Change Is Good

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State freshman Drew Davis has settled in nicely at defensive end after moving from linebacker.

Drew Davis enrolled at NC State in 2012 after a stellar career at Raleigh (NC) Broughton High School. A three-time all-conference selection, Davis had over 150 tackles, four forced fumbles and an interception as a senior.

He redshirted in 2012, playing primarily weakside linebacker and emerged out of spring practice as the backup at the position. However, a few games into the season the 6-foot-3, 232-pounder was asked to make a move.

"Coach approached me about moving to defensive end the week before Central Michigan," said Davis. "At first it was a big adjustment, putting my hand down and learning the different keys, but I've really enjoyed the change. I love my new defensive line coach. I'm happy with it."

What's been the biggest adjustment so far?

"My keys are different, and I've had to learn different calls," he stated. "I knew a little about what the defensive line was doing when I was at linebacker, but I had to learn more."

It has also helped Davis having some upperclassmen willing to help his development.

"All of them have been really helpful," said Davis. "Cato-Bishop, Art Norman, and Mike Rose have really helped me out a lot. They've given me tips when I've done things wrong. I've appreciated all the help."

Davis has played in seven games, totaling 18 tackles, three tackles for a loss, and one pass breakup. His snaps have fluctuated as he's providing depth now with Cato-Bishop back from injury.

One change NC State has made up front recently is allowing their defensive ends to rush from a two-point stance.

"I had to graduate to two-point," said Nielsen, laughing. "I thought I wasn't ready at first to do that, but now that I've learned two-point that's definitely helped a lot. I played a little oaf it against UNC and Duke... it's comfortable coming from linebacker.

"It's something we can do depending on what's asked of us. It allows us to see the backfield when teams move around a lot. We can see what's going on easier and know what to key in on."

Also helping Davis with his position change has been energetic defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen.

"He's great," said Davis. "Over the past couple of weeks I feel my technique and fundamentals are really improving because of him. He's a great coach. I'm so happy to have moved to defensive end where I can work with him."

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