March 22, 2007

Duke spring football burning questions

Position switches, position battles, and new leadership for both the offense and defense highlight the storylines for Duke as the Blue Devils prepare to open spring practice Monday morning.

Read on for answers to the burning questions facing Duke football this spring as the program continues its attempt to ascend from the ACC cellar.

Are there any key position changes?

The headliner position switch involves former quarterback turned wide receiver turned quarterback again Marcus Jones. This year, Jones is moving to the defensive side of the ball as an outside linebacker. With Thaddeus Lewis returning at quarterback and Zack Asack arriving in the fall after being suspended for last year, quarterback will have two quality bodies to provide depth, freeing up Jones to make the move to defense where his speed and aggressive style of play should greatly benefit a linebacking corps that desperately needs an upgrade in athleticism from a year ago. Look for Jones to open spring atop the depth chart at the outside spot and expect him to stay there all the way until the season opener. As he grows familiar with the schemes and terminology and gains some on field experience, linebacker might prove to be his most productive position.

Also of significance, Jabari Marshall is moving from offense to defense to help bolster depth at cornerback. After spending last year as a seldom used receiver on offense, Marshall will try to help replace departed seniors John Talley and Deonto McCormick in the secondary.

Also moving from receiver to the secondary is Marvin Marcelin, who will start spring on the depth chart at safety.

Norman Gee, who switched from tight end to defensive tackle and back to tight end last season, will open spring at tight end and hopefully will be able to remain on the offensive side of the ball.

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