8 College Football Players Who Would Benefit from Position Changes
College football coaching staffs have their jobs for a reason: They are good at what they do.
But there are times when questioning them is not out of line.
For instance, the case of the players we have listed here.
Guys like linebackers Chris Borland and Ishaq Williams would benefit in a big way from transitioning to another position, where their ability to rush off the edge of the defense could be used to devastating effect.
All eight of the players on this list, while effective where they are currently playing, could benefit from a move to another position on the football field.
8. Dawan Scott, RB, Miami (OH)
Depending where you look, Dawan Scott is listed as a running back or wide receiver for the RedHawks.
At this point, he's already officially a wide receiver on Miami's depth chart, and he will benefit in a big way from the transition.
In the past two seasons, Scott has only attempted to rush the ball 22 times, resulting in only one touchdown and 110 yards.
The receiving game is easily his forte, as he gained 851 yards last season alone and finished with seven touchdowns.
This transition was inevitable, as Scott has already played receiver much better for two seasons than he played running back.
He will hit the 1,000-yard receiving mark in 2013.
7. Will Sutton, DL, Arizona State
This is one that is not an actual position change, but more like an addition to the intimidating defensive lineman's repertoire.
He's going to be one of the best defensive linemen in the nation in 2013, after posting 13 sacks in 2012.
He's quick, strong and destructive, and at 6'2", and north of 271 pounds, Sutton is tough to put on his back.
So give him the ball at the goal line and in short-yardage situations.
The man would be a force, and it wouldn't be the first time a defensive lineman has handled the ball in such situations.
6. Dri Archer, RB/WR, Kent State
Dri Archer has done pretty well for himself so far in his college career, alternating between running back, wide receiver and kick returner.
While the Kent State Golden Flashes can use his explosiveness at receiver, it's obvious that Archer is much more effective as a running back than a wide receiver.
Last season was a breakout campaign for Archer, as he rushed for over 1,400 yards and scored 16 times on the ground.
He also averaged over nine yards per carry and had at least one rush of 43 yards in nine games last season.
As effective as he is rushing the ball, Archer should stick to the running back thing.
5. Ishaq Williams, LB, Notre Dame
Williams has not spent a ton of time on the field for Notre Dame as an outside linebacker to this point.
However, his pass-rushing skills are solid, and he is solid shedding blockers.
Where he has struggled at times for the Irish is in coverage, and at times when tackling in the open field.
A move to defensive end, if even only in certain downs and situations, would be beneficial and allow him to focus on making an impact without exposing his weaknesses.
The Irish, in spite of the departure of Manti Te'o, are still deep in the front seven, and Prince Shembo has that side of the field covered.
Williams' playmaking ability would be on display in a more effective manner as an edge-rusher off the line.
4. Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State
San Jose State is not exactly a high-profile football program.
Bene Benwikere is not a household name.
But the man can flat play ball.
He finished 2012 with eight interceptions—good enough for second in the nation—a punt block, a forced fumble and four passes defended.
With his nose for the ball and obvious ability to catch it when thrown in his vicinity, some time at wide receiver could prove beneficial.
3. John Harris, WR, Texas
After three seasons of seeing the flex tight end position go mostly unused, Texas Longhorns fans should be pleased to see it return on a consistent basis in 2013.
Especially with guys like John Harris looking to fill the position.
Harris had an excellent spring and capped it off with four catches for 92 yards in the Longhorns' spring game.
While his blocking is still a question, the flex position is not called upon to run-block enough to make this a concern, especially with the excellent stable of running backs Texas will field in 2013.
The move from wide receiver to tight end will increase his production and add another dimension to the 'Horns offense.
2. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Let's not get cute here, but Jadeveon Clowney is a freak of nature, possessing athletic abilities that even his peers should envy.
He's fast, strong and quick, and he possesses the ability to dominate anything in his path.
He's easily the best defensive end in the nation but possesses the physical skills to make an impact at another position.
On offense, Clowney could be a force in short-yardage situations, either as a blocker or as the ball-carrier.
While the coaches at South Carolina obviously know how to identify and develop talent, and have done so with Clowney at his current position, it would be interesting to hear their thoughts about utilizing him on offense for a down or two.
1. Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin
Chris Borland's story has been interesting.
During his freshman season, he was inserted into games in pass-rushing situations at defensive end and demonstrated his athleticism on a regular basis when given the opportunity.
Sophomore year, he had to sit out after an injury to his shoulder and wound up redshirting for the season.
Then, in 2011, Borland found his niche at the outside linebacker position.
He finished the season with 143 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles, finishing second in the Big Ten in tackles and leading the defense from an outside linebacker position.
Last season, he moved to inside linebacker, and while still effective, his numbers dropped noticeably.
In 2013, the Badgers are implementing a new 3-4 defense brought with the new coaching staff.
If they are wise, they will seize the opportunity to move Borland to an outside linebacker position in the system, freeing him up at times to crash into the backfield and use his athletic ability to wreak havoc.
For the time being, it appears that he will remain in the middle of the defense, where he practiced all spring. However, his ability to rush the ball and drop ball-carriers in the backfield should be utilized off the edge.