He spent the season at linebacker on the scout team during his redshirt year in hopes of being able to make his presence felt during the 2010 season after UK lost two starting linebackers to graduation.
However, about a month ago, new coach Joker Phillips let Aumiller know he wanted to move him to tight end, a position Aumiller played at Boyle. The Cats lost three senior tight ends off last year's team and have no one returning with significant game experience.
"Position-wise, last year was kind of a thing to look down on now that I have been moved," said Aumiller. "But getting used to everybody's speed and size, the expectations here and the coaches, that actually helped me a lot even though I did move positions. I have just been trying to learn everything I can since I made the move."
He went through his second practice without pads today and admits he's still not sure how the move will work out.
"I think this spring will determine how the move is. I am just kind of starting all over again," Aumiller said. "I have not really ran routes or blocked since high school. Just kind of getting back in the groove and re-starting again."
Of course, a few years ago Phillips moved another former Boyle player — Jacob Tamme — to tight end. Tamme had played receiver for two years before turning into an all-Southeastern Conference tight end. He now plays for the Indianapolis Colts. "Jacob was really a good player and I look up to him. He worked hard and was smart and learned everything. I just have to get in the film room and pay attention all the time and do my best," Aumiller said.
He says learning the blocking technique and proper footwork has been a challenge along with learning the various running plays and pass routes.
"It's just everything combined," he said. He also has a physical challenge awaiting his 228-pound frame.
"You pretty much have to block big defensive ends every time that are 245 to 265 pounds or more and they are usually the most physical players on the field. You have to get physical back with them, which is why I am trying to get stronger," Aumiller said.
"Nick played last year, then everybody else has a head start on me because of already playing tight end. I am just trying to catch up with them, but it's not like there are two three-year starters ahead of me," he said.
Yet Aumiller, who caught 53 passes for 829 yards and 10 touchdowns at Boyle, knows he has a limited time to impress Phillips and offensive coordinator Randy Sanders.
"It's only 12 practices and three scrimmages in the spring and then about 10 or 12 practices in the fall that determine the depth chart. I am just trying to learn everything as fast as possible and catch on and practice hard," he said. "We just started position meetings and that has helped me a lot, but on the field it is a whole different story. I have a lot to learn."
He says after he found out he was making the switch, he was "kind of rusty" in 7-on-7 workouts. "But the thing I picked up the quickest was catching the ball. I did remember how to do that," he said.