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August 14, 2012
NC State redshirt freshman Tyrrell Burriss wants to get on the field and isn't worried at which position it occurs.
Burriss spent last year on the two-deep at cornerback, but was able to get through the season and preserve his redshirt season. He started off fall camp as the third string cornerback on the organizational chart behind All-American David Amerson and fellow redshirt freshman Juston Burris.
NC State coaches approached the 5-foot-11, 177-pounder from Daytona Beach, Fla., about making the move to wide receiver about a week ago. The Wolfpack recently lost redshirt sophomore Bryan Underwood to an undisclosed injury, and incoming freshman Xavier Griffin failed to qualify academically. The thin receiving corps led to redshirt junior Rashard Smith getting shifted over from cornerback on a permanent basis, and Burriss also followed suit.
"It's a change, but it's getting better," said Burriss, who played wide receiver a little bit in high school. "Learning the plays is mostly the biggest adjustment. My quickness helps me on my routes and I can break down a little bit better and faster.
"I just want to score some touchdowns and help my team. As long as I see myself on the field, that is all that I'm worried about."
New wide receivers coach Troy Walters, who is a former NFL wide receiver and star wide receiver at Stanford, has also helped with the transition.
"Coach talks about disguising your routes by making them see one thing and then do another," Burriss said. "I like the hook, coming back on the ball."
Burriss is able to learn from Smith, who dabbled at both cornerback and wide receiver last year. He also gets to be covered by his friends at cornerback.
"I just feel good and then try to do it the next day," said Burriss about the times he gets by his friends on defense. "Rashard says you can still translate your DB skills. You can still be aggressive and still break fast, and all that type of stuff.
"Going against David Amerson is a challenge, but I want to get better. I definitely like to go against him. Getting hit is a lot different. I usually like to hit, but taking the hits is different. I can give a hit too."
Catching passes from fifth-year senior star quarterback Mike Glennon, instead of trying to bat them down or get an interception, is another interesting development for Burriss.
"Glennon's ball is straight forward and fast," Burriss said. "I actually like that because I focus on the ball more."
Burriss mostly played wide receiver toward the end of his senior year at Daytona Beach Mainland High.
"I still remember the Seabreeze High game because I caught a pass on the sideline, made a spin move and then got tackled," Burriss said. "I can make quick moves and get up the field. I don't have the fastest 40, but I'm pretty quick."
Burriss also hopes to be apart of the competition in replacing T.J. Graham at punt returner or kick returner. The former Rivals.com two-star prospect was a well-rounded athlete at Mainland, where he also played soccer, track and field and baseball.
Mainland has produced former ACC basketball players Vince Carter (UNC) and Tony Bobbitt (FSU), with the former playing in the NBA since 1998. Former NFL linebacker Buster Davis of Florida State also played at Mainland.
Tennessee sophomore running back Marlin Lane and Clemson redshirt freshman cornerback Cortez Davis are both former prep teammates. The Wolfpack open with the Volunteers on Aug. 31 and play at Clemson on Nov. 17.
"I have some former teammates to go against," Burriss said. "I told Marlin, 'We'll meet again,' and that's all I've said. He was like, 'You know bro.'"
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