HAMMOND — In an effort to help Jeremy Meyers earn significant playing time, Southeastern Louisiana coach Mike Lucas has moved the redshirt freshman from quarterback to safety.

Lucas announced the position change Saturday at Southeastern’s football media day.

“He’s a very athletic young man and very intelligent,” Lucas said. “The numbers that he has put up in the weight room in our offseason program have been amazing. For us to leave him standing on the sideline as the third-string or fourth-string quarterback is just a waste of talent. We’ve got to get him on the field.”

Several bigger college programs recruited Meyers, a former St. Michael star, to play defensive back even though the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder played very little defense in high school.

When he committed to Southeastern in January 2010, Meyers said Southeastern’s promise to give him a shot at quarterback played a significant part in his decision.

But the Lions appear to be in good shape at quarterback with junior Brian Young listed as the starter and junior Nathan Stanley, an Ole Miss transfer, and redshirt freshman Jordan Barnett battling for the No. 2 spot. Lucas said Meyers, who went through his first practice at safety Saturday morning, has embraced the chance to make an impact at his new position.

“He is a great kid with a great attitude,” Lucas said. “He just said, ‘Yes sir, whatever I have to do to help the team.”

In the last of his four seasons as St. Michael’s starting quarterback, Meyers completed 198 of 298 passes for 2,742 yards and 30 touchdowns with only eight interceptions.

His athleticism translated to basketball and baseball as well, as Meyers received The Advocate’s annual Athlete of the Year award following his senior year.

Lucas said the move to safety is a permanent one.

“I don’t think he’s missed a workout since he’s been here,” Young said of Meyers. “He’s got great leadership and puts in all the time and effort. I feel like he could have been a good quarterback, but he taken the news it in stride.

“He’s going to be a great safety, too.”

On the depth chart Southeastern distributed Saturday, Meyers is listed as the No. 2 strong safety behind freshman Marice Sutton.

Southeastern opens the season Sept. 3 against Tulane in the Superdome.