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Trib: Giddins making name for self


USFishin

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Giddins making name for self

By SCOTT CARTER

scarter@tampatrib.com


40535_0404giddins2.jpg

Ryne Giddins is beginning to show the promise expected of him as a highly-recruited defensive end


The rebuilding of Ryne Giddins remains a work in progress.

Fourteen months ago, Giddins became arguably the biggest fish the USF football program has ever landed. He once terrorized opposing quarterbacks at Armwood High, setting the school record for career sacks and developing into one of the nation's top defensive recruits.

Florida wanted him. So did Florida State, Miami, USC and nearly every other major program.

"He was a big name nationally," said Larry Weisbaum, who covers USF Bulls recruiting for Scout.com. "He could have gone about anywhere."

Since signing with USF in February 2009, Giddins has shed more than those long dreadlocks he wore in high school. He's shed the Big Man on Campus label.

He appeared in only three games last season as a freshman - recording two sacks - but an ankle injury in practice forced him to redshirt. The ankle is now fine, but a left shoulder injury has limited Giddins in spring practice. He got hurt when an offensive lineman jammed his hand under Giddins' shoulder during one-on-one drills.

"I'm starting to get my lean and balance back on my left-hand stance," he said.

When first-year coach Skip Holtz released his initial depth chart last week, Giddins was listed as second-team behind senior David Bedford at left defensive end.

But before you jump to the conclusion that Giddins is perhaps behind schedule, Holtz is quick to point out what he's learned in his short time watching Giddins.

"He is extremely talented," Holtz said. "He's learning the nuances of the game. He's still a long way away from his finished product. He's not going to sit for that long. He is a very, very talented young man."

The injury last season allowed the 6-foot-4 Giddins to work harder in the weight room. When he left Armwood, Giddins weighed around 230 pounds. He is now up to 250 and quicker than ever thanks to extensive speed training with strength-and-conditioning coach Ron McKeefery.

Holtz told everyone who wasn't a starter on his first depth chart that it was their job to change that if they didn't like it. That's all Giddins needed to hear.

"Proving myself is a big goal of mine," he said. "If I don't start, it's all right. I know I'm going to get some playing time. It's a big motivation for me, knowing I have a chance."

As he sat out last season, Giddins tried to learn by watching former Bulls defensive ends George Selvie and Jason Pierre-Paul. He also had to relearn many of the details that his overpowering physical skills allowed him to overlook in high school, such as fundamentals, technique, reading blocking schemes and revamping his mental approach for the college level.

Defensive ends coach Vernon Hargreaves is confident Giddins will develop into the player that gave the Bulls their first recruiting victory over Florida.

"I've seen this before," Hargreaves said. "I've been around some highly touted players coming out of high school, and it doesn't necessarily happen right away, but it's going to happen.

"You can see it. He's as physically talented as anyone we have. I don't think there is any question about that. Some of the older guys are playing a little better. He is going to keep on coming."

The Bulls return to practice today following a four-day break for Easter to begin preparing for their second scrimmage, set for Saturday. Holtz plans to re-evaluate the depth chart after each scrimmage.

Giddins is hopeful that by the time spring practice ends, he can erase any doubts about whether he is ready to make an impact in his second season. Once he does, he already has a scouting report on himself.

"My speed and hands will be the strength of my game," he said.

Hargreaves agrees with that assessment.

"It's just a matter of gaining that confidence in what he is supposed to be doing, and once that happens it should be over the top," Hargreaves said.

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Sounds like we might be turning into DE unversity.

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thanks for the post.  Carter seems to be doing a nice job at the Trib on the USF beat.

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Would be great to reload on the end like this.  I hope he can be healthy and productive this year.  Great to hear the A Henry nutrition bar is putting solid weight on these kids.  250 and faster, that is what a big time S&C program should do for freshmen.

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