Future defensive end takes notice

Dame Ndiaye was excited to learn that three of the Arizona players he admires have made it to the next level. The defensive end signee is looking forward to stepping on the field at Arizona Stadium and following in their success.

With Arizona's Brooks Reed selected by Houston in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft, followed by teammates Ricky Elmore and D'Aundre Reed finding homes in Green Bay and Minnesota, UA boasts a total of three defensive ends selected in this year's draft.

It's hard not to notice the success being produced on the defensive line at Arizona Stadium, but some are paying attention more than others.

Dame Ndiaye, future defensive end at Arizona, is one of the people following along closely.

"That's pretty exciting," he says of the drafted trio. "It shows how great Coach (Jeff) Hammerschmidt is, what a great coach (Mike) Stoops is, and it shows Coach (Corey) Edmond's ability to turn guys around. When D'Aundre was coming in, he was the same weight as I am now, even smaller."

Ndiaye identifies the group of Arizona defensive end alumni as athletes to look up to. He's noticed particular qualities that he himself strives to adopt.

"Brooks Reed, he has a motor," Ndiaye said. "He played hard every day, and I know that helped his draft stock."

"I've got big shoes to fill; can't let anybody down. I have to stay focused, watch tapes, and learn. They did it before me and I can't let them down. I can't let myself down."

Ndiaye isn't wasting any time; the senior is doing what he can to prepare himself for success as a Wildcat.

"Right now I'm just trying to be as athletic as I can be," he says. "I'm working on my speed by running track, and just keeping my endurance up, staying in shape. When it comes to size and weight, I'll let Coach Ed handle that when I get to Tucson."

When he does arrive in Tucson, Ndiaye already knows who he'll be living with. He and fellow defensive end signee Reggie Gilbert have already decided to room together.

"That's my boy," he says of future teammate and new friend. "Brooks, D'Aundre and Ricky, it seems like they all had a good relationship with each other. That's probably another reason why they succeeded. You have to stay connected with your teammates."

"That's a goal that Reggie and I will have in fulfilling their shoes."

Ndiaye cannot wait to put on a Wildcat jersey and get started on his aspirations.

"I'm reporting June 15th," he says excitingly. "I can't wait. I'm counting down the days."

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