In a move aimed at helping the future moreso than the present, Maryland's De'Onte Arnett switched from defensive line to offensive line this week.
Arnett, who played in just one game, will provide depth to a unit thinned out by the loss of tackles Justin Gilbert and Pete DeSouza to season-ending injuries.
"We're hoping he can pick things up," coach Ralph Friedgen said. "We don't know how fast this is going to happen, but we think it's a good move not only for our football team, but also for De'Onte."
Arnett enrolled a semester early in 2009, but ultimately redshirted last season. He missed camp after surgery to remove a cyst from his upper ankle, and never factored in early in the season.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder, who Rivals.com listed as a top-100 recruit when he signed with Maryland, has three years of eligibility after this season.
"To me, it's a really good fit," Friedgen said. "He's a very bright kid, very athletic. He's a very hard worker, very motivated. I really think [after] the injury to Pete, he came in and said he wanted to make a move and start fresh. He was put back himself by an injury. He was hurt in camp and missed most of camp, and by the time he got back he didn't have a chance to win a spot. I said 'I was thinking about talking to you about this anyway, and I think it's a good idea.'"
Friedgen said he is unsure what position Arnett will ultimately end up playing. With plenty of depth on the defensive line --- six of the eight players listed as either starters or immediate backups are freshmen and sophomores --- wresting a spot away was a bit daunting.
On the offensive line, though, there remains plenty of inexperience --- as well as a plan by Maryland to avoiding finding itself in a similar predicament in the future.
"I think it's a win-win in both situations," Friedgen said of the position change. "I wish all of them went as well as that one did. I was very receptive to him coming in and telling me that. I watched him last night in practice and I think it's a good move. Now, he doesn't know what he's doing, but I saw him hit people and knock people off the line of scrimmage, and that's a good place to start."