The spring is a perfect time for football coaches to experiment. Iowa is taking advantage of that opportunity, and it could result in a position change for one linebacker.
According to Chad Leistikow of Hawk Central, Iowa linebacker Amani Jones has been taking snaps at defensive end during spring practices. The Hawkeyes are lacking depth on the edge, and Jones could provide just the spark they need next fall.
Linebackers coach Seth Wallace says Jones’ energy and explosiveness makes him a good fit as a defensive end for the Hawkeyes.
“He’s a high-energy kid, somebody who has a passion for his game,” Wallace said. “You could argue, is he one of the 11 best true football players we could on the field defensively? Maybe.”
Jones started the 2018 season at middle linebacker but lost his role due to mistakes. He appeared in 13 games last fall, making 22 tackles, including two for loss. Playing along the defensive line might be the best way for Jones’ to see more frequent playing time, even if he is undersized for the position.
So far, though, it seems like Jones is making some moves on the edge and could find himself in a permanent role in that position.
In three seasons in Iowa City, Jones has registered 31 stops while appearing in 38 games, several of which game on special teams. This will be an interesting position change to keep an eye on throughout spring and into the summer and fall.