Give redshirt freshman Giorgio Newberry credit. The defensive end is more than willing to talk about his rocky transition from high school to the college level of football.
Asked about what he had to learn as he redshirted in 2011, Newberry responded "a lot of things, the whole playbook, everything."
"It was just so fast," he continued. "It was a big transition for me."
Now a year into his development, Newberry says he's ready to contribute to what many argue to be the best defensive end segment in the country. Standing at 6-foot-6 and 273 pounds, Newberry described his high school game as limited to bull-rushing. After a year learning from position coach D.J. Eliot and segment-mates Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner and Cornelius Carradine, Newberry now claims versatility.
"I try to be a little of both, speed and power," he explained. "You can't just settle on one thing because you have to keep the offensive tackle thinking, keep him on his toes. So I try to do half and half."
With the 2012 recruiting class headlined by defensive ends, Newberry could be considered the forgotten man at his position. On signing day, many projected super-recruit Mario Edwards Jr. to be an instant-impact player, with fellow freshman Chris Casher not far behind. But for Newberry, motivation comes from within more than outside chatter and attention.
"I don't really have a chip on my shoulder," he said. "I need to do something. I just can't be content all my life. I want to develop. I want to take that next step on the field."
Werner said the biggest lesson for Newberry was how to be mentally prepared on the field, a lesson that sunk in over the group's time together in the summer.
"He learned a lot from us last year," said Werner. "We were doing a lot of summer workouts with defensive end drills on our own, and the veterans taught him how to set his mind right. Coach is praising him a lot."
Newberry leaned on all three of the top defensive ends last season, but said his career most resembles Carradine's. Newberry watched hours of Carradine's film, noting the former JUCO standout came to Florida State a raw product. But as Newberry watched film of more recent games and workouts, he's seen Carradine form into an "unstoppable" player.
Newberry will have more time to make that type of leap in the rotation with all four years of eligibility yet to go. As for 2012, his personal goals are simple.
"Try to make a difference," he said. "Try to keep a nice rotation that way when the first (defensive) ends are on the field and come off to get a little air, it won't make a difference."
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