Redshirt sophomore Darryl Cato-Bishop is versatile enough to play both defensive end and defensive tackle, but he has a preference if given the choice.
Cato-Bishop has been concentrating on the defensive end position and was rewarded for his efforts Monday by moving up to first string on the updated depth chart for the Liberty game Saturday.
"I like being at defensive end because there is more space," Cato-Bishop said. "Playing inside, there isn't as much space and you have to be real quick with your reads. I like defensive end more because it is my natural position."
Cato-Bishop competed with junior college transfer McKay Frandsen for the starting defensive end spot opposite fifth-year senior Jeff Rieskamp.
"We all compete and want to be the starter, but I really want to be the No. 1 guy," Cato-Bishop said.
Cato-Bishop also likes the challenge of going one-on-one with tackles compared to the congestion inside with guards, the center and whoever else joins the fray.
"Inside, you never know who is coming at you," Cato-Bishop said. "There might be a double team with the guard, a pulling guard or a tackle. On the outside, there is the tight end and the tackle, so it is kind of easier to read who is coming at you and who will block you.
"Defensive tackle really teaches how to be a man playing football."
The 6-foot-4, 281-pound Cato-Bishop played in all 13 games, amassing 10 tackles in 179 plays. He is looking forward to his first college sack, and has been working on his pass rush moves.
"I'm trying work on getting off the ball faster, going inside and running outside," Cato-Bishop said. "I like bull rushing, but I want to work on everything.
"I have really dedicated myself to the weight room and feel like I've gotten bigger, stronger and faster. I'm more dedicated to the program."
Cato-Bishop will sometimes watch film of the great NFL defensive ends to pick up pointers.
"I'm an old-school guy, so I'll watch Reggie White," Cato-Bishop said. "I like Reggie White and Deacon Jones. I like what they do with their footwork and stuff like that."
Cato-Bishop was a 235-pound basketball player while at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass. He's more comfortable playing at his current weight.
"I'm used to playing at this weight, but last year was kind of hard, and I was playing defensive tackle," Cato-Bishop said. "My body is treating me better."
Cato-Bishop played for the BABC traveling team program, and two of his former teammates just won a national title at Connecticut - center Alex Oriakhi and small forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel. The latter transferred to Hofstra in the offseason. UConn guard Shabazz Napier also played with Cato-Bishop at Lawrence Academy.
"I think have some of that small forward speed, but those days are long gone," Cato-Bishop said. "I was happy for UConn because I had three friends on the team. I went to high school with all three of them too. I spent some time with those guys when I went home. They got the rings, but we'll [NC State] are going to try."
Cato-Bishop also welcomed to Raleigh new NC State freshman safety Rodman Noel, who is from Everett, Mass.
"I really didn't know him, but I probably played basketball against him when I was younger," Cato-Bishop said. "I played against his older brother at BC [Jim Noel]. I knew him, but I didn't know him as well as his brother.
"His younger brother plays with BABC [high school star junior center Nerlens Noel]. I've been trying to give Rodman words of encouragement, and to listen to the coaches and be eager to learn."