The first day of fall camp kicked off with an early morning practice for the freshmen before the veterans-only squad laced up. There were numerous position changes across the board, presumably in an attempt to strengthen each of the team's individual units with the talent available on the current roster
This spring the Bulls secondary lost three defensive backs for various reasons that led each of them to transfer out of the program. Heralded class of 2013 recruit Chris Bivins headed to Holmes C.C. in Mississippi, former JUCO transfer Josh Brown landed at West Georgia, and following a marijuana arrest projected starter Kenneth Durden will be suiting up for Youngstown St. this fall. The void left by the departing defensive backs led Willie Taggart to a decision not many saw coming.
Fifth year senior wide receiver Chris Dunkley is going on the other side of the pigskin at cornerback. It's uncertain if this is in fact a "test" or if Dunkley is making a permanent move, but Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times reported the switch was essentially final.
For now, @CoachTaggart says, Dunkley will focus on DB— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) August 4, 2014
"He [Dunkley] played receiver, he knows how to play that position and he hasn't played defensive back, and we want to make sure that he masters that position," Taggart said. "If he shows us he can master that position, we'll think about putting him back on offense and having some plays." It's going to be interesting to see how the "Dunkley Project" pans out through fall camp as Western Carolina draws near.
There were several other notable players engaging in position roulette. Elkino Watson slid over to defensive end from defensive tackle, Auggie Sanchez made the switch from fullback to middle-linebacker, Corian Hamilton shifted from linebacker to fullback, and Tashon Whitehurst moved to the middle from strong-side linebacker following the departure of four-year starter DeDe Lattimore
The offensive line seems to be a game of musical chairs as well, with Clavion Nelson making the move from defensive tackle to left guard, Kofi Amichia bumping over a spot from center to tackle, and tackle Quinterrius Eatmon moved to guard as Brynjar Gudmundsson switched over to tackle from guard.
See, I was not being even a smidge facetious about position roulette. And wait until you see Marvin Kloss lined up at fullback. OK, I made that one up. But you thought I was serious for a second, didn't you?
This year is of colossal magnitude not only to the Bulls staff, but to our college football relevance for the foreseeable future, so assembling the absolute best per unit squads when the Bulls take the field in 2014 is massively important.