When you look at 6-foot-7, 272-pound David Irving, you dream of his potential impact on the field. Irving is physically imposing.
He has shown onlookers his potential and, occasionally, star-level play. But, you felt there could be more.
Two weeks ago, Irving was abruptly shifted from end to tackle on the defensive line. Irving went from operating in space to battling double teams inside.
The question was obvious. Can he make the position transition quickly enough to become a factor on this year’s Cyclone defense? The answer came Monday as Irving’s name was on the top line of the depth chart at DT.
“David has probably exceeded expectations in making the transition,” Coach Paul Rhoads said. “Here’s a guy at his height and range playing on the edge and covering ground and (you think outside) is where he belongs.”
But, things change.
“When he (Irving) got inside, he was a natural,” Rhoads said. “Using his hands, with his quickness off the ball, the ability to control his gap… he’s made a speedy change and excelled at it.”
Irving demonstrated a willingness to help the team with his late-in-camp position switch. He didn’t protest the move and, in fact, embraced it quickly.
Irving also reported that he’s been able to put more pressure on the quarterback from the inside.
The benefit of his switch is that Irving, himself, has prospered as well as the team. You love those “win-win” propositions.