4:24 PM EDT, June 10, 2013
Oviedo quarterback Chris Davis won’t play quarterback in college.
Eustis linebacker Jaylon Graham is headed toward the defensive line.
Ocoee safety Terrell Lewis is more than likely going to end up playing some sort of linebacker at the next level.
Some players know their position destiny before they get to college. Some don’t.
West Orange jack-of-all-trades Kyle Griffitts has no idea.
When it comes to college football prospects, there are numerous players who are often projected to have a future at a position different from what they play in high school.
Most of these players don’t really care what position they end up playing — as long as they play.
Many times a player will be labeled as an athlete (ATH) in a recruiting profile because there is more than one position in consideration from different college recruiters.
Take Lake Mary’s Adam Torres, for instance. He’s the No. 1-ranked defensive lineman in Central Florida, and ranked No. 3 overall in the Sentinel’s 2014 Super60. He’s being recruited as a defensive lineman by most schools. But Florida State coaches told him a few months ago that they like him as an offensive lineman, but they also like him as a defensive lineman.
Torres wants to play defensive line. He wasn’t sure how to respond to FSU offensive line coach Rick Trickett telling him he’d be a great offensive lineman. It’s hard to tell Trickett that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about because he’s been doing this for many years.
The athletic Lake Mary D-tackle, however, hates offensive linemen. He’s programmed to hate them. He’s never been one. He only wants to hit one. But if that’s what he had to do, he’d line up as one.
Fortunately for Torres, he has plenty of offers to make him happy at the position he wants to play. That doesn’t mean, however, that he’ll end up playing where he thought he was destined. Many players eventually end up at different positions once they get on campus.
Take, for example, UCF’s Joey Grant, the former Lake Brantley defensive tackle. He’s bounced around a bit on both sides of the ball during his first two seasons with the Knights but looks to have finally found his calling after a good spring at offensive center.
Grant has been receptive to all position changes he's made. He played defensive line last season as a redshirt freshman, playing in eight games, starting one.
“He was recruited as a defensive end even though he was playing inside at the tackle at Brantley,” said dad Bill Grant. “But after his redshirt freshman year, they said they’d like to get a peek at him on offense. Joey was open to the idea. Surprised, but open to it.”
“They’ve always been really good about talking to us all the way through the process. Coach [George] O’Leary told Joey, ‘It’s your decision, but the team really could use you on offense.’ ”
Grant started his career at UCF at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds. He’s now 6-4, 295 and still moves well despite the added size. The position move allows him to work as the batterymate of his roommate, UCF quarterback Blake Bortles.
“It was a no-brainer for Joey,” Bill Grant said. “He and Blake are best friends, and Joey knows enough about college football to know that it’s the best position for him and his skill-set. It’s also the best chance for him if he ever had any thoughts of playing after college.
“To his credit, he has been a great team player. He just wants to be on field and be a contributor.”
It doesn’t always work out as well as what has transpired for Joey Grant. Players have plenty of things to consider when picking a college.
As if recruiting was not confusing enough.
So back to Griffitts, who will come up against the position dilemma as his recruiting progresses. He’s played tight end, H-back, defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker at the Winter Garden school. Many think the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Griffitts, the twin of West Orange quarterback Hayden Griffitts, will see his college stock rise as he plays more linebacker this season.
He said there are both good and bad aspects of playing multiple positions when it comes to recruiting.
“I think it helps if they need a certain position and I’ve played all of these things, so they can pick me up for one of those positions, or if they just like me, they can take me and then decide later what they want me to play,” Griffitts said. “But it can also hinder [the process] a bit in that I’m not focused on being great or as good as I want to be at one position and I’m never coming off the field.
“So I think it does a little bit of both, but I love being out on the field, and so as much as I can get out there, I’m loving it.”
Which is the way most players feel.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.
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