Bryce Quigley is presented an academic award after San Diego State's season. He recently joined the Lions as an undrafted rookie. (San Diego State athletics)
Allen Park — Bryce Quigley successfully made the transition from tight end to left tackle at San Diego State, but now he has to change positions again.
The Lions signed Quigley as an undrafted free agent last month and think his best fit is as a guard, so he’ll have to adjust to his new assignment quickly when training camp begins Monday.
“It’s not too much different than tackle,” Quigley said. “They work together. There’s some slight difference, but I’m still learning offensive line as a whole. So I’ll just keep learning.”
Quigley, who earned All-Mountain West honors his two years at tackle, could have been a late-round pick in May’s draft, but he had left foot surgery in January to correct a Lisfranc injury that cost him the chance to impress teams during pre-draft workouts.
Quigley suffered the injury during the Aztecs’ final regular season game, a 45-19 loss to UNLV. Resting or having surgery immediately after that game could’ve helped Quigley reach his NFL dream sooner, but he wanted to play in the bowl game with his teammates for the past four years.
“I just didn’t want to go out on that note,” he said. “I wanted to finish off the season the right way with all the guys I’d been with together for a long time.”
The Aztecs won the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl 49-24 over Buffalo.
Quigley said his agent spoke to the Lions before he worked out for the team in June. And the Lions were lucky he still was available because he worked out for the New York Giants the day before he came to Detroit.
When training camp begins, Quigley will be behind the learning curve compared to the rookies who arrived in May. To earn a roster spot, Quigley has to beat Rodney Austin, Garrett Reynolds and others for the final interior offensive line job. And he’ll have to do it while learning a new position in his first NFL training camp.
“It’s a brand new experience for me, so I’m not sure what to expect,” he said. “I’m just really excited to be here.”