CLEARWATER – After watching his pass defense struggle first in a preseason game against Jesuit and then in the team’s regular-season opener against Boca Ciega, Countryside coach John Davis had seen enough.
So he tinkered with the lineup.
Last week, the Cougars decided to start standout receiver Todd Shorter, who has scholarship offers from Illinois State and Southern Illinois, at safety. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior responded by intercepting three passes and making a half-dozen tackles in a 38-6 win over Gibbs.
“Todd’s one of our best athletes period,” Davis said. “He has got great instincts back there. He broke on some balls and made three great interceptions.”
Playing defensive back was nothing new for Shorter.
He started at cornerback as a sophomore. Last year, he saw most of his action at receiver, but still played in the secondary in obvious passing situations.
Despite his latest move, Shorter is still expected to play a lot at receiver.
A season ago, he had 50-plus catches.
“He really had a great game,” Davis said.