Florida State football kicks off on Labor Day at Pitt. Tomahawk Nation previews the season up until that date by analyzing every key player and other issues facing the 2013 Seminoles.
#51 Giorgio Newberry | RS-Sophomore | Tight End| 6-6 280
Background via Seminoles.com
PERSONAL: A four-star defensive end who enjoyed a stellar senior season recording 83 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and eight sacks...ranked the No. 10 strongside defensive end by Rivals.com and No. 18 defensive end by Scout.com...rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports...named first team All-Area defensive end by TCPalm...finished his junior season with 40 tackles and three sacks while also garnering first team All-Area honors...No. 17 on Bill Buchalter's Florida Top 100 for the Orlando Sentinel...member of the Florida Times-Union's Super 75 where he was rated as the No. 3 defensive end...No. 54 on the Sporting News Top 100...No. 27 on the ESPNU 150 and No. 3 overall athlete...selected to the Under Armour All-American team...played right tackle, left tackle and even some center in high school and did the same in the Under Armour All-American game despite being projected to play defense in college...No. 67 on Tom Lemming's MaxPreps.com Top 100...rated No. 25 in the Gainesville Sun's top 50 seniors list for the state of Florida...No. 19 on the SuperPrep Florida 110...chosen by ESPN760 as the No. 3 player in the 10 players to watch in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast...coached by Chris Hutchings...November 26, 1991.
Giorgio Newberry came to Florida State as a highly ranked defensive end. After a red shirt season, he played in 12 games in 2012. Despite the early loss of star defensive end Brandon Jenkins , Newberry rarely saw the field. During his few snaps, Newberry rarely impressed. He developed one move -- a bull rush. It was ineffective. It was clear in the spring game that Newberry had not improved much, as he could not generate pressure against 2nd/3rd string tackles. Freshman Demarcus Walker is believed to have passed him on the depth chart, as well.
Enter the summer/fall of tight end transfers and injuries. Florida State, down to one scholarship TE, decided to move Newberry to help fill the void.
Florida State has had success with shifting players to different positions. Cam Erving (defensive tackle to offensive tackle) and Xavier Rhodes (receiver to cornerback) are two who stick out.
But Judging how the move will work for Newberry is difficult.
That's not to say that Newberry won't excel in his new position. He does have size and strength. He moves well off the line on occasion, firing out of his stance. As a blocking TE, those are important attributes. It may be that Newberry excels when he knows where the play is going, as he will on offense.
But this move was made out of necessity, not out of some belief that Newberry will turn into an all-conference player.
The coaches shouldn't try to overload him with nuances of the offense. He needs to be able to lineup and block the guy in front of him in short yardage situations.
Blocking short yardage is where Newberry is most needed and is most likely to contribute. Do not expect him to catch many passes this fall. While he says he can catch, he looks awkward running routes and catches the ball with his body. That's really to be expected, because he's playing a new position. Any touches he gets this year should be in either garbage time or to catch a defense by surprise.
If Newberry can step in on such short notice and provide solid short yardage blocking, this move will be a success. Hopefully Newberry can improve throughout the year. If so, FSU might have found the perfect spot for a player that would have otherwise been stuck in limbo.
Giorgio Newberry Interview: August 8 (via Florida State Seminoles)