Baylor starts practice with several notable position changes

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Baylor started spring practice Monday with six players playing different positions than those they played at the end of the 2008 season.

Some notable players were key contributors at their old positions.

Here are some of the changes:

  • Senior RB Jeremy Sanders to safety. Sanders rushed for 128 yards on 34 carries and scored a touchdown last season. He also recorded Baylor's highest kickoff return average with six returns for 163 yards (27.2 yard per kick average).

  • Senior WR T.J. Scranton has moved to safety. Scranton accounted for two catches for 24 yards and one kickoff return for 19 yards.

  • Sophomore WR Romie Blaylock has moved to cornerback. Blaylock rushed once for 7 yards and accounted for two receptions for -6 yards

  • Junior CB Krys Buerck has moved back to wide receiver. Buerck produced 24 tackles, broke up two passes and notched an interception for a return of 46 yards.

  • Senior DT Sam Sledge has moved to fullback. Sledge notched nine tackles, and produced 1 1/2 sacks.

  • Senior WR Ernest Smith has moved to the inside receiver position from outside. Smith produced seven catches for 175 yards and a team-best 25.0 yard-per-catch average.

The Bears worked out for two hours, 20 minutes on their first day of practice on Monday. Coach Art Briles was excited about what his team showed.

"We're just glad to be back on the field," Briles told reporters after the workout. "You spend all your time planning and hoping and now you get to put it to realization on the field. It's just a great time."

The Bears will work three more days before taking next week off for spring break. Their work will conclude April 2 with a controlled scrimmage.

"The thing we are really excited about is just getting a chance to concentrate on our guys," Briles said. "When you are in a season, you spend a lot of your time working on opponents and yourselves. When you get to spring ball, it's all about you.

"This is what we are all about. We're about Baylor. We are about getting ready to be bowl bound in '09."