The single biggest surprise thus far as been the move of Digger Bujnoch to the center spot. Today went much better for Digger as he seems to be quickly getting used to handling snaps. Once the pads come on if Digger continues to show what he has early on it looks like the position is his.
Moving Bujnoch to center opens up the Right Tackle spot for Khalil El-Amin or a possible move of Jeff Linkenbach. There is a good chance that El-Amin would have been starting a year ago before a knee injury shelved him for the season.
Today I spent a great deal of time watching Khalil in drills, the knee appears to be fully recovered but it will take some time for him to get his conditioning back to where it needs to be. El-Amin is the fastest of all the offensive linemen to go along with quick feet, he could be a valuable addition against Big East rush ends. The wild card in this could be Marcus Waugh moving from the backfield to the Center spot. Don’t be fooled by Waugh’s size, he is a tough guy who has caught the attention of Coach Quinn and has the heart and work ethic to win the Center position and move Bujnoch back to Tackle.
The tight end spot is another area that a position change has given a player a chance to grab playing time. The Tight End position probably has the deepest collection of talent of any position this spring. But as practice began most people conceded the position vacated by parting Senior Brett Celek to Junior Conner Barwin. The spoiler is this plan may very well be Doug Jones who is moving back to Tight End from the Fullback spot he has manned for the past 2 seasons. Doug has probably the best hands of all the Bearcat receivers and catches anything thrown close to him. Jones runs good routes and finds the open areas in the defense. His blocking has always been solid but he really is showing a knack for getting open quickly with surprising speed for his size.
At both the center and tight end positions competition has developed because of talent and depth. BCI will continue to watch these key battles on offense and keep you updated throughout the spring with interviews and follow up stories.