Dustin Bills led La Vergne’s offense as the team’s quarterback in 2011.
In 2012, Bills will be asked to lead the other side of the ball.
Bills has relinquished the role of signal caller and will be a starting linebacker this season in a move to improve the linebacker corps, while allowing C.J. Fore to take over at quarterback.
“He’s aggressive by nature; he’s physical by nature,” La Vergne coach Stanton Stevens said. “That doesn’t sound like the type of guy you want at quarterback, especially with the offense we run.
“But Dustin is a football player, and a winner. Those kind of kids are hard to keep off the field. Sometimes a winner gives you the best opportunity to win at the quarterback position.”
It may also give the Wolverines their best chance to win with Bills as a linebacker.
Bills helped answer the Wolverines’ biggest question entering spring football by taking over at one of the linebacker spots. He played safety last season. Stevens said Bills often moved up in the box and made tackles while playing safety.
Bills threw for 593 yards on 46 of 107 passing in 2011. He’s hoping that what he learned at quarterback will transfer to defense.
“The quarterback is always reading the (linebacker),” Bills said. “If you make one wrong step they can throw it behind you and score a touchdown.”
Bills will be joined at the inside linebacker position by L.J. Dismuke. The two should provide a physical presence and perhaps improve a defense that gave up a District 7-AAA worst 28.6 points a game this past season
“This year we need leaders (on defense),” Bills said. “We need to lead. The mentality at La Vergne has been (crap) the past few years I’ve been here — even me. I’m not taking me out of it.
“We haven’t been winning. But I think we’ve changed that this year. This year has been different. I think I like that.”
Bills ackowledged that the expectations are low for La Vergne this season. He’d like to leave La Vergne after the season with its team on an upswing.
“Coach Stevens has built his team,” Bills said. “He’s built his team.”