Airius Moore worked his way into the rotation last year as a true freshman at middle linebacker, but this season he's listed as the starter at the other linebacker position in NC State's 4-2-5 scheme, weakside linebacker.
For Moore, it's not that much different.
"At middle I had to make more calls," he said. "The big difference though is you're more out in space at weakside... you have more coverage responsibilities, but it's still pretty much the same. It's still linebacker."
Moore grew up in Beavercreek (OH) starring at linebacker, but he also made a name for himself on the hardwood where he was a star point guard and averaged 15 points, 4.3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game as a senior. He believes his mental approach to playing point guard helps him on the gridiron.
"I'm sure basketball transfers over," said Moore. "At point guard you have to know what everyone is doing and that's what I try to do. At WILL and MIKE, I think you need to know what everyone should be doing at the same time.
"That's been the biggest thing I've worked on, just knowing the entire defense. I really wanted to focus more on learning the entire defense than just weakside because it would make me become a better overall football player. I wanted to learn the defense better and the formations... it's really good to know what the other linebacker is doing, what the d-line is doing."
Playing weakside linebacker will also allow the Wolfpack coaches to take advantage of Moore's athleticism. NC State likes to use their weakside linebacker in blitz packages, and head coach Dave Doeren believes getting to the quarterback is one of Moore's biggest strengths.
"He's a very good dogger," said Doeren. "It's probably one of his greatest skillsets, how he is on blitzes. He's really good... really quick-twitch.
"Airius, his skillset, he's really explosive. He's one of the most quick-twitch guys we have. His lateral movement skills are going to serve him well in our pressure packages. There is some good depth there now too."
"For me, I've really wanted to work on my coverage and pass-rushing moves," added Moore. "I think I left my chest open a lot, and I wanted to work on my hands."
Moore is already one of the most experienced linebackers on the team. He pointed out that a true freshman has caught his eye at the position.
"I think all the linebackers are doing really well," said Moore. "In my room, Riley [Nicholson] is doing really well. It's cool to see him develop from the spring to now.
"Riley is tough and fast. He's physical and uses his hands well. Everyone in the room are good players, but he stands out."
What has helped all of NC State's linebackers is the talent they get to face each day in practice. From tailbacks Matt Dayes and Shadrach Thornton to tight ends like Jaylen Samuels and David Grinnage, Moore and the rest of the linebackers get tested each day.
"It helps a lot," Moore said when asked about facing the Wolfpack offense. "When we go against each other we're always trying to make each other get better.
"I like to go against Matt Dayes. He's a really dynamic player. He can run routes, block, and make people miss. I think he's a really good player and running back."
NC State is just days away from the season opener against Troy, and Moore believes the defense is working to be better than last season.
"I feel like we're working hard and getting to the ball," he said. "We need to keep working on the body of work, how to get better individually and that would make us better as a team.
"I think we have a chance to be really good."