Football players switching positions in college is nothing new in the world of sports, and Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer has a history of players swapping spots on the field successfully.
Most recently, former OSU wide receivers Braxton Miller and Jalin Marshall, both former quarterbacks, were signed to NFL teams in their new positions. Miller was drafted in the third round of the NFL draft, while Marshall was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent.
Departed Darron Lee was a quarterback and defensive back in high school before becoming a linebacker under Meyer at OSU, and current Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden used to call the plays for Friendly High School in Fort Washington, Maryland, before becoming a cornerback under Meyer at Florida.
Another former quarterback, redshirt freshman Torrance Gibson, made the switch from signal caller to pass catcher in Columbus. Last season, he redshirted following an ankle injury and some problems in the classroom.
Gibson was not always open to the idea of changing positions.
“My first reaction was no,” Gibson said. “But when I really thought about it, I was being selfish. That’s when I made the switch.”
This year, Gibson is expected to make his debut in scarlet and gray as a wideout during the regular season after spending a year healing his injury and learning the position.
Admittedly, Gibson said he would line up during practice last year and wonder what route he was supposed to run, or what his blocking assignment was. The time he spent away from the field during 2015, he said, has helped immensely.
While he will be on the field to contribute as a wideout, Gibson has missed some time during camp due to a hamstring injury.
“Torrance missed about 10 practices,” Meyer said. “He just went for the first time in a week so it’s been a tough go for him.”
After an impressive spring game, where he notched two touchdown receptions, the redshirt freshman said he could still tweak some aspects of his game.
“I think I could have done a little more of attacking the ball,” Gibson said. “Coach Meyer gets on me everyday about attacking the ball. I wait on it too much. That’s my biggest weakness right now.”
Gibson hopes to join good company of athletic playmakers to make the switch from quarterback under the Meyer regime.
Gibson and the rest of the Scarlet and Gray begin the season against Bowling Green on Sept. 3 at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.