- Chantel Jennings, Pac-12 reporter
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In Brady Hoke's second year at the helm of the Michigan football program, he already has begun making adjustments and moves to better mold players into the offense and defense he wants to play. So far this spring, we've seen quite a few switches, but these are the five headliners of the spring football moves:
1. Brennen Beyer: linebacker to weakside defensive end
Beyer burst onto the scene last season as a freshman linebacker. He played well but with the depth the Wolverines have at linebacker, the coaches have decided to move him into the trenches to fill in for a depleted defensive line in his second year. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Beyer is much smaller than last year's defensive ends (Ryan Van Bergen: 6-foot-6, 288 pounds and Will Heininger 6-foot-6, 295 pounds), but he gives the Wolverines the option as an athletic pass rusher.
2. Ricky Barnum: guard to center
He has stepped in to fill the shoes of David Molk, and after the spring game (having a part in two fumbled snaps), it looks like he still has quite a ways to go. But Barnum is the Wolverines' frontrunner to start at center as of now. He played center in high school and said that, for him, it was more just getting back into the swing of things, rather than learning a new position. The coaching staff said Barnum was a natural for the position and actually has the profile of a center, rather than guard.
3. Craig Roh: weakside defensive end to strongside defensive end
This will be the third position Roh has played during his time at Michigan, so the move didn't really scare him at all. He'll get a bit more action at strongside, picking up more double teams, but this definitely isn't the most drastic move on the team. He's hoping to be up to 280 pounds by the start of the 2012 season, which would put him at a similar stature as Van Bergen (last season's strongside DE), which would put the Wolverines in solid position on the strongside.
4. Jibreel Black: defensive end to defensive tackle
Black said this spring that it wasn't a huge transition moving from the outside to the inside and if anything, he's able to use his quickness a bit more at tackle. The defensive line will definitely have a different look this season, but Black will bring the size and speed inside that Michigan lost inside.
5. Devin Gardner: quarterback to wide receiver
Despite coaches talking about how they wanted to keep Gardner on the field with quarterback Denard Robinson (whether this means more of the deuce package, or Gardner moving to receiver hasn't been fully explained), during the spring game, Gardner only took snaps at quarterback. The idea of moving the 6-foot-4 quarterback -- who was recruited as the top dual-threat signal caller in the country -- to a receiver position is interesting and whether or not it happens this season remains to be seen. But if he does make the move, it would make Michigan's offense much more dynamic and give Robinson a tall receiver and deep threat.
A look at the top five position switches this spring and their possible impact on the Wolverines this fall.