HUNTINGTON -- Devin Arrington loves being back at linebacker for the Marshall University football team. Yet, in his mind, he doesn't feel totally back.
"I'm fortunate that we've got two more weeks left before any serious play, because I've still got a lot of work to do," he said. "But I'm getting there."
His tour of duty as a strong safety, a move made to shore up a shallow depth chart, lasted one season. A strong-side linebacker his first two years, he's now on the weak side and in the process of recalibrating himself for his new role.
While the blitzes and some of his techniques returned quickly, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound redshirt senior said he's still honing his linebacker reads.
"Linebacker is a read-react position," he said. "That's what it's all about, your reads. If your reads aren't on key, you're playing slow.
"I know myself. I know that when it's time to go, I'll have it down pat like the back of my hand."
Arrington has been a major contributor in both roles as a member of the Thundering Herd. He started 11 of 12 games at strong-side linebacker as a redshirt sophomore finishing sixth on the team with 64 tackles, including four for a loss, 1.5 sacks and three pass breakups. As a redshirt junior, he started all 13 games at safety, finishing tied for fourth with 77 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, two interceptions and four pass breakups.
Safety wasn't a foreign position for him. He played there at Deep Creek High School in Virginia and said he practiced at that position during his redshirt year.
But when it came to on-field college competition, he was a linebacker until last season.
Marshall head Coach Doc Holliday said that safety experience should help in Arrington's return to linebacker.
"The transition playing safety for a year, he was forced to play in space the entire time," Holliday said. "I think moving up to that second level has helped him because of the space and the plays he had to make at safety."