Wes Black looks like a new man, so why wouldn’t he try a new position?
Black was one of nearly 80 players to take part in the Kamloops Broncos spring camp at Hillside Stadium on Saturday and Sunday. The camp gives the Broncos’ coaches a chance to see some prospects ahead of the B.C. Football Conference season, which is to start in August.
And as far as returning players go, Black might have turned the most heads on the weekend.
Black, who played defensive tackle last season, is planning to be a fullback in 2012. And he’s not doing this on a whim — he lost 60 pounds in the offseason.
“I kept telling them — that’s where I played (in high school), that’s my position,” said Black, who weighed in at 203 pounds Friday. “They told me I wasn’t in shape, so it forced me to lose the weight. . . . I love it.”
Black, a Prince George native, spent the offseason working at Fuel, a supplements store, and the Duchess on Tranquille. Those jobs allowed him to focus on his training — he was able to get his dietary supplements quite easily, and also had time during the day to work out.
“I’m in the gym five, six days a week — I made it my second job,” Black said. “It was a day job, going to the gym twice a day. . . . It was just hard work. It took me eight weeks to lose the first 30.”
Black isn’t the first person to change positions during a football career, and he isn’t even the only returning Broncos player to be doing it.
Adam Nesbitt also is changing positions, but he isn’t going as far off the board as Black. Nesbitt is moving to safety from receiver, where he has spent much of his football career.
He had a solid season in 2011, catching 15 passes for 194 yards, but wanted something different in this, his final BCFC season.
“Offence wasn’t clicking for me last year,” said the 22-year-old Armstrong native. “I figured, since it’s my last year, I could try something new and put myself in a better position to be successful.”
The skill sets required to play safety and receiver are similar, but Nesbitt is starting to feel as though safety is the tougher position to master.
“You have to get your depth, you have to see everything,” he said. “You’re also the last man back, and they’re depending on you to make the play.
“Technique really comes into play — someone was saying, the difference between making (an interception) and giving up a touchdown can be one step.”
Both players had a fun weekend in getting to know their new positions, and Broncos head coach Duncan Olthuis also was pleased with what he saw.
He went into the weekend worried about his offensive line, which lost five key players, but was smiling by the time Sunday afternoon’s scrimmage wrapped up.
“We’ll be all right,” Olthuis said. “We had nine (linemen) here, and they all look good. We’ve got three returnees — Kyle Krall, Jack Gilliland and Daniel Hodges — and new kids like Daylin Court from Raymond, Alta., and Brett Gordon from Kelowna . . . once they learn a little more, they’re going to be stars in this league.”
The Broncos are scheduled to hold a main camp in July, the dates of which will be announced once the team determines whether it will play an exhibition game. Olthuis will spend the next few months working the phones, trying to convince this weekend’s talent to come back in the summer.
“One good thing about having this camp so early is that I have two months to build on it,” he said.
“There are a ton of kids who are interested in main camp and just couldn’t make it this weekend.”