Yes, it was a positional move, but it wasn't something that he wasn't used to.
Freshman Melvin Keihn was listed as the No. 16 outside linebacker in the country last season by Rivals.com, but he didn't play exclusively at that position. Keihn spent just as much time, if not more, at defensive end.
While it might have been a surprise, it wasn't a shock for Keihn to officially make the move to defensive end, after beginning fall camp at linebacker. There's been some adjusting, sure, but he's been quick to catch up and now, with Virginia Tech's limited depth along the defensive line, he has a strong chance to play this fall.
"Honestly, I think I caught on with the defensive ends more in four days than I did at linebacker," Keihn said. "It also helps with me playing it in high school. I pretty much did the same thing, but theirs is more advanced and with Coach Wiles and Coach Foster, they're definitely getting me caught on. Coach Wiles met one-on-one a couple of times just to go over defensive plays and lining up at lineman. The switch was good, but at the same time, I had to start all over. But I'm definitely getting it. If you wanna put it this way, I'm (more) ahead of the game at defensive end, than I would have been at linebacker when I first started."
Keihn said he's currently at 215 pounds, with the target weight between 220 and 225 pounds. While the move might not stick, Keihn refers to himself as a 'hybrid' player anyway, who can play wherever defeinsive coordinator Bud Foster needs him.
"Coach Foster did give me a choice," he said. "He said, 'we're gonna keep you there for this year and next year, if you'd like, you can come back or if you like it there, you can stay.' I think he's gonna try to give me that choice, but then again, I don't mind if he wants me to come back to linebacker. I honestly feel like I can play anything on the defensive side of the ball, as long as I know what I'm doing. If it's playing linebacker, playing safety, playing defensive end, I feel like I can play anything on the defensive side of the ball."
Below is Keihn's full interview with the media this morning:
Click Here to view this video.