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Fiesta Bowl 2013: Justin Tuggle glad he made switch from quarterback to linebacker

Last season, Justin Tuggle had a decision to make about his future at Kansas State, and he chose to switch to the defensive side of the ball.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

This time last season, Justin Tuggle had to make a decision that would forever change his football-playing future with Kansas State. Tuggle came to Kansas State as a junior college quarterback transfer, but he would be stuck behind Collin Klein for the final two years of his career. With Klein still having a year of eligibility left, Tuggle knew he would see very little playing time in 2012.

Tuggle made the tough decision to switch from quarterback to linebacker, and that decision has paid off not only for Tuggle, but also for the team. Asked about the move, Tuggle said he felt it was the right decision:

"I'm definitely happy I made the switch," Tuggle said. "At this time last year I was happy for the team. I wasn't happy with my position on the team and what I was doing. I wanted to help out. I feel like this year I have played a good role and helped out a lot. It feels good."

Tuggle has emerged as one of the better linebackers on the team, and sees regular action in the Wildcats' 4-2-5 defense. He was able to see action due to picking up the defense so well.

Tuggle had a season-defining play in the team's win against then-No. 6 Oklahoma early in the year. He was able to sack Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones near the goal line, who proceeded to fumble the ball, and fellow linebacker Jarell Childs picked up the ball and scored a touchdown. That play gave Kansas State momentum to defeat the Sooners.

All has not been great for Tuggle, as he has just 18 tackles this year although three sacks. However, he has made enough plays to continue earning playing time this year, plus he has earned praise from head coach Bill Snyder.

When Kansas State takes the field Jan. 3 against the Oregon Ducks, Tuggle will be right there on the field and will be a key player in trying to slow down Oregon's running game.

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