NC State's Bradley Chubb wasn't sure what to expect last spring when he moved from linebacker to defensive end.
"At first it was a little hard because [defensive line] coach Nielsen is really detailed," Chubb said initially after the move was made. "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."
It looks like the move has definitely paid off.
Chubb started his sophomore season slow, mainly because his snaps were being limited due to the Wolfpack's early-season success against weaker opponents. But, down the stretch he really turned it on, averaging seven tackles and 1.2 tackles for a loss over his final six games. He totaled 11 tackles and 5.5 sacks, and he finished the year with 69 tackles, second-most on the team, and the most tackles by an ACC defensive lineman.
"He was our most productive defensive lineman," said Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren. "That's the first thing you look at is production."
However, there were still areas Chubb could improve.
"I feel like I played good, but there's always room for improvement," he said. "I feel like I can definitely improve this year."
"The next thing you do is get critical," added Doeren. "You look at things you can work on... making sure you're at the back shoulder of the quarterback instead of the front shoulder. Playing with more consistent... production I guess would be the best thing for him to say. At time he'd get fatigued and have a bad play and let it affect the next.
"Learning how to grow and mature from those kind of things. But, for a first-year starter at a new position, I thought he had a really good year."
Wolfpack fans may not recognize Chubb at first in 2016. Last year he was wearing No. 49, but he has now been awarded the No. 9 jersey, a number that will only be worn defensively be a defensive end at NC State, in honor of Wolfpack great Mario Williams who had the number honored in 2014.
"I always wanted a single-digit, and I went up and asked coach Doeren about getting a single-digit number," said Chubb. "We had a meeting, and he suggested No. 9. Knowing the history behind No. 9, I felt like if coach believed in me that I could be a leader and be a good presence on and off the field I might as well as go for it.
"I accepted it and then talked to coach Nielsen about it. Coach Doeren talked to Mario about it, and everybody was good with it. That's how I got it."
Williams played at NC State from 2003-2006, and he holds the school's career and single-season records in sacks and tackles for a loss. The ACC's first No. 1 overall NFL draft pick, Williams, who played three seasons at NC State, was a first-team All-American in 2005.
The No. 9 jersey that Chubb will be sporting will have a commemorative patch listing Mario's accomplishments at NC State.
Ironically, Chubb didn't know much about Williams' before signing with the Wolfpack.
"Back when he was playing I wasn't really big on college football," said Chubb. "I used to be a big Georgia fan because my dad went there. I didn't really watch too many other schools, just Georgia."
"I haven't [met Williams]. I saw him one time at the spring game, before I came here. He was here [for the spring game]."
What is Chubb focused on this spring?
"I've been watching the games from last year to see what I can work on in spring practice," he said. "That's what I'll be doing."