John Carlson Talks about Position Change

John Carlson, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound redshirt sophomore, is undergoing the second position change of his young career. He moved from quarterback to safety prior to last year and has switched to linebacker this season. GoldenSports.Net recently caught up with Carlson to learn about his expectations for the season.

John Carlson is a 2004 graduate of Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins. He was selected as a PrepStar All-American and was ranked the 17th-best quarterback in the nation by ESPN's Tom Lemming. Carlson was selected for the SuperPrep Midwest Team, ranked as the 40th-best player and was an all-state selection and was a three-time all-conference performer. He threw for 5,500 yards and 43 touchdowns in his career, completing 60 percent of his passes and also rushed for 1,650 yards in his career with 29 touchdowns. Carlson was an A-roll honor student who graduated early to enroll in Minnesota for spring practice. Carlson also lettered and was an all-conference performer in track.

Obviously, this is an important year for you. You want to get on the field. What things did you work on during the offseason to get ready for the upcoming year?

"I worked a lot on gaining weight and muscle and speed at the same time. Trying to learn the position, because it is my third position. I feel like it is a good fit for me."

How is this position switch compared to the other one?

"It is a big change from quarterback, obviously. I always knew that I would maybe have a chance to play defense, so I'm just working hard to learn the plays and watching film. Hopefully, I'll make the transition well."

You look a lot bigger. What are you up to?

"220. I'm gaining each week. I'm trying my best."

What about your speed?

"I'm keeping that the same."

What are your expectations for the year?

"I want to be on all the special teams and work my way up. We have great linebackers, so I can work with the guys there and hopefully play on all the special teams."

Do you know where you fit depth chart-wise?

"That will change a lot during two-a-days."

How much does playing defensive back help you with the move to linebacker in terms on coverage?

"It actually helps a lot because I have to know what the safeties are doing behind me, who I have help with the run and the pass. Basically you want to know what everyone is doing on the defense and it helps it all come together."

What are your expectations of the defense?

"We definitely had some ups and downs. I think that our new coaches are going to help a lot. We have a lot of young guys that are coming in that we are relying. Hopefully, everyone can work together as a core and do well. I think that we should have a better good defense."

Having a new linebacker coach, does that help knowing that everyone is on an even keel?

"We changed a lot of the defense. Everyone is starting from scratch with different calls and different schemes."

What will fans see differently from this year's defense?

"A lot more aggressive. A lot more schemes. Hard-nosed football."

What are your expectations for the team?

"I think that we are going to be great. It is one of those years where we are not expected to be in the Top 25 right away, but that is not always a bad thing. Working from the bottom up works out a lot more, so I think it will work out well."

You hurt your shoulder, which caused you to move from quarterback. Every once in awhile do you think that it would be fun to be back there, throwing the ball?

"I think that everything happens for a reason. Hopefully, this will be for the better."

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