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USA Today: South Florida bullish on defensive end Selvie


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South Florida bullish on defensive end Selvie

 

selviex-large.jpg

 

Enlarge By Chris O'Meara, AP

South Florida defensive end George Selvie, bottom, had a national-best 31 1/2 tackles for loss last season, including 14 1/2 sacks. 

By Jack Carey, USA TODAY

George Selvie has come a long way in a relatively short time as a college defensive end.

Imagine how good he could be once he really gets the position down pat.

Last year as a sophomore, Selvie became the first consensus All-American in South Florida's short football history. He's one of the most decorated and productive returning players in the nation and heads into the 2008 season as the national leader in career tackles for loss (46½) and is second in career sacks (20).

Selvie led the nation with 31½ tackles for loss last season and was second in sacks with 14½.

All this, along with a motor that never seems to shut down, comes from a player who was recruited as a center and had one scholarship offer from a Division I-A program — the one he hopes to lead to a Bowl Championship Series game this year.

"I was a 215-pound center in high school," Selvie says. "Everybody said I was too small."

There's still a bit of thought along those lines.

At 6-4, 245 pounds going into camp, Selvie has made a concerted effort this summer to add about seven or eight pounds, he says, to help his stamina.

"Last year, I got worn down a little sometimes because I was too light," he says. "They've got me eating good stuff, vegetables and other good food."

Selvie doesn't anticipate losing any quickness with a few extra pounds, and that's bad news for quarterbacks.

Bulls coach Jim Leavitt said his star could excel at any weight at just about any position.

"He's got a relentless attitude," Leavitt says. "I think he would be successful if he was a center or a guard or a defensive tackle or a linebacker. He's just a very unique guy.

"In 30 years of coaching, I have had very few players who have had that kind of maturity and attitude or been that driven. He's just very efficient.

"And we didn't know he would be like that. I didn't even want to move him, but I kept hearing from our defensive coaches that we didn't have any ends."

While playing at Pine Forest High in Pensacola, Fla., Selvie also got time on the defensive line and was voted a Class 3A second-team all-state selection.

He acknowledges he never expected things to come together this quickly in college.

"It has been amazing, especially since I was given only one scholarship offer," he says. "I think when I got here I felt like I had something to prove."

After redshirting during the 2005 season, when he won the team's "overachiever" award for his work in the strength and conditioning program, Selvie started all 13 games at right end in 2006 and finished third on the team with 84 tackles, including 15 for loss and 5½ sacks.

He had eight stops, with 3½ behind the line, and a 9-yard fumble return for the go-ahead touchdown in USF's upset victory at then-No. 7 West Virginia.

That helped him win Sporting News freshman All-America honors but was a mere warm-up for the outstanding numbers he posted last year, when he was a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award and Nagurski Trophy and was named Big East defensive player of the year.

Selvie, who has spent time studying the play of Indianapolis Colts star end Dwight Freeney, says he still has a lot of room for improvement.

"I can get better at a lot of things: my footwork, my countermoves, speed rushing," he says. "It was hard at first to make the adjustment (to end). The coaches told me to just come out and get off the ball quickly and just play."

Selvie will be a marked man this year, likely to see a lot of double-teaming and maybe even some triple-teaming.

"They're going to start teeing off and being very aware of him," Leavitt says of opponents.

That means others on the line will have to step up, but Selvie can help there, too.

"He's gotten more verbal, more vocal since he was younger," Leavitt says. "And guys respond to him. He's the leader. There's not much doubt about that."

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South Florida bullish on defensive end Selvie

 

selviex-large.jpg

 

Enlarge By Chris O'Meara, AP

South Florida defensive end George Selvie, bottom, had a national-best 31 1/2 tackles for loss last season, including 14 1/2 sacks. 

By Jack Carey, USA TODAY

George Selvie has come a long way in a relatively short time as a college defensive end.

Imagine how good he could be once he really gets the position down pat.

Last year as a sophomore, Selvie became the first consensus All-American in South Florida's short football history. He's one of the most decorated and productive returning players in the nation and heads into the 2008 season as the national leader in career tackles for loss (46½) and is second in career sacks (20).

Selvie led the nation with 31½ tackles for loss last season and was second in sacks with 14½.

All this, along with a motor that never seems to shut down, comes from a player who was recruited as a center and had one scholarship offer from a Division I-A program — the one he hopes to lead to a Bowl Championship Series game this year.

"I was a 215-pound center in high school," Selvie says. "Everybody said I was too small."

There's still a bit of thought along those lines.

At 6-4, 245 pounds going into camp, Selvie has made a concerted effort this summer to add about seven or eight pounds, he says, to help his stamina.

"Last year, I got worn down a little sometimes because I was too light," he says. "They've got me eating good stuff, vegetables and other good food."

Selvie doesn't anticipate losing any quickness with a few extra pounds, and that's bad news for quarterbacks.

Bulls coach Jim Leavitt said his star could excel at any weight at just about any position.

"He's got a relentless attitude," Leavitt says. "I think he would be successful if he was a center or a guard or a defensive tackle or a linebacker. He's just a very unique guy.

"In 30 years of coaching, I have had very few players who have had that kind of maturity and attitude or been that driven. He's just very efficient.

"And we didn't know he would be like that. I didn't even want to move him, but I kept hearing from our defensive coaches that we didn't have any ends."

While playing at Pine Forest High in Pensacola, Fla., Selvie also got time on the defensive line and was voted a Class 3A second-team all-state selection.

He acknowledges he never expected things to come together this quickly in college.

"It has been amazing, especially since I was given only one scholarship offer," he says. "I think when I got here I felt like I had something to prove."

After redshirting during the 2005 season, when he won the team's "overachiever" award for his work in the strength and conditioning program, Selvie started all 13 games at right end in 2006 and finished third on the team with 84 tackles, including 15 for loss and 5½ sacks.

He had eight stops, with 3½ behind the line, and a 9-yard fumble return for the go-ahead touchdown in USF's upset victory at then-No. 7 West Virginia.

That helped him win Sporting News freshman All-America honors but was a mere warm-up for the outstanding numbers he posted last year, when he was a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award and Nagurski Trophy and was named Big East defensive player of the year.

Selvie, who has spent time studying the play of Indianapolis Colts star end Dwight Freeney, says he still has a lot of room for improvement.

"I can get better at a lot of things: my footwork, my countermoves, speed rushing," he says. "It was hard at first to make the adjustment (to end). The coaches told me to just come out and get off the ball quickly and just play."

Selvie will be a marked man this year, likely to see a lot of double-teaming and maybe even some triple-teaming.

"They're going to start teeing off and being very aware of him," Leavitt says of opponents.

That means others on the line will have to step up, but Selvie can help there, too.

"He's gotten more verbal, more vocal since he was younger," Leavitt says. "And guys respond to him. He's the leader. There's not much doubt about that."

CJL is correct in noting Selvie is relentless.  His determination is always there.  He will not be denied.

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