Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
AUSTIN, Texas -- Backup Texas quarterback John Chiles has decided to move to wide receiver for the Longhorns' first practice on Friday.
"At our position meetings this morning, John asked [offensive coordinator] Greg Davis if we would consider letting him move to receiver," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "Greg told John to think about it, talk to his family and then he would talk to me about it. John came back this afternoon, told us he had decided he definitely wanted to move to receiver, we visited about it and are all excited about the move."
Chiles was used in a multipurpose role last season in Texas' "Q package." He completed 11 of 13 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns, but struggled at times with his consistency and mechanics.
"I talked to my family, the coaches and everyone close to me and just came to the realization that I think I can really help the team at receiver," Chiles said. "I'm willing to do anything to help us win games and make another run at a championship, which is the ultimate goal.
"I think the timing is right. I'm a junior and am a little older, so anything I can do to get on the field and help the team, I'm willing to do."
Chiles also played wide receiver last season, starting in the Longhorns' season opener against FAU. That experience should help him stand out in a crowded receiving group that also includes key returnees Brandon Collins, Malcolm Williams, Dan Buckner and James Kirkendoll.
"Having had a chance to do some work out there last year laid a foundation for me, but I think having played quarterback will really help me have a better understanding of the receiver position," Chiles said. "As a quarterback, you know how much trust you need in your receivers and where you expect them to be. I think understanding that and knowing the demands of the position will help my transition. I'm really excited and looking forward to getting started."
Chiles also will receive work as a kick returner, providing some help for a Texas unit that ranked sixth in the Big 12 in kickoff returns.
"Colt [McCoy]'s return and Quan [Cosby]'s departure makes this a great move for our team," added Brown, who also said Chiles will compete for action as a kickoff returner. "When we've done our draft boards during the spring, our staff has always voted John as one of our best athletes on the team. This gives us a chance to get him more playing time."
Chiles contacted McCoy soon after he made the decision to ask coaches for the position change.
"Working together and being around each other so much, John and I have gotten really close," McCoy said. "He's a great football player that has the ability to make big plays for us. I'm really looking forward to working with him and seeing him out there at receiver."