In his third year in the Colorado football program, Clay Norgard is practicing at his third position.

Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Norgard has been shuffled around in order to find where he fits best at the college level. After his senior season at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch three recruiting websites all had him rated at a different position, fullback, linebacker and defensive line. He played all three during his prep career.

Norgard grew up rooting for CU because of his father's impressive history with the Buffs as an offensive lineman helping build the program into a national champion under former coach Bill McCartney. So it's no surprise that he's been willing to switch positions multiple times after starting out at fullback before being moved to linebacker and ultimately to defensive tackle

He's hoping to stick at as an undersized defensive lineman, but only time will tell.

"I think it's going really good," Norgard said. "It feels natural. It's something I played in high school and it's just been a lot of fun. It's not so much that I have to worry about learning a new position. I can just go out there and play football hard and fast."

CU defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat said he requested that Norgard be moved into the middle of the defensive line because he said he has seen undersized guys succeed at defensive tackle in the past because of their quickness.

Jeffcoat said Norgard will play this season if he continues progressing as he has since spring ball. He said Norgard has been everything he thought he would be when he asked for him.


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"Every day he's getting better and that's all we ever ask," Jeffcoat said. "We're excited about the things he brings to us. He brings intensity, he's bringing some quickness, he's bringing some attitude.

"Everybody is progressing, but he's doing a good job. He's starting to understand what it takes to play defensive line. He can be a good interior guy with his quickness."

CU coaches also moved senior Juda Parker from end to defensive tackle in the spring hoping to improve their interior pass rush. The Buffs produced a total of 3 ½ sacks in 2013 from their defensive tackles.

Norgard is bruiser, a rock. He is 6-foot, 240 pounds and it's all muscle. But being 240 pounds wouldn't seem to be conducive to becoming a success at defensive tackle in a major conference like the Pac-12.

Norgard said he is trying to pack on some pounds, but at the same time he believes he can find success in his new position because he is smaller and quicker than most defensive tackles and it will be a challenge for offensive linemen to get their hands on him and keep leverage against him.

"I have no idea," Norgard said when asked what he believes the challenge is for offensive linemen when it comes to blocking him. "All I know is they don't like me."

Norgard said his father, Erik, doesn't really offer advice for defeating blocks or beating offensive linemen. He said his dad leaves the coaching to Jeffcoat and the other members of Mike MacIntyre's staff. He simply encourages his son to play hard and make the most of his experiences.

"I'm just about making the play," Clay Norgard said. "It's been a weird transition going through three positions that's for sure, but I've always come out with the mentality that I'm going to go as hard as I can and just have fun. I'm having a lot of fun playing d-line"

Contact BuffZone.com Writer Kyle Ringo at ringok@dailycamera.com or on Twitter: @kyleringo.