Alabama's Jones shifts from left tackle to center

JOHN ZENOR AP Sports Writer Published:

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones opened spring practice at a new position.

Jones lined up at center instead of left tackle when the defending national champion Crimson Tide opened on Friday with a single practice before spring break.

Three-year starting center William Vlachos (VLAY-HOS) is gone. Sophomore Cyrus Kouandjio (kwan-RO) is expected to take over at left tackle, where he saw action as a freshman before a season-ending knee injury against Tennessee.

Jones played every position on the line last season except right guard, where he started 25 games over the previous two seasons. Coach Nick Saban stressed that this is not an experiment and says he thinks Jones will flourish in the new role.

Jones is set to head to Nicaragua for his annual spring break mission trip.