Florida State defensive end Giorgio Newberry came in to Florida State with very high expectations. He was rated as one of the Top-150 prospects coming out of high school and was a star in the Under Armour Game his senior year. However, since he's set foot on campus in Tallahassee, Newberry hasn't made an impact. He's switched positions three times, including a move to the offensive side of the ball in 2013. He moved back to the defensive side of the ball in 2014, and he didn't make much of an impact. In his first four years at Florida State Newberry only recorded 14 tackles.
Now, for the first time in his career, Newberry's ready to make an impact for the team. He's in the rotation at the defensive end this season, and played quite a bit during the Texas State game. Newberry was particularly effective when he moved inside with Demarcus Walker on long passing downs. Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher was very proud of how far Newberry has come during the fall.
"I think he just decided he wanted to be a football player," Fisher said. "Sometimes you've got to -- it's like I say, you can coach your kids and teach your kids all you want, when they walk out the door of their house, they've got to decide what they want to be. You can coach a guy all you want. When he walks in between the white lines, he's got to decide what he wants to be. Sometimes that just takes guys longer than others, and I'm very proud of what he's doing right now."
Newberry is back at the position he was recruited at originally, and he said that's helped him settle in and pick it back up.
"I originally got recruited for d-end, played it in high school," Newberry said. "Played it in my early years in college. Basically had a little more experience at d-end, and I basically just put it together. Go out there and play ball."
Defensive Tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample came in with Newberry, and he has been very impressed with the effort that he's put in to make an impact this season.
"Alot of players realize that this is their last year but not a lot of players really take action," Lawrence-Stample said. "It shows that not only did he realize he was able to really sum up enough courage and guts to be like, ‘Ok, I’m a fifth year senior, I know I might be low on the depth chart, but I’m going to work my ass off to try to really, really contribute regardless of if I’m kind of being seen as a vital player right now. I’m going to do whatever it takes to try to get there."
Coach Fisher never gave up on Newberry, and he said it made all the difference in the world to him.
"He just never gave up on me," Fisher said. "There’s some players that come in college, they’re here and they just leave. Me, he just pushed me because he knows I can do a lot better. I can really help the team. He stayed on you."
At 6-foot-7, 290-pounds Newberry has the size to be an effective defensive lineman, but it was always a mental issue with him. Now that he's finally gotten down to business he's got a chance to make up for the time he lost and be an asset to the coaching staff that would not give up on him.