Whimper finally lands at tackle

When Guy Whimper walked on the practice field for the first time as a Giant on May 13, coaches instructed him to line up at left tackle.

Whimper played that position in only two games during his four-year career at East Carolina University, but he grew more accustomed to switching positions there than any college player in recent memory. Whimper manned four different positions in four seasons as a Pirate, but he was most impressive at offensive tackle for the Conference USA school. The 6-5, 305-pound former defensive end, defensive tackle and tight end showed such athleticism and potential during his senior season, the Giants used the second of their fourth-round picks on Whimper.

Though they consider him a project, they've even mentioned him as an eventual replacement for longtime left tackle Luke Petitgout.

"This is a guy that came into his senior year and had no snaps as an offensive tackle," said Jerry Reese, the Giants' director of pro personnel. "He just out-athletes everybody right now. He really doesn't know what's going on. He is big, he has long arms, he is fast and this guy can play on special teams. After he learns the position and gets stronger, we feel like he is going to be a steal at left tackle for us in a year or so."

If his history is an accurate indication, Whimper will learn quickly.

The weight-room warrior with the unusual name arrived in Greenville, N.C., as a 220-pound defensive end in 2001, but switched to defensive tackle after a redshirt season and one uneventful season at end. Whimper was an interior defensive lineman for his entire sophomore year, but switched to tight end with seven games remaining in his junior season because ECU's two tight ends suffered season-ending knee injuries. Whimper caught seven passes for 122 yards, despite learning the position during the season.

That didn't stop ECU's coaches from moving him again prior to his senior year, which he began at left tackle and ended at right tackle.

Whimper's whirlwind tour of the football field might've frustrated some players, but he appreciated the experience.

"I'm glad it happened," Whimper said, "because I probably wouldn't be in the position I'm in right now if I didn't move that many times."

He realizes, though, that playing musical positions has prevented him from mastering a single spot. Whimper is thus eager to learn from well-schooled veterans like Kareem McKenzie, Bob Whitfield and Petitgout.

"I just want to learn, and learn quick, because I do at least want to try to be on the field this year," Whimper said. "I just want to show them that I can come out and play this year."

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