With a depth chart only two players deep, the inevitable move of an offensive player into the defensive backfield was just a matter of time. And while many expected one of the freshman wide receivers to begin the transition process, it was one of the oldest members of the team making the move to the defensive backfield.
Barry Gallup spent the morning practice today with the defensive backs, likely auditioning for a supporting role in the secondary, where each position only has one primary back-up on scholarship. The move shouldn’t come as a surprise, Gallup was an interesting choice to receive a fifth-year, having played sparingly throughout his career. He was recruited as a jack-of-all trades football player out of high school and it’s likely that versatility was one of the reasons he came back for a final season.
A simple look at the roster shows the need to balance the depth chart on both sides of the ball, and while it’s clearly a stop-gap solution, Gallup was probably the best candidate, especially after hearing early reports on the fine play of freshman Bennett Jackson and Austin Collinsworth. From there, the options seemed limited, with Roby Toma too short, freshman Daniel Smith too large, and TJ Jones already competing for a starting job with Theo Riddick.
The Irish already tried to transition a player across the line of scrimmage this fall with Lane Clelland working with the defensive ends before finishing the spring back at offensive tackle.