Wayne's World

Wayne Dorsey has yet to play a down in the Southeastern Conference. But anywhere he turns, be it in a local restaurant or throughout the 24-hour news cycle, his name is mentioned when previewing a deep and talented Ole Miss defensive line rotation.

Dorsey, a five-star signee according to Scout.com, was the crown jewel of head coach Houston Nutt's 2010 recruiting class.

He filled an immediate need following the departures of Marcus Tillman Greg Hardy and Emmanuel Stephens.When he arrived for the first day of spring practices in April, he was quickly cast into the starting lineup at defensive end opposite the highly-decorated Kentrell Lockett.

Open a Lindy's or Athlon, magazines whose sole purpose is to project the finish of the SEC, and he's widely considered an impact newcomer. So Dorsey welcomes the attention, the interview requests and the Twitter followers.

This is what he signed up for.

Wayne Dorsey

"I wouldn't say pressure. Pressure is not a word I would use," he said. "I would say it would be the smartest thing for me to do – to acclimate myself to everything that's going on and get on the same thing with everybody else. I wouldn't say pressure. This is what I've been doing for a long time."

Dorsey, who weighs in at an enormous 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, took his lumps during the spring. There were adjustments he needed to make, specifically in his knowledge of the intricate defensive playbook of coordinator Tyrone Nix.

Of course, the speed of the game was different, too.

He may have been the No. 1 junior college recruit at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where he racked up 30 tackles and 5.0 quarterback sacks in just six games at defensive end, but suddenly he was a member of college football's most recognized conference.

The playing field, one he'd dominated at almost every level, was even.

"The system, number one, and the defense; I hadn't been in a four-man front since prep school," he said. "Number two was the physical nature of the SEC, and also the effort that needs to be brought every day. Those were the big three things."

Dorsey is his own worst critic. He can't tolerate mistakes, unless he learns from them and gets it right the next time. He has no patience for anything short of his best possible performance. He wants to be great.

At times as spring rolled along, his frustration was visible. But once he shifted his focus to the bigger picture, absorbing the system little by little, he began showing improvement.

"I couldn't say it was one day, but in spurts, I felt like I got it at different times," Dorsey said. "I would make a mistake and would be mad at myself, looking to correct it. I'd get it again.

Wayne Dorsey

"You need to know formations and what to expect. The best thing for a defensive end to have is to be prepared for whatever he may see. Someone who's not prepared for what's coming for them is prepared for failure. That's probably the biggest thing, I'd say."

The summer has been an extension of what he learned in those grueling spring months.

He's using the strength and conditioning program to, obviously, get stronger and faster. Mostly, though, he's establishing himself as a veteran, despite the fact he hasn't experienced the battles he'll soon face on any given Saturday.

He has tips he can pass along to the freshmen and sophomores. This isn't his first rodeo. He's played football for as long as he can remember.

"Every day is a learning experience," Dorsey said. "I take every day's lessons and build upon them. I've gotten more mental reps and some things I wasn't seeing in the beginning, I'm seeing now. Just like in summer camp, every day is going to be a learning experience.

"Hopefully, at the end, I'll be a better player than I was in the beginning."

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