As spring practice forges on, players like Blake Treadwell are trying to find their niche and assume their best positions.
The only problem right now is that Treadwell is not where he wants to be, at least not yet. But he is definitely on his way there as he continues to learn the center position.
â€œThere is so much to learn, but I think Iâ€™m making some good strides,â€ Treadwell told Spartan Nation.
Treadwell played on the defensive line the last two seasons, more specifically in the defensive tackle role. Now, he is in the running to be the teamâ€™s starting center â€“ a position which requires good knowledge of the offense and all of the pieces the unit contains. Treadwell is in a fierce, but fun, competition with fellow linemen Ethan Ruhland and Travis Jackson.
â€œIâ€™m trying to show a little mean side,â€ said the mild-mannered Treadwell when asked about his different personalities on and off the field. â€œItâ€™s not that hard, just doing a little bit of extra things like pushing through that whistle until you actually hear it.â€
But for Treadwell to gain the starting spot at center, it will take more than just using his big frame and athleticism to overpower the other talented players on a roster full of depth. Besides the quarterback, the center has to be most in tune with the offense and what it entails, from blocking schemes to knowing where each player will be once the ball is snapped.
â€œFirst of all, itâ€™s learning the system,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m still a little rushed, thereâ€™s a lot of things being thrown at me. But knowing the system and getting the snaps down, itâ€™s a little bit difficult right now for me.â€
He said that heâ€™s making baby steps in practice in relation to making on-the-field signals for the offense, and the coaches are easing him into the entire process as it is a big burden to carry for a player who hasnâ€™t been there before. His guards have helped him make calls so far, and his coaches expect him to get the calls down pat as the practices increase.
â€œThere are some areas, like where after a play would be done, I knew I should have made that call,â€ he said. â€œSo, itâ€™s catching on, and hopefully Iâ€™ll be able to catch it before the play happens.â€
Treadwell said he weighed between 260 and 265 pounds in spring ball in 2010, but now he weighs about 295 pounds.