa, he made the switch midway through last season. He came in as a tight end that needed to bulk up, but he never did, so now he's trying his hand at wideout. He isn't going to be a burner there, but he could be a matchup problem for some opposing cornerbacks. I don't know if this move helps him to see the field more, but you never know.
Clay Norgard: This one is worth mentioning. He was recruited as a fullback, so on the surface it isn't a position switch. But he didn't play it much in high school. He was a defensive tackle and inside linebacker, but should be able to make the adjustment to fullback. He's listed as the #2 FB on the pre-spring depth chart, but I have a feeling that will change by the time the spring game rolls around. And then he'll have a whole new battle on his hands this summer when Christian Powell arrives on campus.
The Linebackers: I'm lumping Kyle Washington, K.T. Tu'umalo and Jermane Clark got some snaps at safety last season after guys went down with injuries and he looked pretty good. He's up to 215 lbs now and they're going to try him at linebacker according to Coach Embree. I'm on board with this. I think we've got our top 3 already with Brady Daigh, Doug Rippy and Jon Major, but Washington could work his way into the mix for 2013 if not even some snaps next year. Tu'umalo came in expecting to play LB once he bulked up, but like Washington, was needed at safety. He wasn't perfect in the chances he got, but he was playing out of position. He has supposedly begun to put on some lbs, so he too will be competing for those reserve spots and an eventual job in 2013 after Rippy and Major are gone. Clark is a guy that came in as a DB but was moved to LB to try to increase team speed. I like moves like that, so we'll see how he adjusts and if he's been able to get any bigger (he came in around 200 lbs). All three of these guys are unlikely to start in 2012, but are working now to become the next group of Linebackers we trot out there.