At Ohio State's team photo day August 7, Curtis Terry told reporters that he was fully a fullback, having been converted from his natural position of linebacker during the spring and summer months. The transition had been so successful that, when asked if Terry was taking snaps on defense, head coach Jim Tressel almost seemed indignant when he responded in the negative.
The switch had gone off without a hitch, apparently.
But five days later, defensive coordinator Jim Heacock told reporters that Terry had taken some snaps on defense that day for the first time during fall camp. Suddenly, the status of the senior from Cleveland Glenville was in question.
That question was answered during the team's jersey scrimmage August 16. Although it was closed to the media, Tressel confirmed that the Terry experiment at fullback was over.
"Curtis played at same (line)backer and defensive end today and he played on a little bit of special teams that we did," the head coach said. "The nice thing about Curtis is he has the ability to help us in a variety of ways."
It seems the primary reason for moving Terry away from the fullback spot – a position where he particularly seemed to excel during the spring – came down to the sheer amount of information Terry would have to learn.
"From what I was told, it was more of a time issue," he said. "Putting me in and having me learn the entire offense with only a couple of weeks to go, that was really the main thing."
So it was back to defense for Terry, but again to a new spot. This time, though, it was one that was more familiar.
As a junior, Terry saw action at linebacker but also took up a role on the defensive line when the Buckeyes used their 3-3-5 defense. In that alignment, he put his fist on the ground and rushed the quarterback from the team's "Leo" spot. This year, sophomore Thaddeus Gibson is playing that role.
"I'm familiar with it and it's easy for me to pick up," he said. "I have to get back into the flow of it because I haven't done it in so long. I'm progressing."
This time, though, he is also seeing time at defensive end in the team's base defense, he said.
In addition, Terry saw time at a number of positions during his high school career, lining up at linebacker, defensive end and safety on the defensive side of the ball. He has drawn from that experience as well as he has undergone his latest position switch.
Despite the apparent lack of a home, Terry said he does not feel like a man without a position, adding that the defensive line has embraced him since the move. During the scrimmage, Terry said he was working with the team's second- and third-string defensive lines.
And although he has experience at his new position, Terry said he has been working to knock off the rust in his game. Some things are the same, but Terry said he has had to re-learn various parts of the game plan.
"It's not real hard for me," he said. "I did it before, so I know the defense. I have a pretty good grasp of it. I know mostly all the positions. Since I've been here I've played most of the linebacker positions and we're around the defensive line a lot so during the process I learned a lot of their responsibilities."
Outwardly appearing very much the consummate team player, Terry said he is glad to be back on defense once again.
"I love defense, I'm not going to lie," he said. "I kind of have a knack for it. I like being physical and hitting people. I definitely enjoy being back."