Spring Primer: Analyzing the Position Changes

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers coach Kyle Flood released news of several position changes today, including moving Jeremy Deering back to receiver, and ScarletReport.com analyzes each move. It also takes a look at a few interesting tweaks to the depth chart.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – After spending a season at running back and getting few carries, Jeremy Deering is back at his more comfortable receiver slot for his junior season as Rutgers looks to fill the void left my Mohamed Sanu.

As Rutgers readies for the start of spring practice next week, Deering's move back to receiver highlights a handful of position changes as the two-deep and roster for the spring were released moments ago.

The position changes aren't as drastic as a year ago, when more than a dozen players moved positions as Rutgers looked to add speed to its defense.

These moves are made to give players the best chance to perform after stints at their previous positions failed to produce significant playing time.

To add some semblance to the moves, ScarletReport takes a look at each position changes:

Jeremy Deering to receiver
Deering was relegated to third-team status as a running back in 2011, so he moves to receiver where he can be explosive and gives Rutgers a downfield threat. As a freshman, he caught 16 passes for 338 yards, and with Sanu leaving for the NFL, Rutgers lost a possession receiver.
Developing his route-running and working on his catching are the keys for Deering in the spring.

J.T. Tartacoff to safety
Tartacoff's value was as a holder last season but he never could crack the receiver rotation. He runs well, has good size (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) and was a good defensive player in high school. If he can show an ability to read plays and tackle, this could be a move that pays off in a big way for Rutgers, and in Tartacoff's career.

Jawaun Wynn to defensive end
Hey, why not? Wynn wasn't able to find a home at receiver or safety, bouncing between the two positions last year, so give him a try at defensive end. If it clicks, Rutgers has a guy with speed off the edge and the athleticism to drop into coverage.
If Rutgers was playing a 3-4 defense (it is not), Wynn's body type (6-3, 220) would be prototypical for an outside linebacker. He has to learn technique, but this is one worth watching because it could work out very well, or Wynn could find himself back at receiver quickly.

Sam Bergen to fullback
This comes as little surprise as Bergen never showed the lateral movement and speed needed to play middle linebacker. At the time of his commitment, there was a thought process he would move to fullback because he is tough and physical, and athletic enough to catch the ball out of the backfield.
It will be hard for him to overtake Michael Burton at fullback, but he should bring depth, provided he picks up the system and understands blocking concepts.

Quentin Gause to linebacker
This is not a big move since Gause spent much of 2011 running scout team at linebacker, but he was shifted to the ‘R' position late in the season for practice to try him as a rush-end who can drop into coverage. Rutgers didn't see enough there to keep him at the spot, plus the need for linebacker depth, so he is back at linebacker for the spring.

Rutgers also released its spring two-deep, and at this point there were two interesting developments that should shape the offensive line.

Kaleb Johnson was moved from right tackle to left tackle and David Osei is playing at right guard.

Here are a few other interesting tidbits on the two-deep:

First-team offensive line:
LT Kaleb Johnson LG Betim Bujari C Dallas Hendrikson RG David Osei RT Taj Alexander Maryland transfer R.J. Dill is listed as a backup, but that is usually done until he can prove himself in spring practice and training camp.

Kevin Snyder is playing weakside linebacker as Khaseem Greene heals from ankle surgery, but Snyder is expected to move back to strongside linebacker in the fall. Playing him there in the spring gives him experience and adds versatility to the roster.

With a spring two-deep, never read too much into where guys fall on it.


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