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Vols' Douglas moving from tight end to tackle

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

The start of spring practice is still more than a week away for Tennessee, but the Vols have already taken steps to fill one of their offensive tackle jobs.

Aaron Douglas, the Vols' top signee two years ago, will move from tight end to tackle and be given a chance to win the starting right tackle job during spring practice.

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin discussed the move Wednesday with Douglas as well as Douglas' father, David, who also played at Tennessee and played six years in the NFL as an offensive lineman with the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots.

Douglas redshirted last season after undergoing shoulder surgery. He's one of the best young prospects in the Tennessee program, but was having a hard time keeping his weight down. The 6-7 Douglas was over 280 pounds, and the Vols are in dire need of offensive tackle help.

Senior Chris Scott is expected to slide over to left tackle after starting at right tackle last season, but there's nobody else on the roster who's played any meaningful snaps at tackle. In time, Douglas could also get a shot at left tackle.

Douglas was rated by Scouts Inc. as the No. 18 tight end prospect in the country coming out of high school in Maryville, Tenn. He caught 44 passes, including four touchdowns, as a senior in high school and has excellent footwork for a guy his size.

Kiffin prefers his tackles to be athletic and has made it known that he doesn't want any 340-pound linemen. If it doesn't work out for Douglas this spring, he could always go back to tight end, and Kiffin has told him that they may still utilize him some as a tight end in certain situations.

Ultimately, though, Douglas' future position will be at tackle, and he likes the idea of not having to fight his weight all the time, as well as having a chance to start next season.

Douglas is also progressing nicely with his shoulder rehabilitation and is probably around 85 percent right now. He's already started back bench-pressing.

The Vols open spring practice on March 10.