TAMPA — Northwestern has moved running back Solomon Vault to wide receiver for its Outback Bowl matchup with Tennessee.
Vault, who came out of high school as an all-purpose back, spent his true freshman season as a running back, and the majority of his sophomore season in the backfield as well.
However, in an effort to get the ball into Vault's hands more often, Northwestern moved Vault to wide receiver, and the 5-foot-11 sophomore spent all of December practice working as wideout.
Northwestern also needed to get the speedster on the field more in general. Vault was more or less third on Northwestern's running back depth chart, behind star sophomore Justin Jackson and impressive junior Warren Long.
Vault has been effectively used as a receiver out of the backfield at times this year. He made this one-handed catch against Minnesota that got overturned by replay:
Backup quarterback Zack Oliver also hit Vault for a big gain on a wheel route against Purdue.
Vault has also returned kicks for Northwestern this year, notably taking two back for touchdowns, one against Duke and one against Penn State.
Northwestern and Tennessee have kicked off in Tampa. Stay with us for full coverage.