Asthe Griz quarterbacks run through spring drills you may notice number elevenTrent McKinney isn't there. Instead, he's traded in his black 11 jerseyfor a maroon 23, as he's moving from quarterback to safety.
"Itwas first brought up to me kind of as a joking matter about me switching tosafety and my future being the number two quarterback figured why not switch tosafety this spring and if it works I can stick with it," said Griz SafetyTrent McKinney.
McKinneywas the starting quarterback for the Grizzlies his freshman year where rackedup over 1,700 total yards. When Jordan Johnson returned to the squad McKinneydidn't see the field and sees safety as a chance to get back on the gridiron.
"Ijust started thinking the time is ticking and might as well not waste time andtake the opportunity to get on the field and play and not too many players getthe second chance to play especially at quarterback," said McKinney.
"Youknow you are always trying to get the best 22 football players on the field andcertainly Trent is a great athlete and it will be an important spring to see ifhe can make that transition to safety. I think he's having fun andlearning the position and everyday he's putting effort into it," said GrizHead Coach Mick Delaney.
McKinneysays the biggest difference from quarterback to safety is learning thetechnique's and footwork, as well as getting a different mindset.
"Thementality with my reaction is the same but my mentality with being physical andhaving to go full speed every play that's probably the biggestadjustment," says McKinney.
McKinney has been running with the second stringdefense and Coach Delaney says he'll evaluate him at the end of spring ball andthey will go from there.