Wynn Finds Inspiration in Position Change

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Wide receiver to defensive end is not a common position change for a third-year college player, but Rutgers' Jawaun Wynn is making the best of it. Struggling in two years at receiver, Wynn will use his speed and athleticism at the R position this season and discussed his progress at in a new role.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers sophomore Jawaun Wynn is hoping that his spring position change will be a golden ticket to playing time after redshirting for a year and not playing most of last season.

Now at defensive end after two years at wide receiver, the former Piscataway Township star is confident in his abilities at an unfamiliar position.

"This new position of mine, I think, is a position where I can have a lot of fun out there," Wynn said. "I really think I can do this with my athletic ability. I think I can help the team and finally get on the field and make plays for this team."

Wynn found minimal time on special teams as a redshirt freshman and was listed on Kyle Flood's pre-spring two-deep as a defensive end.

At 6-foot-3 and around 220 pounds, Wynn is not the prototypical build of a college defensive end, but that does not bother him. He watched Jamal Merrell move from receiver to linebacker as a third-year player and find success.

Wynn expects to do the same.

"I look at how Jamal helped out the team last year and I think I can do something like that," Wynn said. "I'm developing and starting to feel comfortable. I'm doing big things day by day. I think I'm coming along well."

After a brief meeting with Flood in the offseason, Wynn said he appreciated his new coach's belief in him.

"I haven't gotten on the field, but Coach Flood understands how athletic I am, so he's trying to find a place where I can be useful on the field," Wynn said. "They feel like this is the best position for me to make an impact, run around offensive tackles and make big plays. I like it."

Like many young defensive linemen, Wynn gives credit to new position coach Jim Panagos and strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Cole for getting him better.

"Panagos helping me out a lot," Wynn said. "He's giving me what I need. Even the players like Marvin Booker and Ka'Lial Glaud are getting me in position. Book knows the situation that I have being a Piscataway guy and he's helping me out."

Needing to get bigger and stronger at a new position, Wynn said one-on-one work with Cole is paying off.

"The hardest part is probably building up my strength right now," he said. "I have the explosion, but I'm going against big guys. I have to get stronger. I'm hitting the weight room hard this summer."

And if Wynn needed any more inspiration heading into the home stretch of spring practice, he found it Friday in a visit from high school coach Dan Higgins. Higgins, Piscataway head coach, came to practice to see Wynn and Booker and meet with Flood as a part of the coach's clinic.

"That was big seeing him," Wynn said. "I haven't seen him in a while. It's nice to see someone from my hometown because I'm going to make them proud this season."


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