"Probably just conditioning and body wise," Ippolito said. "This is my third year, so I have had two years getting ready. Also, knowing the game more.
"When I came here, it was all iffy from high school to college. Coach Casteel is an amazing coach and taught me everything."
Ippolito will see his playing time at one of the outside linebacker spots, but he has gone through the process of learning how to play each one.
"Coach Casteel usually knows where to put us," Ippolito said. "I came in as a MIKE. All of our linebackers need to know every position, so I never really thought I would play a specific linebacker position. It’s more of just if the coach puts me somewhere, I need to perform."
Casteel has not hidden the fact that he has been extra hard on Ippolito, but he also likes how the linebacker has responded.
"When you mess up the coaches are going to be on you and you don’t want them on you, so you are thinking ‘alright, I messed up that time,’ but the next time you get that play, you aren’t going to mess up," Ippolito said.
"That is what I have been trying to go off of. They can get on you, sometimes they just talk to you, either way it doesn’t matter as long as you get it right next time."
Being yelled at is also much easier to handle when you have friends to look to, as Ippolito does with numerous former teammates such as Davonte' Neal.
"It’s nice because they are people I am more comfortable with, but for me I don’t pay attention to it," Ippolito said. "If there is another player or coach, I am going to get to know him the same way. It kind of reminds me of the high school days though."
Ippolito is unsure how much he will play on Friday, but is willing to accept whatever outcome there may be.
"Right now it is really up to the coaches," he said. "You just have to go out every day and play your hardest. If you get it, you get it. If you don’t, you accept it and what they choose for you to do."