It has been a season of transition for Charlotte football as players have navigated a strict schedule, injuries and coaching changes.
Redshirt junior Nolan Groulx has kept to the transition theme, changing positions multiple times this season.
Groulx started the season as a wide receiver for Charlotte, but he transitioned to defensive back due to injuries within the team. In recent weeks, he moved back to his natural position of receiver.
Groulx said coaches helped him learn the defensive playbook.
"It was a lot of late nights with Coach Greg Brown to try and get the defense down and different coverages that we are trying to run," said Groulx.
"They, of course, simplified it a lot for me at corner, but it was just a totally different change. Even coming back to offense now, there are a couple of different things at practice that normally I would get down, but I'm messing up a little bit just because it's been a month and a half. It definitely has been a different change, but it's good to see both sides of the ball."
The transition to help the team out in a pinch allowed Groulx to learn valuable lessons that he said benefited him on the offensive side of the ball.
"Yes [time on defense will help offensively], just the depth they play at, where they are breaking on routes and how receivers are breaking on routes. That helps me a bunch both ways. It definitely will help me be more versatile at receiver," said Groulx.
Groulx has recorded 89 yards receiving on seven catches while having 19 total tackles in just three games as a starter.
On Oct. 23, the Charlotte administration decided to go in a new direction with the head coach, firing Will Healy and placing Offensive Line Coach Pete Rossomando in charge of the 49ers for the rest of the season.
"After the coaching shift, the guys were excited to get back to work, just to have this new opportunity, and many of the guys rallied around each other. We had a great Bible study session, which helped us stay positive. We are excited for what the future has in store," said Groulx.
Transferring to Charlotte
Groulx transferred from Wake Forest before the 2021 season. Groulx said he liked the direction they were going in.
"I liked the campus and the people here. It's a great group that has great people around us. I love the Charlotte football program and the growth that we are showing. I know this year hasn't gone the way we want, but we can still turn it around. This program has so much potential, and I want to be someone who helps build it," said Groulx.
Groulx attended Hough High School in Cornelius, N.C., graduating second in receiving yards and fourth in receiving touchdowns in Mecklenburg County history with 4,081 and 39, respectively.
Groulx transferred to the program he grew up around after one year with the Demon Deacons. Groulx said transferring to Charlotte is a homecoming,
"To be back here means my family is right up the road. Most college athletes don't have the privilege of seeing their families. Seeing my family is nice and being able to put on for Charlotte-Mecklenburg County is very cool," said Groulx.
Charlotte has one game left this season and is looking to fix some of the gaps. The team is preparing for a fresh start next season with a new head coach and conference.
Groulx said the team could improve in multiple areas.
"We definitely want to improve upon our execution. I feel like we have these schemes that we go through, and sometimes we won't execute certain schemes out there. Also, we could have more togetherness in our team. When things aren't going too well, we need to be able to respond to adversity better," said Groulx.
Groulx and the 49ers will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 19, when they return home to face the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. The contest will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and will be available to stream on ESPN Networks.