GAINESVILLE -- Might Chris Rainey be making a switch to cornerback? Don't laugh. The coaches are at least thinking about the possibility.
Rainey told The Miami Herald this weekend that he was meeting with coaches to talk about helping the defense. On Monday, Florida cornerbacks coach Chuck Heater indicated that the staff has at least given thought to the idea.
"It hasn't been determined that way yet," said Heater when asked if Rainey might switch to defensive back.
Moving Rainey to defensive back sounds like a great idea. The Gators are weak at that position and Rainey is one of the quickest and fastest players on the team. His football instincts are excellent, so a move this early in his career to defensive back shouldn't set him back too much.
When you think about it, Rainey would likely have more long-term success (shot at the NFL) as a cover man/return specialist. After all, he only weighs about 160 pounds. As for the short term (college), Rainey might have to wait two or three more years to be a starter at running back. Kestahn Moore is a junior and Emmanuel Moody, the USC transfer, will be around for at least the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Even with Moore and Moody out of the picture, I don't see Rainey ever developing into the type of pass blocker needed to make UF's offense fully successful.
Rainey's abilities are too great to be wasted on a career of kick returns, field goal and punt blocks and niche offensive plays. A move to defensive back would benefit both Rainey and Florida. And, besides, Rainey's out-going personality already fits the mold of an all-American cornerback.