Position Changes Increase Players Potential

Three position changes during the Trojans' offseason have filled important voids and have better utilized the players' physical abilities.

Sometimes, a depth chart can be like an actor's callback list, letting a player know if their performance is good enough.

And other times, it's just a tool coaches use to assess personnel and depth.

The closer a depth chart is to season, the more players listed second, third or even fourth, should worry. The closer a depth chart is to season, the more coaches scramble.

This offseason the USC Trojans have made three considerably noticeable position changes.

While it takes any ordinary person time to adjust to change, these players are expected to line up in their new spots effortlessly, as if they'd been there the whole time. There are only 12 games in a typical college football season and the eyes of fans and media lurk in every corner, especially those in Southern California. So if the athlete looks uncomfortable on his weak side, for example, it will show.

USC LB Dion Bailey Talks Position Switch
The first of these three Trojan changes is Khaled Holmes, who moves inches to his left going from right guard to center. A surprising change because of his lack of experience snapping, Holmes has no problem leading the offensive line as a redshirt junior.

"[He's] very smart, helps out these young guards next to him, makes all the calls, really has done a good job mentally," head coach Lane Kiffin said of Holmes.

Holmes' football IQ is well documented, as is his inconsistent snapping, which has led to a variety of disheveled plays during fall camp.

"It's been almost what I expected. The things I thought would be difficult have been difficult and the things I thought would go well have gone pretty well," Holmes said.

The two defensive moves were Devon Kennard going from linebacker to defensive end, a position Kennard was initially recruited at, and Dion Bailey from safety to linebacker.

"Good players are going to find a way, even with my switch to linebacker I was learning a lot of things and I took advantage of my physical capabilities," Kennard said. "When I moved to linebacker it was mental, moving to defensive end it's more physical."

All three players have made great strides in their new roles. While Holmes is the only assured starter, the two defensive players are in tight contention to be on the field for that first snap.

"I've adjusted pretty well in my eyes. I feel like I'm starting to use my abilities, mainly like speed and being able to cover to my advantage to try not to take on linemen as much as I did in the spring," Bailey said.

Frustration comes hand in hand with adjustment, but Kennard and Bailey are finding much to be optimistic about.

"It's a little different but coming back after learning all the things I have I feel like it's a blessing, really," Kennard said.

"I'm starting to like it now that I'm getting the hang of it and I'm able to start cheating things, the plays and everything, I'm starting to like it a lot now."

Notable Position Changes Since Summer:

- Simi Vehikite went from linebacker to fullback.

- Ross Cumming was moved Tuesday from linebacker to tight end.

- Rhett Ellison has been making the transition from tight end to fullback.

- Charles Burks was recruited as a fullback, but will play defensive end, a position familiar to him from high school.

- Zack Kusnir was moved from defensive end to tight end Tuesday.


USCFootball.com Top Stories

\r\n\r\n
\r\n\r\n
[MEDIA:556347]
\r\n\r\n
USC LB Dion Bailey Talks Position Switch
\r\n
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe first of these three Trojan changes is Khaled Holmes, who moves inches to his left going from right guard to center. A surprising change because of his lack of experience snapping, Holmes has no problem leading the offensive line as a redshirt junior.

\r\n\r\n\"[He's] very smart, helps out these young guards next to him, makes all the calls, really has done a good job mentally,\" head coach Lane Kiffin said of Holmes.

\r\n\r\nHolmes' football IQ is well documented, as is his inconsistent snapping, which has led to a variety of disheveled plays during fall camp.

\r\n\r\n\"It's been almost what I expected. The things I thought would be difficult have been difficult and the things I thought would go well have gone pretty well,\" Holmes said.

\r\n\r\nThe two defensive moves were Devon Kennard going from linebacker to defensive end, a position Kennard was initially recruited at, and Dion Bailey from safety to linebacker.

\r\n\r\n\"Good players are going to find a way, even with my switch to linebacker I was learning a lot of things and I took advantage of my physical capabilities,\" Kennard said. \"When I moved to linebacker it was mental, moving to defensive end it's more physical.\"

\r\n\r\nAll three players have made great strides in their new roles. While Holmes is the only assured starter, the two defensive players are in tight contention to be on the field for that first snap.

\r\n\r\n\"I've adjusted pretty well in my eyes. I feel like I'm starting to use my abilities, mainly like speed and being able to cover to my advantage to try not to take on linemen as much as I did in the spring,\" Bailey said.

\r\n\r\nFrustration comes hand in hand with adjustment, but Kennard and Bailey are finding much to be optimistic about.

\r\n\r\n\"It's a little different but coming back after learning all the things I have I feel like it's a blessing, really,\" Kennard said.

\r\n\r\n\"I'm starting to like it now that I'm getting the hang of it and I'm able to start cheating things, the plays and everything, I'm starting to like it a lot now.\"

\r\n\r\nNotable Position Changes Since Summer:

\r\n\r\n- Simi Vehikite went from linebacker to fullback.

\r\n - Ross Cumming was moved Tuesday from linebacker to tight end.

\r\n- Rhett Ellison has been making the transition from tight end to fullback.

\r\n- Charles Burks was recruited as a fullback, but will play defensive end, a position familiar to him from high school.

\r\n - Zack Kusnir was moved from defensive end to tight end Tuesday.

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Sometimes, a depth chart can be like an actor's callback list, letting a player know if their performance is good enough.

And other times, it's just a tool coaches use to assess personnel and depth.

The closer a depth chart is to season, the more players listed second, third or even fourth, should worry. The closer a depth chart is to season, the more coaches scramble.

This offseason the USC Trojans have made three considerably noticeable position changes.

While it takes any ordinary person time to adjust to change, these players are expected to line up in their new spots effortlessly, as if they'd been there the whole time. There are only 12 games in a typical college football season and the eyes of fans and media lurk in every corner, especially those in Southern California. So if the athlete looks uncomfortable on his weak side, for example, it will show.

The first of these three Trojan changes is Khaled Holmes, who moves inches to his left going from right guard to center. A surprising change because of his lack of experience snapping, Holmes has no problem leading the offensive line as a redshirt junior.

\"[He's] very smart, helps out these young guards next to him, makes all the calls, really has done a good job mentally,\" head coach Lane Kiffin said of Holmes.

Holmes' football IQ is well documented, as is his inconsistent snapping, which has led to a variety of disheveled plays during fall camp.

\"It's been almost what I expected. The things I thought would be difficult have been difficult and the things I thought would go well have gone pretty well,\" Holmes said.

The two defensive moves were Devon Kennard going from linebacker to defensive end, a position Kennard was initially recruited at, and Dion Bailey from safety to linebacker.

\"Good players are going to find a way, even with my switch to linebacker I was learning a lot of things and I took advantage of my physical capabilities,\" Kennard said. \"When I moved to linebacker it was mental, moving to defensive end it's more physical.\"

All three players have made great strides in their new roles. While Holmes is the only assured starter, the two defensive players are in tight contention to be on the field for that first snap.

\"I've adjusted pretty well in my eyes. I feel like I'm starting to use my abilities, mainly like speed and being able to cover to my advantage to try not to take on linemen as much as I did in the spring,\" Bailey said.

Frustration comes hand in hand with adjustment, but Kennard and Bailey are finding much to be optimistic about.

\"It's a little different but coming back after learning all the things I have I feel like it's a blessing, really,\" Kennard said.

\"I'm starting to like it now that I'm getting the hang of it and I'm able to start cheating things, the plays and everything, I'm starting to like it a lot now.\"

- went from linebacker to fullback.

- Ross Cumming was moved Tuesday from linebacker to tight end.

- Rhett Ellison has been making the transition from tight end to fullback.

- Charles Burks was recruited as a fullback, but will play defensive end, a position familiar to him from high school.

- was moved from defensive end to tight end Tuesday.

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