You won’t see offensive line coach Don Mahoney get down on his knees and beg coach Butch Jones to keep Charles Mosley on the offensive line.
The affable Tennessee offensive line coach hopes Mosley — who switched from defensive line to left guard for the final week of spring practice — will be a permanent fixture on his depth chart by the time fall camp rolls around.
“I will do everything I can to recruit him as an offensive lineman because, again, it’s more depth,” Mahoney said. “We’re going to see. Once we finish spring ball we’re going to sit down and evaluate a lot of things and where we’re at.”
Mosley’s move wasn’t a surprising one, as Jones hinted at shifting the redshirt freshman to offense at the beginning of spring. It’s not expected to be a permanent one yet, either.
Mosley will play on the defensive line in the spring game Saturday and was wearing an orange jersey designated for defensive players in Thursday’s practice despite working exclusively on the offensive side.
“We wanted to get some stuff on video and continue to evaluate what is his best position,” Jones said. “But just like Charles, every day, (he) just wants to help the team win and play any position that he can possibly play."
The 6-5, 350-pound lineman looked comfortable in his new role Thursday, receiving twice the reps of other offensive lineman and spirited coaching from Mahoney and senior Marcus Jackson. At one point Mosley took on a triple team in blocking drills — a heavy indoctrination to a position he’s slowly fitting into.
“He’s so big, powerful, athletic. All the things we felt coming in the recruiting of him, he certainly showed that,” Mahoney said. “Now, he still has the stance and some of those things that you do defensively … but the most encouraging thing was his overall body language and his demeanor and the way he attacked it.”
The fact that the move happened so late in the spring was an injection of motivation for a unit that's looking to improve upon its dismal 2014 numbers. Tennessee ranked last in the SEC in sacks allowed last season, giving up an average of 3.31 per game.
“I think that obviously gave a lot of guys a wakeup call that no one at any point in time can feel comfortable,” Mahoney said. “We’re constantly looking to improve in every area of the field.”
Mosley's versatility is even more impressive when you realize he's not even 100 percent healthy. Forced to redshirt last year after suffering a leg fracture in a car accident, Jones said his athletic lineman is only about "70 percent healthy" right now.
The Vols know they can’t ask Mosley to continue jockeying between both units, so he’ll have a permanent home before the start of fall camp.
Which house he’ll be staying in, however, is still up for debate.
“He’s got a tremendous attitude. He wants to play whatever,” Mahoney said. “He wants to win, so that’s not surprising. He’s an outstanding young man and I loved the way he attacked it.”
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