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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 3, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Kirton happy with switch

A few of us just wrapped up talking with former UW tight end Johnie Kirton who is now officially a defensive tackle.
And he said it’s a move that is just fine with him.
“It just came down to just asking coach what did he need from me,” he said. “I made the switch to tight end (from running back in 2005) because they needed it, so it’s just something we lack there (bodies on the defensive line) from what the coaches made it sound like, so I made the switch.”
Kirton said he played a lot of defensive end at Jackson High School and that some teams recruited him as a defensive line — it was discussed when he came to UW. He said he has never played defensive tackle but thinks he’ll be able to make a quick adjustment.
“On offense you have to think a lot more,” he said. “Not that I can’t think, but defense is more you can just go wherever. Just go get the ball, go take the ball, then you’ve done your job. Technique is the only thing I have to pick up.”
Kirton said he thinks he’ll be helped by the fact that Ed Donatell is in his first spring as the team’s new defensive coordinator which means all the players are learning some new things. “So everybody is on the same page,” Kirton said. “Which is a good thing because we can all learn.”\
Kirton said he weighs about 280 pounds and thinks he is in good shape despite having missed the off-season conditioning program while studying last quarter in South Africa. Teammates Luke Kravitz and Desmond Davis and Erick Lobos, a senior last season, all made the trip as part of a group headed by former Husky Anthony Kelley.
Because of missing the off-season program, Kirton and the others are listed at the bottom of the depth chart at their respective positions. But Kirton said it was worth it.
“It’s one of those experiences you can’t let go,” he said.

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