Thursday, June 7, 2007

Avon Cobourne a linebacker?

CFL news has reported that WVU's all-time leading rusher has been moved to linebacker this year despite being undersized and not playing defense in a decade.

"Like any other offensive player, I've got a cocky attitude," Cobourne said. "I thought they were kidding me."

But this is no joke. Cobourne, who left West Virginia with 5,146 career rushing yards and 42 touchdowns, is being converted into a linebacker, although he stands only 5-foot-8 and weighs 205 pounds. Not only has Cobourne never played linebacker, he hasn't lined up as a defensive player since he was a freshman in high school. That experiment lasted three games.

"I've wondered whether they're setting me up for failure," said the 28-year-old.

Alouettes head coach Jim Popp wants Cobourne on his roster as a special teams contributor, and believes the odds of that happening for the Camden, N.J., native are better on defence.

"We're trying to give him the best opportunity of getting on the field," Popp explained. "He does a lot for the team. The key is getting on the field as much as possible. I'm trying to make sure he has a spot."

It appears that the position change is going to stick despite Avon's concerns. From the second day of training camp for Montreal:

There were several solid hits, including a remarkable one coming from running back-turned-linebacker Avon Cobourne.

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