High Expectations For Chubb

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Bradley Chubb arrived at NC State as a defensive end before spending all fall at linebacker, a position he was very familiar with.

"My dad played it and my brother played it so I thought I might as well play it," said Chubb, laughing. "I played linebacker my junior year and then all of our bigger kids in high school graduated so they moved me down to end [as a senior]."

He played sparingly as a true freshman, totaling four tackles in 11 games. He began spring practice at weakside linebacker where he was competing to replace seniors Rodman Noel and Brandon Pittman, but the coaching staff chose to move him to defensive end a few practices in.

"That's what we recruited him initially to do," Doeren said of Chubb playing defensive end. "He has great energy. He's very tough. He has a high-motor... quick-twitch."

Chubb's older brother, Brandon, is a senior linebacker at Wake Forest. He remembers when Doeren notified the family of the move.

"Coach Doeren called our parents and said he thinks Brad would play the most at defensive end," he said. "He wants the best 11 on the field, and he thinks it's a way Brad can get on the field. Brad accepted the change. Now to see Brad become what he's becoming, it's amazing. I'm excited to watch him this season."

"At first it was a little hard because [defensive line] coach Nielsen is really detailed," Bradley said of the move. "I had to work on my details once I first got to the position. After I polished those up it's just been attacking and reading everything.

"I feel like the transition has been a little easier than I thought it would be."

At 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, Chubb has good size for the position and plays with aggression. He has the tools needed to be a quality pass-rusher and concluded spring practice lining up with the starters.

"Bradley Chubb was probably one of the best surprises of the spring on the defensive line," said Doeren.

Brandon isn't surprised to see his younger brother end up playing with his hand on the ground.

"Brad was always a bigger boy... he had a bigger frame," said Brandon. "He puts on weight easily, and I think he's a natural defensive end. He's 6'5 and probably 260 right now. He could always run and has speed... he used to play running back. That just helps with him getting off the ball.

"At defensive end in this league you have to be able to contain people like Marquise Williams and Brad Kaaya. Him being able to pass-rush and get to the quarterback is also a great reason why it fits him so well. He has the ability to move like a linebacker, but he can get up the field and press offensive tackles like a defensive end. That's what makes Brad such a special player."

Months into the move Brandon admits he still has adjustments to make.

"My eye control [was the biggest adjustment]," said Chubb. "At linebacker you're standing up so you see everything. At d-end with your hand on the ground you have to look at the offensive tackle and pick your head up. Getting back used to that, it was a little hard."

Helping with the transition has been the reps he gets in practice against NC State's offensive line.

"It's really good," he stated. "We have good guys like Joe Thuney, and Tyler Jones is supposed to be really good this year. Alex Barr has experience and Tony Adams... all those people. Going against good competition everyday makes you better.

"With me, Mike Rose, Kentavius [Street], and B.J. [Hill] I feel like we're one of the best d-lines in the ACC so going against us is going to make them better and it's definitely going to make us better."

Chubb is one of several young players on NC State's team trying to impact, and that's certainly the case on the defensive line where he is close with his classmates.

"Me, [Kentavius] Street, Deshaywn [Middleton], and Justin [Jones], we were all roommates for the first year," he said. "We're real close. I'll go to Street for anything. I can go to Deshaywn for anything. I can got to Justin for anything, and they'll say the same about me.

"B.J. [Hill] is just down the hall so I can go down to B.J.'s room. I went over plays with Street and Justin all the time and Deshaywn... so we're real close."

That youth extends to the other positions on defense, and overall it is a unit that Chubb feels is deep with talented playmakers who could potentially break out this year.

"Justin Jones and definitely Pharoah McKever... I feel like he's one of the guys that's a little undersold," he stated. "Darian Roseboro... hopefully we get big things from Emmanuel Olenga and one of our other freshmen, Tyrone Riley.

"At linebacker, Airius [Moore] and Jerod [Fernandez], even though those guys have big spotlights, but coming back is M.J. [Salahuddin]. Our whole secondary is experienced, and we have backups like Mike Stevens and everybody."

"Even when the starters aren't on the field we're still going to be good," he added. "The whole first, second, and third units... just watch out for us."

NC State is coming off an 8-5 season and expectations are high. For Chubb, the goal is simple.

"[The goal] is to win," said Chubb. "That first year we went 3-9, and we improved last year so we just want to keep improving. Win 10 games... just keep that train going. Keep the winning going."

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