Pass rusher Torbor won't be Greene for long

The Giants bolstered their linebacking corps with the selection of Reggie Torbor, a 6-2, 254-pounder that played defensive end at Auburn. New defensive coordinator Tim Lewis favors quicker, more athletic players and Torbor fits the mold perfectly. <BR><BR>

"He is a real good prospect as an outside linebacker," GM Ernie Accorsi said.

The Giants fell in love with his pass-rushing ability and had no doubt he was the guy to take when New York opened up the draft's second day.

"We drafted him as a linebacker," Accorsi said. "He played linebacker his first two years at Auburn, they put him down this year because he is such a good rusher. Until he adjusts to be a Sam or a Will, whichever side he adjusts to. Right now he can line up as a pass rusher in a three-point stance, because he can run and he's got pretty good size, until he can adapt to being a linebacker again, he gives us that."

Torbor is champing at the bit for the Giants to turn him loose.

"I love rushing the passer," he said. "It's just a rush. It happens so fast. But I also like dropping back into coverage and coming up to make big hits."

Torbor honed his QB-chasing skills via a mix of natural ability and some excellent advice.

"We all have gifts," he said. "It's just something I can do. I've always had speed and quickness off the ball, but I just didn't know much."

That's where former All Pro LB Kevin Greene entered the picture.

"Kevin Greene is (an Auburn alumnus) so he would come down and talk to me and make everything simple for me," Torbor said. "He showed me the big picture – what is pass rushing, what am I supposed to do, how to watch a lineman's hips, how to put pressure on him, stuff like that. Kevin Greene helped me a lot."

Torbor came into his own as a senior, capturing the Eddie Welch Attitude and Effort Award from his coaching staff. He bagged 10.5 quarterback sacks last year among his 38 tackles. The speedy Torbor compiled 120 career tackles and 19.5 sacks for the Tigers.

The Giants figure they'll find plenty for the Baton Rogue, La. native to do while he learns his craft at LB.

"He is a guy who will give us that straight-ahead speed for good special teams play, also I think good flexibility on third down as potentially a guy who can be used as an athlete in the mix to create pressure as well as drop into pass (coverage)," coach Tom Coughlin said.

Torbor spent his first two years as a linebacker, his position of choice. As a freshman, he posted 26 tackles and three sacks, including three stops and a sack against Michigan in the Citrus Bowl. The next year he was named the Tigers most improved defensive lineman, putting up 30 tackles and 2.5 sacks while leading the club with 15 quarterback hurries.

Then, primarily because of the development of star LBs Karlos Dansby and Dontarrious Thomas, Torbor agreed to move up and play defensive end.

"I did what I had to do for us to win," he said.

Again he led the team with 16 QB hurries, before breaking out as a senior. Last season he finished with a team-high 10.5 sacks and 17 QB pressures. Torbor posted a three-sack game against Eli Manning and Ole Miss and added 2.5 QB bags against Wisconsin. Torbor sacked his new teammate Manning on back-to-back plays, including a 9-yarder that caused a fumble.

For the second time in his life he's gone from big man on campus to low man on the totem pole. "That's just how life works," he stated. "There's no shame in that."

Ideally, Torbor said, "I would like to be a third-down pass rusher, but also have the coaching staff feel comfortable enough in me to have me in there at linebacker on first and second down."

Until then, he'll be content to make his mark on special teams.

"Right now I can contribute on special teams and I think I can be very good at it," he said. "The more I learn, the more I'll be able to do for this team."

The easy-going Torbor loves to shoot pool and boasts that growing up with his mother and sister helped him learn how to cook and take care of himself. If he's able to consistently unleash his pass-rushing skills on unsuspecting NFL quarterbacks, he'll be able to take care of his whole family.

Torbor, a self-proclaimed optimist, looks at his fourth-round selection as a blessing, not a disappointment.

"I thought I'd go a little higher, but at the same time there were a lot of guys that didn't go at all," he said. "I've always been a guy that likes to look at the positive.

"I'm just thrilled and blessed to be where I am."


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