September 23, 2010

Anthony Ambrosi: Leading the Linebackers

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A running back in 2007, a safety in 2009 and a linebacker in 2010: senior Anthony Ambrosi has caused just as much chaos on the depth chart as he has on the field in his four years with Cornell. Whether he has been carrying the ball to the goal line or trying to stop opponents from doing so, Ambrosi has done what has been asked of him for the betterment of the team, and 2010 figures to be no different.

After spending his first two seasons fighting for carries as a running back, Ambrosi was asked to tackle a whole new beast in 2009, when he was moved to the defensive side of the ball. The result? Sixty-one tackles, three sacks and four takeaways in his first full season at safety.

“The most difficult challenge [about switching positions] is that growing up playing high school football, I had always been an offensive player,” Ambrosi said. “Moving positions within the defense is a little bit easier.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that Ambrosi will be expected to do more of the same this season, as he shifts to outside linebacker in the Red’s new 4-3 defensive scheme.

What makes the senior capable of excelling in so many different roles? Ambrosi attributes much of his success to his athleticism and dedication in the weight room.

“The stronger and faster you are, the more versatile you can be on the field,” he said.

Head coach Kent Austin, on the other hand, thinks Ambrosi’s accomplishments are a result of what got the senior into Cornell in the first place: his brains.

“He’s a bright player,” Austin said. Then, with a laugh, “He tends at times to overanalyze things because he is so bright.”

When asked which position he prefers the most, Ambrosi’s brightness was in full effect.

“I better say outside linebacker …  otherwise [defensive coordinator Ron] McCrone might get upset with me.”

Seems like Coach Austin knows what he’s talking about.

Original Author: Dan Froats