Moving players not unfamiliar to BG

Whether you’re a blue chip recruit or a walk-on, versatility seems to be the easiest way to crack the lineup on the BG football team.

On offense, the Falcons have a quarterback playing tailback in Anthony Turner and another quarterback as their top receiver in Freddie Barnes. Fullback Pete Winovich was recruited as a tight end before switching to linebacker and then over to his current position. Guard Brandon Curtis was recruited as a defensive lineman while receiver Chris Wright was once a defensive back.

“I think through the years we’ve done a good job of that, trying to get the best out of kids’ abilities,” said BG coach Gregg Brandon.

Defensively, BG has two former safeties, Loren Hargrove and Erique Dozier starting at linebacker and defensive lineman Sean O’Drobinak played tight end for three seasons before converting to defense in his final season. Not to mention, three of the four players in the secondary (P.J. Mahone, Jahmal Brown and Kenny Lewis) were high school running backs.

“You recruit athletes out of high school,” Brandon said. “Quarterbacks, tailbacks those type of guys.”

Whatever the formula, it seems to be working for BG. Turner has provided a huge spark for the offense with eight rushing touchdowns.

“We knew he could run the ball so we just moved him a couple of guys over,” Brandon said. The coach later admitted that Turner’s continued success has been a pleasant surprise.

Barnes has caught 72 passes for 825 yards and eight scores. He and Turner were No. 1 and No. 2 on the depth chart at quarterback at the end of camp in 2006.

“It’s just allowing them to be on the field, both of them at the same time all the time,” Winovich said.

O’Drobinak has become a leader on defense and Dozier and Hargrove are first and third on the team in tackles respectively.

It hasn’t been about knowing how to play a position for these players who have changed roles. Athleticism and willingness to help the team win seem to be at a premium.

“If you’re an athlete and have a great heart you’re going to find a way to get on the field,” O’Drobinak said.

Even though he was skeptical at first about his position change, O’Drobinak has gained even more respect for his coaches and their ability to plug talented players into new positions.

“They put the best 11 on the field at any given time,” he said.

The decision to move a player to a new position sometimes isn’t an easy one.

“It’s tough on the coach’s end too,” Winovich said. “That’s such a judgment call.”

It might be tough to find another team in football with so many players that have moved positions.

“[The coaching staff] can pick up any guy and put them in different positions,” Winovich said.