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Thursday, November 15, 2012
Lyons' transition to linebacker going well

By Corey Dowlar

All things considered, Tyrell Lyons' (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) transition to linebacker has been a smooth one.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, who was a safety a year ago, has moved down into the box into a more natural playing position. And even though it isn't a finished product, there has been plenty of progress made.

"I am very versatile," Lyons said. "Anywhere they put me, I am going to go there. But I think I am doing pretty well at linebacker. It is very fun. I am making my reads. I would say that it would be going pretty good."

The reading of the game has changed.

Back in the secondary, initial responsibilities were to defend the pass. But in a run-first position, Lyons has tried to implement new principles of moving toward the line of scrimmage at the snap.

"One of the biggest adjustments was - when I was at free safety, I was at 220," he said. "I kept gaining weight. But one of the biggest things was at free safety, at the snap, you back up. The biggest adjustment was at linebacker, I want to take one step back instead of my first step forward."

Although he's not completely certain of attending the Florida-Florida State game in late November, Lyons will definitely be watching on television at the very least. And even though he hasn't been to Tallahassee since September, he's kept up with the team and how the defense has played.

"I watch them," said Lyons. "Not every game, but I watch them. I haven't been there since the Clemson game. Their defense is very active. They fly to the ball."

For now, Lyons and his First Coast teammates are focused on some unfinished business, having come up just short in last year's state championship game.

At the same time, though, he knows Rome wasn't built in a day. They have to take care of the present to get to the future.

"We take everything, every play, every game, just one thing at a time," Lyons said. "If we can do that, we can get back to state and win it."

Lyons committed to Florida State last February on a junior day visit.