It's no secret that one of the top priorities defensively for the Red Wolves is to find someone to replace safety/wolf linebacker Don Jones.
Arkansas State opened it's Spring football season here Monday afternoon under the direction of new Head Football Coach Bryan Harsin.
The media was allowed 40 minutes to observe the Red Wolves first practice, it didn't take long to realize someone was missing on the offensive side of the ball.
There was one less running back going through drills, after a few minutes of searching, this writer realized that the missing runner Frankie Jackson had traded in his white offensive jersey in for a black one.
No. 6 in the black was going through defensive back drills. ?Harsin confirmed after practice that Jackson, an upcoming red-shirt junior was moved to fill a void left by the departure of Jones.
"That's a position for us – that wolf position, nickel position – we talked about where we need to have some depth," said Harsin. "As we looked at the roster and what's best for our team, we looked at who on the offensive side could fit that bill and do that for our team. We talked to Frankie about it, and he‘s a guy who is willing to do whatever we need to do as a team to be successful. So, he's making that transition right now. We know it's going to be a little bit of a learning curve for him, but we feel like he's got the ability to go in there and contribute and will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job."
Jackson recorded 670 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 156 attempts his first two seasons for the Red Wolves.
Harsin and coaching staff are hoping that Jackson can learn the position and help replace Jones, who was one of the Red Wolves most talented athletes, and a major reason for Arkansas State's successes the last two seasons on the defensive side of the ball.
Ironically Jones was recruited as a running back , he changed positions after returning to the Red Wolves after spending a year at a junior college to work on his academics.
There is no doubt that Jackson fits the mold athletically, the biggest question this spring will be how quick he adapts and learns the position.
Stay tuned to AStateNation.com as this story develops.