Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF Bulls star George Selvie wants to quiet critics who question his NFL ability

Defensive end George Selvie, who said he does not regret returning to USF for his senior season, grabs the leg of Florida State running back Ty Jones during the Bulls’ victory in September.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Defensive end George Selvie, who said he does not regret returning to USF for his senior season, grabs the leg of Florida State running back Ty Jones during the Bulls’ victory in September.

MOBILE, Ala. — The whispers about defensive end George Selvie at the Senior Bowl are short and not so sweet.

A scout who saw him play throughout his career at USF assessed him as a player with a great first step who then manages to disappear. A general manager labeled him as a great effort player who is otherwise very unspectacular. He's not considered a workout warrior or a freakish athlete.

But Selvie is here because he wishes to quiet the critics with a loud-and-clear statement that he can take his production to the NFL.

After all, the guy is a stat machine.

The only two-time All-American in USF history, he had 691/2 tackles for loss and 29 sacks, including 141/2 (second-best in the nation) as a sophomore in 2007. But the draft process can be unforgiving, leaving even a player this decorated on the defensive.

It's a position Selvie embraces.

"Everybody just feels like my '07 year was my best," he said. "I just came here to prove that I'm the same guy but even better.

"I have a point to prove."

A point made by many others is Selvie should have entered the draft after his junior season. He wasn't as far removed from his great sophomore campaign, and his stock presumably was higher than it is now, seeing how he is coming off two seasons that were modest by his standards.

But Selvie doesn't regret the move. He earned his degree. He learned more football. And, he said, he's better because of it.

"I believe it was an easy decision," said the 22-year-old from Pensacola. "I had a lot to prove. I felt like I made the right decision — for me."

Right call or not, Selvie is here trying to make the best of his situation. He certainly hasn't hurt himself. Wednesday, he showed some power and took advantage of the lack of double teams, something that became the norm during his college career.

But with players who have as much film to dissect as Selvie, it seems little is left to the imagination. As a result, the player sometimes is graded more harshly than others with less of a track record. Selvie nodded in agreement when the point was raised. He didn't have much of a response, though.

"That's how it goes," he said. "But I know what I know."

Something no one knows is if he can make the transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker. It's something that has been discussed with him by teams during interviews this week.

What will determine if Selvie is a good candidate to make the switch is if he proves he can cover a lot of ground — he would be playing farther away from the ball — and if his ability to drop into coverage is adequate.

For his part, Selvie is more than willing to make the change if it's asked of him.

"They want to know if I mind standing up," Selvie said of the inquiries. "I feel like I can rush the passer standing up or with my hand in the dirt.

"I'll just have to prove that I can play linebacker. They want to see me run in space, so I'm going to have to work on that a lot."

To that end, the 6-foot-4 Selvie is trying to bulk up. After weighing in at 247 pounds at the start of this week, he said his goal is to get to 260 by the draft in April. He's utilizing an increased diet and mass-building shakes to get there, believing it will help his stock.

Selvie almost certainly won't be the first-round pick that teammate and fellow defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has establishing himself as. But Selvie has overcome long odds before. When he arrived at USF as an offensive lineman, considered a long shot to see the field, he adapted. He approached his coaches saying he would do whatever it took to crack the lineup. They suggested a move to defensive end, however dramatic it seemed.

Even his coaches probably wondered if he could make the switch.

Today, Selvie is calling upon the lessons learned through that experience, and it will serve him well even as he tries to dispel mounting doubts.

"Everything that people have said I couldn't do, I did it," he said. "I feel like I can prove them wrong and work hard and get there."

Time will tell, but it's hard not to think he's well on his way.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at sholder@sptimes.com.

USF Bulls star George Selvie wants to quiet critics who question his NFL ability 01/27/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.