TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Walking around as his players stretched during practice, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer stopped to have a word with starting fullback Zach Boren.
"Hey, we're going to move you over because guys are limping," Meyer told the senior.
And with that, Boren, an offensive player his entire career at Ohio State, was the Buckeyes' starting middle linebacker against Indiana.
A move of desperation? Not exactly.
Boren was a star linebacker in high school, had been begging the coaches to play on defense and the Buckeyes were banged up at that position, so it seemed like a good fit.
And it's not like Meyer is the only one moving players around.
Coaches across the country have been swapping out players like chess pieces.
Not just offensive linemen swapping spots or a cornerback moving to safety, either. Players are being moved from one side of the ball to the other, going to positions they hadn't played since high school or at all.
Sometimes it's out of necessity, moves to fill holes created by a lack of depth or injuries.
Too much depth can also lead to changes, coaches wanting to give talented players buried on the depth chart a chance to get on the field.
Sometimes it's just a coach playing a hunch, experimenting with a player at a certain position to see if it'll work out.
"You have to project guys along the way," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "That's absolutely something you have to be able to do, in my opinion, in developing your program."
Kelly got his head-coaching start in Division II, where moving players around is just a part of the job as a coach with limited recruiting options tries to get the best players on the field.
Even at a high-profile program like Notre Dame, where luring the best recruits in the country isn't a problem, Kelly hasn't hesitated in switching players around, converting receivers Bennett Jackson and Matthias Farley to defensive backs after injuries left the Irish thin in the secondary.
Todd Graham has a similar philosophy in his first year at Arizona State.
He got started coaching high school teams in Texas, so moving players around is sort of second nature for him.
But Graham also has had his hand forced a bit this season.
The Sun Devils, like most programs with a new coach, entered the season without a whole lot of depth, particularly on defense.
Looking to bolster his defense, Graham started experimenting with offensive players on that side of the ball, switching running back Deantre Lewis and several receivers to the secondary and running back James Morrison to defensive end.