Change, as usual: Barnes back to quarterback for the Golden Eagles

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tech quarterback Cass Barnes should be used to be changing positions by now. The junior was originally recruited to be a signal-caller for the Golden Eagles, and after playing quarterback in nine games as a freshman in 2007, the Tech coaching staff moved Cass to wide receiver for his sophomore year. Barnes played in seven games as a receiver in 2008, and is now transitioning back to the quarterback position for his final two seasons, a move that was well received by Barnes.

“I was happy when I found out I was switching back,” Barnes said. “I was recruited as a quarterback, that’s what I’ve been playing my whole life, and that’s what I enjoy doing.”

Barnes completed 8-of-13 passes as a freshman quarterback, good for 95 yards, and two scores in 2007. He was also pretty nifty on his feet, rushing 43 times for 163 yards and five touchdowns before making the switch to receiver.

“If I had it to do over again I probably never would have moved him,” head coach Watson Brown said. “But we were so receiver-thin, we needed him out there.”

As a receiver, Barnes caught five passes for 48 yards last season, but admits it wasn’t the easiest transition to make.

“It was a little different trying to make the transition to receiver last season,” Barnes said. “I wasn’t used to moving around so much, and there was a lot more to think about.”

But now that Barnes is back to his original position, he feels more comfortable, and has his work cut out for him during spring practice.

“I really want to work on my footwork and my speed, and the accuracy of my throws,” Barnes said.

Brown likes what he has seen from Barnes so far this spring, and thinks the transition back to quarterback will be a smooth one.

“I think he’s going to do a good job,” Brown said. “He is back to where he’s more natural. I think when the pads go on and he puts his feet with his arm he’s going to give the other quarterbacks a run for their money.”