After parting ways after leading the Youngstown State (FCS - OH) program for five seasons, Eric Wolford took his first NFL coaching job as the assistant offensive line coach with the San Francisco 49ers.
While there, Wolford learned something important about the NFL, and it proved to be something he'd take with him to his next stop - as the offensive line coach on Will Muschamp's staff at South Carolina.
That lesson revolved around how important versatility is in making an NFL roster as an offensive lineman. If you're an interior offensive lineman especially, Wolford learned it would be very beneficial to make sure his guys learn both guard and center - and more importantly, how to snap and be an efficient run and pass blocker after that snap as well. So at South Carolina, Wolford is making sure his interior guys can also play center.
"I think I owe it to all of my guys that play inside, I owe it to all those guys to make sure they can snap a football. Someday, when they're trying to make a professional football team, they're going to be asked to play multiple positions, and the first time that they try to do that, I don't want their experience to be, 'Here I am, trying to make the team at the highest level, and I've never snapped a football in a game or in practice.'"
Wolford then reflects on his first game coaching on Monday Night Football, and they'd only dressed seven offensive lineman, and the impression that left on him.
"You've got to be able to show that your versatile, and I feel like that's my responsibility as a coach."
Another note I found interesting came around the 5:34 mark, where Wolford explains that because they go after a certain type of offensive lineman, other SEC schools are swooping in after the Gamecocks offer to offer them roles on the defensive line, which is often more attractive to a lot of kids.