Konz ‘experiment’ working for Flashes

Thomas Gallick

Jameson Konz spent three seasons as a linebacker before moving to tight end. Offensive coordinator A.J. Pratt’s reaction? “Thank God he did.” Daniel R. Doherty | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Whenever a member of the coaching staff talks about senior Jameson Konz switching from linebacker to tight end, they use the term “experiment,” implying two possible outcomes: a bold new discovery or a failure that blows up the lab.

Luckily for the Flashes and their fans, the athletic former linebacker looks just as comfortable on offense as he did in his three previous seasons of defense. Kent State coach Doug Martin, the mad scientist responsible, said the decision to move Konz in the spring has yet to blow up Dix Stadium.

“I think that experiment worked really well in our favor,” Martin said. “Jameson really took to it, which I knew he would. That’s really where we wanted to play him coming out of high school, but we just never had enough depth on defense to do it.”

Konz said he was on board with the plan as soon as Martin told him he would be playing on the opposite side of the ball.

“Right away I was willing to do whatever the coaches wanted me to do,” Konz said. “There was no hesitation. If coach Martin wants me to do something, I’m going to do it because he has the best interest of the team in mind.”

Konz played on the offensive side of the ball before he became a Flash, starting at wide receiver at Uniontown Lake High School while also playing defense.

Kent State offensive coordinator A.J. Pratt said Martin made the decision to move Konz after seeing the increased depth the Flashes would have at linebacker this year.

“(Martin) came in one day and said, ‘Guys, we’re going to move Jameson Konz to tight end,'” Pratt said. “‘Defense, you don’t have any say. And offense, you don’t have any say,’ and thank God he did.”

Pratt, who is also the tight ends coach, said Konz was a good fit at tight end because the coaches like to use athletic, finesse players at the position, as opposed to big bruisers.

“Our tight end in our offense isn’t a typical slam-you-in-the- mouth, big-body guy,” Pratt said. “Our tight end is kind of a hybrid player. He lines up in the backfield as a tight end, he lines up as a wide receiver. We move him around a lot and he allows us to get personnel advantages over linebackers and safeties.”

So while the idea to move a player from defense to offense may seem a bit unorthodox, to the coaches, the move was as obvious a breakthrough as the apple falling on Newton’s head.

Konz is big, but not unwieldy, fast and definitely not weak. He is a perfect prototype of a tight end in the Kent State offensive system, and he is destined to make a huge impact this season.

Konz said while he will miss being able to lay big hits on the opposition, the ability to be a game-changer on offense more than makes up for it.

“I’d say the most exciting part is just the ability to go out there and make plays,” Konz said. “I enjoy getting the ball in my hands and helping the team win any way that I can.”

Although the coaching staff said the Konz experiment is working, another underlying storyline to his season will be his attempt to prove himself as a potential future