By the time signing day came around in February, CU coach Gary Barnett said Hypolite may have outgrown the fullback position, and predicted he'd get a look at defensive line. By the end of summer workouts, Hypolite, who stands 6-foot-1, weighed in at 270 pounds and was headed for defensive tackle.
After six practices, Hypolite found himself running second string, alongside senior John Guydon on the interior defensive line, and in front of fourth-year junior Marcus Jones. For his size, Hypolite has very good athleticism, flexibility and burst. Anyone who's spoken with him can tell he's also exceedingly bright and carries an infectiously positive attitude. While most defensive linemen don't play their first season at Colorado, it appears Hypolite is ready.
Here's what he had to say following Saturday's scrimmage:
BSN: Are you having fun so far?
George Hypolite: Of course I'm having fun. This is a beautiful place, great teammates, a great opportunity. I'm having a lot of fun.
BSN: Did you expect when you got here that you would be playing with the second team already?
GH: I'd say no. I kind of expected to go a little slower. But I guess coach has a lot of faith in me and so do the guys around me. So they threw me into the fire.
I'm trying to never let them down, trying to be there where I'm supposed to be.
BSN: You played fullback and defensive end in high school. What's it like switching to the inside of the defensive line? What's been the biggest challenge?
GH: Even if I had been a fullback in college, it would have still been a whole other animal just because the guys are a lot bigger, guys are a lot faster. They know where they're going. So moving inside – it's same transition as anywhere else. Except now I'm learning new nuances.
Older guys like James Garee and John Guydon are trying to show me little things that help them out when they're on the field. That's probably the hardest thing. The explosion, the reading, all that stuff is easy. But it's the little stuff that'll help you. The tips. Watching the linemen's feet, stuff like that that'll help you get where you've got to go.
BSN: Tell me about you playing basketball in high school. What position did you play?
GH: I was a forward.
BSN: Does that athleticism translate to football?
GH: I think it really does. All the different sports are inter-related. If you play baseball, the timing and hand-eye coordination, that would help in football. In basketball, the explosiveness, being able to change direction quickly, body control, stuff like that helps me a lot when I'm on the field.
BSN: Can you dunk a basketball?
GH: Yeah, I can dunk a little bit.
BSN: It's always good to have a defensive tackle who can dunk a basketball.
GH: (laughs) Yeah.
BSN: How much do you weigh?
GH: I'm around 270.
BSN: How much bigger can you get?
GH: As big as Finny wants me to get. As big as they push me to get. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help my team win the championship. As big as they need me, that's as big as I'll get.