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USF sophomore Genus finally can settle in on D-line


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I'm really looking forward to seeing what he can do on the D-line.

USF sophomore Genus finally can settle in on D-line

By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer

In print: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

C4S_usfmug082708_35543d.jpeg

Defensive tackle Sampson Genus has some of USF’s best numbers in the weight room.

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TAMPA — It was the day before the start of spring practice, and Sampson Genus was finally beginning to feel like he understood all the nuances of USF's offense.

Then coach Jim Leavitt came up to Genus, then a 320-pound freshman, and said he was going to give him a look at defensive tackle.

"I was like 'Whoa,' " Genus said. "It was a big shock to me. I knew it was another big challenge."

Genus played defense a bit at Lake City Columbia High, where the center would step in on the goal line, or on fourth and short. Leavitt knew three of his top four defensive tackles from last season had graduated, so he needed another strong presence in the middle of his front four.

"It's going to be fun to see what he can do," Leavitt said Tuesday. "He had an outstanding spring and summer and has done some awfully good things in camp. He's a big, strong guy, so we'll see."

Genus learned the position quickly, helped by roommate Terrell McClain, a defensive tackle who like Genus had played sparingly as a freshman last fall. Genus had gotten more than 100 snaps in at guard, giving him a sense of the speed of college football, but switching to defense was something else.

"I feel real comfortable now," said Genus, 20, who had earned the starting nose tackle job but has been limited in the past week by an ankle injury and might come off the bench in Saturday's opener against Tennessee-Martin. "It's going to be amazing (Saturday). It's going to be exciting, so we want to put on a real good show."

Moving to defense has required a new explosiveness and an attacking mentality, but Genus said his time on the offensive line has helped him — he recognizes tendencies in opposing linemen because they used to be his tendencies.

"I can read pretty much when the guard is light, and I can tell when he's in a pass set," Genus (pronounced GEE-nus) said.

One big difference: Coaches wanted his weight down. Strength coach Ronnie McKeefery recalls looking out a window from USF's athletic facility one summer morning and seeing Genus, who had already had an informal workout with teammates and a session in the weight room, running up and down a hill near the practice fields, again and again.

Genus is now 295 pounds, and said when he thought about the challenge of dropping the weight, he thought of his brother Denzel, one of four older siblings. Denzel was bigger than Sampson in high school, but got in shape when he joined the Marines; he's now serving in Afghanistan, Genus said.

Genus can control his weight, but another measurement — his height, 6 feet 1 — is part of why he's at USF. When he committed to the Bulls in November of his senior year, his only scholarship offer was from Division I-AA Florida A&M; he and a teammate had performed well at Florida's summer camp, but he was simply told he was too short for the Gators.

"I was surprised," Genus said. "Some of the big recruits there, we kind of dominated them. They were stuck on the height thing. I got that from a lot of coaches. I just bypassed it and said I'll do what I have to do."

Just a sophomore, Genus has lived up to his name, with some of the best weight-room numbers on USF's roster. He can bench-press 445 pounds, and at the NFL standard of 225 pounds, he can go 29 repetitions, also among the best on the team.

Genus will line up next to another converted center who had only one scholarship offer: defensive end George Selvie, who was the program's first consensus All-American last season.

Defensive ends coach Kevin Patrick, a former All-American at Miami, makes a loftier comparison to another tackle he lined up with in college: Warren Sapp.

"(Genus) is a guy with a lot of size and a lot of talent," said Patrick, who joined the staff this spring. "From the thighs down, he looks like a defensive end. His legs remind me of Sapp. He's getting in shape, and the more he's in shape, the quicker he'll get and the more dominating he can be."

[Last modified: Aug 26, 2008 09:34 PM

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/article785866.ece

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I love to read about these freshman wanting to contribute most to the team and working hard to get even better.

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We definately need a DT to consistantly take up 2 O-Linemen.

Go BULLS !!!

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That is a pretty nice comparison... i hope he is that good.  If he is... our defensive line is going to be absolutely incredible.

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genus has a chance to be something really special.  his work ethic can drive him to become an awesome NT/DT that can consistently draw two blockers. imagine what our defense can do if both he and selvie are taking up two blockers!!!

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