The Cal Poly football team took a step ahead of a game this year after placing Cordell Webb, 2004-05 quarterback, into the cornerback position.
Webb, a junior, started three games last season in the quarterback position, scoring two touchdowns 21 for 38 passing.
“Having a quarterback on defense is like cheating because he is a step ahead of everyone else,” senior Anthony Garnett said. “Quarterbacks have to know everything that is going on, on the field.”
Webb transferred to Cal Poly his sophomore year from Saint Mary’s College of California after their football program was dropped.
However, he said he was happy with the transition to Cal Poly and his new cornerback position.
“They (Saint Mary’s) told us it was budget issues and so they had to drop football,” said Webb. “But I think there are a lot better athletes here than we had at Saint Mary’s and I think the coaches are more experienced than at Saint Mary’s.”
After Webb was moved to cornerback, coach Rich Ellerson, also placed him as a the second-string quarterback. This transition gave Webb a significant amount of time on the field.
“He is anxious to get back over to defense. Obviously he wants to be in a position where he is on the field most of the time,” Ellerson said. “The guy who suffers the most in this position is Cordell because he would like to be on the field more, but he provides a great resiliency because he can play numerous positions. The more position flexibility a guy has, the more chances he has to play.”
Webb said playing quarterback requires a higher level of mental concentration than cornerback, which required him to learn formations, alignments, and game plans.
“Defense is more free and out there. It’s a little bit easier on the mind,” Webb said.
Fellow team members said Webb’s knowledge of multiple positions is an important asset to the team, which challenges them on a daily basis.
“I prefer him at defense because he knows all the plays from last year so it is a challenge to practice together,” Garnett said. “To make the transition from offense to defense is hard and he is making the transition really well.”
Ellerson said Webb’s knowledge of multiple positions has been a great advantage, but only time will tell where they will place him next season.
“If he is one of our best 11 guys, hopefully we can give him a chance to be one of our first-string guys,” Ellerson said. “But it depends where they will be the most intuitive and what will fit their talents the best.”