During last year's spring practice Brian Schwenke moved over to center for the first time in his career. Now the second-rated center in the draft, Schwenke is glad he made the transition.
"I’d never snapped a football. Now I feel more comfortable at center than I ever did at guard," he said. "The way football works out, it’s what I’m more naturally built to do. Get that football out of there and go. It works for me."
Schwenke, who started the two previous seasons at guard, was moved to center partly to benefit the team, partly because it could enhance his professional prospects.
Without the change, Schwenke admitted this week, "I probably wouldn’t be getting as much love as im getting."
His ability to play guard and center will attract the attention of teams looking for a lineman who can play multiple positions.
Modestly rated the No. 44 offensive guard prospect in the country coming out of high school, Schwenke has gained favor in recent weeks because of his versatility.
"Absolutely. Teams can only dress seven or eight offensive linemen come game day and I can play either position," Schwenke said. "Teams definitely are interested in that. It’s one of the big reasons why my stock is rising."
Former Cal coach Jeff Tedford is convinced Schwenke is ready for the next level.
"He came in undersized, but he could always run and is very athletic," Tedford said. "He’s very smart and highly competitive. And he’s played two positions, which always helps."
Schwenke should be a third-round pick in this afternoon's draft.
- Athlon ranks the Pac-12's running backs: Brendan Bigelow is 8th. Uncle Ted provides his thoughts on the rankings.
- The Bears' semifinal match against Navy will be streamed live on the Pac-12 Network on Saturday at 2pm.