Jones moving to outside linebacker

Former Notre Dame transfer Demetrius Jones is on the move again, this time from offense to defense.

Jones was the starting quarterback for the Irish's 2007 season opener before transferring to Cincinnati. The junior will move to outside linebacker this spring for the Bearcats, Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly told ESPN.com on Monday.

After recovering from shoulder surgery, Jones played in five games for Cincinnati last season. He appeared briefly at quarterback but did not attempt a pass. With senior Tony Pike entrenched in the starting role, he accepted the idea of a position change.

"He's just too good of an athlete," Kelly said. "We need to get him on the field. So we're going to use this spring to take a look at him at that outside linebacker position."

Kelly compared the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Jones to last year's starting outside linebacker Corey Smith, who was similarly sized. Jones played some safety in high school, Kelly said.

"He just wants to play," Kelly said. "He knew Tony was going to be the starter and he's running out of time. He likes the opportunity, so we'll see what happens.

Cincinnati had success with an offense-to-defense switch last season, when former tight end Connor Barwin moved to defensive end. Barwin led the Big East in sacks and projects as a first-day NFL Draft pick in April.

ESPN.com college football blogger Brian Bennett covers the Big East.