Penn State’s defense is going to have a new look in the 2013 season.
Along with a new defensive coordinator and new players filling spots left by graduating seniors, Adrian Amos is no longer starting at corner.
In his first months as the Lions’ defensive coordinator, John Butler made it known that Amos will be starting at safety heading into the summer.
This decision is a mistake.
For Amos, the move makes sense; he played safety in high school and his build can fit the safety role.
At 6’0” and 209 pounds, Amos is the second-biggest defensive back on the roster.
His speed isn’t at an elite level amongst corners in Division I football.
But Amos hasn’t played safety on the collegiate level, in fact he hasn’t played there since high school.
Not to say he won’t succeed at the position; he is a tremendous athlete fully capable of the move.
But why move him from his corner spot where he has shown success?
Amos has played corner for two years and has grown into his spot as a dependable defensive back.
Heading into 2013, Amos would have been relied upon as Penn State’s lock-down corner with the most experience.
Now both the Nittany Lions corner positions will be up for grabs, leaving the two spots for freshmen and sophomores to fight for.
Moving Amos to safety also will push one of Penn State’s current safeties out.
The Lions already have two safeties returning in Malcolm Willis and Stephen Obeng-Agyapong, both of whom proved they are very capable.
I admit that on paper the move to put Amos at safety makes sense.
But in the wider scheme of the entire defense, this mix can prove to be extremely damaging and an unnecessary risk.
Putting two young, inexperienced corners on the field and kicking a senior safety off of it doesn’t seem to be very helpful for a team that is also replacing two graduated linebackers and three graduated defensive linemen.
In this Penn State defense, Amos is a bad fit at safety.
Amos is talented enough to succeed at either corner or safety, but whether the young corners can produce in his absence is yet to be seen.