Brandon Lindsey had to move around a little bit before he became a regular fixture on Pitt's defense. Lindsey initially came to Pitt as a running back out of Aliquippa, but quickly moved to the defensive side of the ball.
From there, he floated between inside and outside linebacker in the 4-3 scheme. After the spring of his redshirt sophomore year in 2009, he was moved to the defensive line. By the next year, he found himself in the starting lineup. He led the team with 10 sacks in 2010, on his way to All-Big East honors, after moving in to replace the injured Greg Romeus.
Lindsey played behind Jabaal Sheard's defensive end spot, but with the injury to Romeus, was the next best player in line. Scouts have already noted that despite not playing what they feel is his natural side of the defensive line, he was quite productive.
"When they see that I was playing out of position, when I moved back, I was productive," Lindsey said. "They just see that I was versatile. I just play. They say I should be a stand-up (rusher), but even as a 4-3 d-end, I shouldn't be playing the position I was playing."
Lindsey started those remaining 11 games at that defensive end spot in 2010. In 2011, he started off as the stand up end—or outside linebacker. He started a total of four games at that hybrid position, and nine at defensive line in the 3-4 alignment. Though he fell just short of his 2010 numbers—8.5 sacks and 54 tackles, including 11 for losses—scouts seem to have taken note that he's at least been productive at every spot wherever he's been. He earned Big East Player of the Week honors after forcing three turnovers in the regular season finale against Syracuse—two forced fumbles and an interception.
"It just shows the versatility I have," Lindsey said. "I can put my hand in the dirt. I can stand up. I can drop into coverage. Hopefully the teams will see that."
Lindsey admits he was not pleased with his performance at the NFL Combine, but feels he improved based on his performance at Pitt's Pro Day.
"I feel like I did that," Lindsey said. "I feel like I accomplished everything I got to accomplish. It's just a wait-and-see process. Hopefully, there's a team that will bring me in to learn more about me, get a better feel for me. I improved in everything I wanted to improve in. I improved in my 40. I improved on the drills I did. I feel I did well on the drills (Monday). From the feedback I got, I feel like I did well. I feel like I got comfortable with everything.
"I ran a 4.7 flat in the 40. I did better in the broad jump. I did a 9-10 in the broad jump. I did better here than I did in the combine. I didn't do better in the L cone. I did a 4.28 at the Combine. I think I did a 4.35 here."
One thing that's unique about Lindsey is that he hails from Aliquippa—a school familiar with producing NFL players; Mike Ditka, Sean Gilbert, Ty Law and Darrelle Revis, Jon Baldwin and Tommie Campbell as of recent. He doesn't feel the pressure to be the next NFL player to come out of Aliquippa as much as he feels the comfort in asking some of those former players like Baldwin and Campbell about how their Combine and Pro Day experiences helped them.
"I'm excited about the process and coming from Aliquippa, it doesn't make it that much harder," Lindsey said. "I'm just excited for the opportunity to be the next one. Hopefully, I don't let my city down. I talked with JB, just picking his brain about the 40. He ran track in high school, and I never ran track. Just picking his brain to see what I could do to work on my 40 time. I talked with Tommie Campbell to see what I should do. He gave me a lot of feedback."