At Northwestern, Danny Vitale's role was so unique that he pretty much was the only player in the country playing "superback". In college, Vitale played a little bit of fullback and a little bit of tight end. He carried the ball a few times, but he thrived catching passes.
READ: VITALE SIGNS CONTRACT
The Buccaneers' fullback a year ago, Jorvorskie Lane, is no longer with the team after becoming a free agent this offseason. Head Coach Dirk Koetter has spoken about the Bucs looking for a fullback, but in this day and age, a traditional fullback doesn't see the field very often, making it difficult for teams to use one of the 53 spots on the active roster on them. A fullback that's also a tight end is a different story, though.
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"I think football is kind of moving towards this 'hybrid-style' of football," Vitale said. "I wouldn't say [the fullback position is] dying, I would say it's transitioning to more of this H-back position that I think I'll be playing a lot of here. It's exciting to see. Obviously I'm happy about it because that's what I played in college, so it just makes this transition a lot easier."
In fact, as far as the roster is concerned, Vitale is a tight end, not a fullback. He is officially listed as that position and wears the jersey number 86. Speaking with members of the media on Friday, Vitale said that his experience as Northwestern's "superback" matches up well with what the Buccaneers are asking him to do.
"I did this pretty much in college," Vitale said. "I kind of played in the slot, I kind of played tight end, a little bit of fullback, so I think the biggest transition is going to be that fullback spot when they do need it. But I'm not worried about it. I think just using my athleticism I'll be able to figure it out."
Vitale is still one of 51 rookies at camp and his spot on the 53-man roster isn't guaranteed. There's no question, though, that his versatility will help his chances of playing on Sundays in 2016.
The Buccaneers' 2016 rookie class arrived at team facilities on Thursday afternoon.