Filling the void left by Stephen Paea will be no easy task for the Oregon State football team.
An injury to potential starter Castro Masaniai didn't help either.
So plan B had to be put into effect this spring.
Defensive line coach Joe Seumalo came up with an idea while talking with his players in the offseason.
The idea was to move senior Dominic Glover from right defensive end to right tackle.
Glover is three weeks into the change and adapting well.
"I like it, and it has been fun," he said. "Now that we get the pads on it's a little different. It's a little tougher."
Seumalo suggested the move to Glover in the middle of February. Glover needed a little convincing.
He wanted to hear all the positives and negatives. But by the end of the sales pitch Glover was ready for the move.
However, he was still concerned.
"I'm undersized for being in there, and so is (other starting defensive tackle) Kevin (Frahm). We both are," Glover said. "What we have to do is use our quickness, and there's less responsibility to worry about."
Glover trimmed down early in the offseason to improve his speed off the end. He changed workout plans right before the spring and got up to 265 pounds. He plans to add about 30 pounds this summer.
"When I found out I was moving to tackle I started eating again," Glover said. "This summer will be big in gaining weight."
Being undersized, Glover feels out of place butting heads with the interior linemen. However, he showed enough for Seumalo.
"So far the experience has looked good," Seumalo said. "We wanted to get some athletic ability in there. Glover is a big, strong, athletic guy."
Glover felt secure as a returning starter at end, which made the suggestion to move more surprising.
A junior college transfer last season from Saddleback College in the Los Angeles area, Glover was brought in for immediate help to rush the passer.
After adapting to OSU's system he moved into the starting lineup after four games. Glover registered 43 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Since the spring experiment has worked, defensive tackle is Glover's permanent position. Seumalo, however, reserves the right to move him to defensive end if needed.
"Anything is temporary with coach Joe," Glover said. "It's not solid. Hopefully Castro comes back. I may move out to end again, but maybe not."
Another reason to move Glover inside is so Seumalo can see what junior college transfers Rusty Fernando and Blake Harrah can do at defensive end. Younger defensive ends on the roster needed work, too.
Once Masaniai returns, depth at the defensive tackle position should be at an acceptable level. A 6-foot-3, 342-pound junior, Masaniai is sitting out this spring due to a shoulder injured he suffered Oct. 30 against California. He needed surgery and is still rehabbing.
"He'll be fine," Seumalo said. "I'm not concerned. I know he knows how to play."
Another prospect at tackle is Philomath High alum Ben Motter. The senior started out at OSU as an offensive lineman his first three years, but Seumalo lured him over to the other side last season to create depth.
"Motter is having a great spring," Seumalo said. "We need a good contingency of guys in there, and we are getting there."
As a group they just hope to fill in for Paea, a potential first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
Contact Cliff Kirkpatrick at email@example.com.
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