15 College Football Players Who Should Switch Posititons

Carl StineCorrespondent IJanuary 27, 2013

15 College Football Players Who Should Switch Posititons

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    Denard Robinsons, former quarterback of the Michigan Wolverines, is undergoing a position change heading into the beginning of his NFL career.

    It's a pretty big switch to go from quarterback to another position, but he definitely has the physical tools to make it happen, and wind up as an extremely successful NFL wide receiver.

    The players on this list are another matter.

    Most of them struggle to be successful at their current positions, and could use either early retirement or a move to another position.

    The rest of the players found here, although successful to varying degrees, have skills that would make them solid choices playing at another position on the team.

    Fifteen in all, a bunch of players that need to contemplate a change of position.

15. Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin

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    Borland has been an excellent linebacker for Wisconsin, racking up 247 tackles over the last two seasons from his inside linebacker position.

    But early in his career, Borland demonstrated the ability to have a major impact as a pass-rusher off the edge, wreaking havoc on obvious passing downs where he lined up on the edge of the defense.

    Obviously, his level of success would be a barrier to changing positions again at this point in his career, but with his speed on the edge and instinct for the ball, Borland would make an excellent outside 'backer in a 3-4 scheme or even as a hybrid end in a 4-3.

    His tackles for loss and sack numbers would be significantly increased, and he would have an even bigger impact in games.

14. Marshall Morgan, K, Georgia

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    The primary job of a kicker in college football is to make field-goal and extra point attempts, which put points on the board.

    Morgan failed miserably at the field goal kicking aspect of his job in 2012, missing six of his 14 attempts in 2012.

    While there is time to improve, as Morgan was a freshman this past season, he's got to get more accurate, or his career as a kicker should be over.

13. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

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    Since Johnny Manziel won the Heisman, he's been busy stirring up controversy by living it up and enjoying his status as the best player in college football.

    One of the most important aspects of football is focus.

    To compete at an elite level, players must be focused and prepared to play.

    The game must be all, must consume and wipe away other dreams and ambitions.

    Sure, there are other football players who have been successful in spite of hard-partying ways, Joe Namath most notably, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

    Unless Manziel gets his head back on straight and focuses on football and his team, he's going to have a hard time succeeding at anything near the same level in 2013.

12. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

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    Jadeveon Clowney enters the 2013 season as the best defensive lineman in the nation.

    The man is practically unstoppable, and his ability to impact games such as the Gamecocks' bowl game against Michigan is second to none.

    Clowney plays with a ridiculous motor and the athletic skills to destroy any blocker standing in his path.

    He has already made it known that he will compete for the Heisman Trophy in 2013, but that could be a problem, given his position.

    13 for '13: Jadeveon Clowney reinvents Heisman hyperbole. cbssports.com/collegefootbal… Continuing our countdown of recurring offseason themes.

    — Eye on College FBall (@EyeOnCFB) January 20, 2013

    Defensive players continue to have a hard time finding their way to the top of the Heisman voting, unless they have an imaginary girlfriend.

    If he wants a shot at the Heisman, he needs to find a niche on the offensive side of the ball.

11. Cody Green, QB, Tulsa

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    Green led Tulsa to an excellent season, in which the team finished 11-3.

    For that he deserves a modicum of credit.

    It was in spite of Green, rather than because of him, that the Golden Hurricanes enjoyed the success that they did.

    The team's rushing offense was the catalyst for the great season, finishing ninth in the nation with an average of 245.71 yards per game.

    Green, meanwhile completed only 54.4 percent of his passes, threw only 17 touchdown passes and threw 11 interceptions.

    And he didn't make any noticeable improvement from early in the season to Tulsa's bowl game, where he completed only 11 of 23 attempts.

    If he were a freshman, these numbers might be understandable, and the fact that he transferred from Nebraska and needed some time to acclimate to the offense absolutely gives him some leeway.

    However, if these struggles become a regular thing again in 2013, a move to the bench calling plays might be a good idea.

10. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska

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    Go ahead, try and explain how this run by Taylor Martinez isn't one of the greatest of last season, and possibly the past decade.

    It's not possible.

    Martinez has some wheels on him, and time and again has shown them off for Bo Pelini's team.

    Not to bash the kid or anything, but he seems to have too many struggles at quarterback.

    In his first two seasons, it was completing passes, then in 2012, the man couldn't hang onto the ball, fumbling a whopping eight times.

    If he doesn't get that under control, his career at quarterback is not going to be remembered fondly by Nebraska fans, but on the flip side, with some focus on ball security this offseason, he could lead the team to something special as the running back.

9. Andrew Manley, QB, NMSU

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    To Manley's credit, he's not exactly surrounded with stellar talent, and he appears to do everything possible to make the Aggies succeed.

    Still, his performance last season was, for lack of a better term, lackluster.

    He finished with a 53.9 percent completion percentage on 207 attempts, and threw only 18 touchdown passes while racking up 11 interceptions.

    He's young, so there's still time to improve on his areas of weakness, but he's no Johnny Manziel, and it's very apparent after his sophomore season.

8. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU

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    Boykin's job may be in trouble.

    He took over as the starting quarterback in 2012, after TCU's original starter at the position, Casey Pachall, was suspended from the program.

    After finishing rehab, Pachall is back with the program, and while he will have quite a chore to earn his starting job back, there's a reason he was the starter in the first place.

    Boykin did not have a great season in 2012, finishing with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while completing just over 57 percent of his passes.

    There will be some talk of a battle heading into the 2013 season, but if Pachall is near the form he entered in 2012, Boykin might want to consider using his athletic ability at another position.

7. Bene' Benwikere, DB, San Jose State

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    Benwikere, not exactly a household name, finished the 2012 season tied for second in the nation with eight interceptions.

    He also had a punt block, four passes defended and a forced fumble.

    Perhaps a move to an offensive position where touching the ball more regularly would become part of his repertoire is in order...

6. Bryan Bennett, QB, Oregon

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    What is with Oregon and these quarterback names?

    Starter Marcus Mariota was backed up in 2012 by Bryan Bennett.

    Bennett, at this point, needs to realize that he will not ever get the nod over Mariota, who had an excellent season in 2012.

    A move to running back or wide receiver should be in the works, or maybe a transfer.

    Just kidding, Bennett read the writing on the wall and is already gone.

5. Devon Bell, K, Mississippi State

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    Bell was just a young freshman in 2012, but even so, his kickoffs were awkward at best.

    Only one out of every five of his kickoffs were touchbacks, meaning he struggled to kick the ball far enough to be effective.

    Another year of development and strength training will help him become more effective as kicker, but perhaps something else might be more appropriate.

4. Will Sutton, DE, Arizona State

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    Sutton spent the 2012 season wreaking havoc on opponent's offensive game plans.

    So let it be understood that the suggestion that he should change positions before the 2013 season is purely facetious.

    He finished second in the nation last year with 23.5 tackles for loss, and could improve that number next season.

    But he spent so much time in the offensive backfield in 2012, one wonders what he might accomplish running out of it with the football.

    He's big, quick and his motor doesn't stop.

    The potential as a short-yardage back or red-zone option is enormous.

3. Cody Fajardo, QB, Nevada

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    Given Colin Kaepernick's success this season at the next level, there is hope for Fajardo coming out of Nevada.

    The two are similar, though Kaepernick is a little bit more physically gifted.

    Fajardo, though a quarterback, has the skill of rushing the ball out of the pistol formation to be an excellent running back.

    He averaged a whopping 5.9 yards per carry in the 2012 season.

    If this quarterback thing doesn't work out, Fajardo's speed and ball skills mean he still has a future at another skill position.

2. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech

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    If you were completely sucked into the Logan Thomas hype going into last season, you are not alone.

    The guy has the size, strength and arm to be a stud quarterback, and instead had an incredibly forgettable season last year.

    On the bright side, he's incredibly mobile, and has the athleticism to be dangerous in the open field.

    If he decided the disappointing season he led the Hokies to in 2012 was the end of his quarterbacking career, Thomas has the tools to be an excellent short-yardage back.

1. Chase Rettig, QB, Boston College

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    Every season since 2010, Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig has seen his number of attempts rise, while his completion percentage also rises.

    But that improvement is nothing to write home about.

    In 2010, his completion percentage was a paltry 51.3 percent, so nearly half of his pass attempts were incomplete.

    In 2012, that number increased to 54.4.

    Not good.

    There is some upside to Rettig, namely, he has little talent surrounding him, and yet has still showed flashes of brilliance at times.

    But at some point, enough is enough, and a career as a kicker or on special teams should become options.