So why has he been playing WILL, his position at times last year, in practices?
"I really think it's a mental thing to help you understand the defense much better, especially with the younger guys. You have to know the job next to you," said Santos, who joins a crew of other linebackers getting work at multiple spots.
"I know pretty well what's going on, especially playing multiple positions. I think it helps...It creates competition, but personally, I don't get too comfortable. Everyone that came in has talent. It's college football. I don't look at it as 'I have the MIKE spot lined up. I don't want to take anything for granted or regress as a player."
Santos saw the same thing happen to him last year in fall practices, only the move actually ended up getting him time as a WILL linebacker in game.
"For me it was a little frustrating because I was starting to come along at one position and they switched me to another," said the Texas native. "But you have to take it as a challenge. The thing is if you want to play, you have to know your role at the positions, that's how it is."
With actual game experience, Santos knows he will be viewed as a leader on the field and in the classroom despite just being a sophomore.
"Personally I'm just trying to pride myself as a bigger play-maker," said Santos. "I'm trying to help out these guys as much as I can to, but I have to help myself out to. Sometimes I'm helping these guys out and I think, 'I have to work on my game as well.' It's just the way it is."