Posted: 12:33 pm Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Projected defensive depth chart 

By Ken Sugiura

My apologies on the overpromise that I would post it, like, a month ago. My guess at what the depth chart might look like when Georgia Tech begins spring practice March 24.

 

DE           Tyler Stargel                                       Nick Menocal

DT           Patrick Gamble                                   Francis Kallon

NT          Adam Gotsis                                      Shawn Green

DE           Jimmie Kitchen                                 Roderick Rook-Chungong

WLB       Quayshawn Nealy                           Tremayne McNair

MLB       Jabari Hunt-Days                              Beau Hankins

SLB         Paul Davis                                            Tyler Marcordes

CB           D.J. White                                           John Marvin

FS           Isaiah Johnson                                  Domonique Noble

SS           Demond Smith                                  Chris Milton

CB           Lynn Griffin                                        Jamal Golden

Specialists

K             Harrison Butker                                Andrew Chau

P             Ryan Rodwell                                     Will Somers

LS            Sean Tobin                                          Trevor Stroebel

Thoughts

There is a lot of fluidity on the defensive side, much more so than on offense, and I feel pretty confident in saying this won’t be close to what the actual depth chart will look like. To wit, Gamble could well be inside or outside on the line. Green could play either inside spot. Kitchen, who is listed as an end on the updated roster, could move back inside. Early-enrollee KeShun Freeman will compete at end. Out of the eight spots, I’d say Gotsis is the only one who is firm.

Backups like Justin Akins will try to make a push. When Kenderius Whitehead arrives, he’ll likely fit into the two-deep at rush end.

At the linebacker level, Davis and Nealy could flop sides. Anthony Harrell will be in the mix when fall camp starts but will be out for spring recovering from a leg injury.

In the secondary, Golden could start at safety or at the corner. At the signing day news conference, coach Paul Johnson noted that he’ll want the best four defensive backs on the field, which one would think would include Golden. But, he’ll be coming back from shoulder surgery, so perhaps Griffin would start out ahead of him. Early enrollee cornerback Step Durham figures to be in the mix at cornerback, as well.

What I see is some big holes to fill on the line, as might be expected after losing three starters (Jeremiah Attaochu, Euclid Cummings and Emmanuel Dieke) and a backup (Chris Crenshaw) to graduation. It wasn’t by accident that Tech signed so many defensive linemen for the 2014 class.

In part due to the injuries to Isaiah Johnson and Golden last season, there’s a good bit of experience returning in the secondary, despite losing Jemea Thomas and Louis Young to graduation. In this alignment, three of the backups in the secondary have considerable experience, which can’t be said of the other two position groups.

Regarding the specialists, Tech has less of a safety net than he had last year, when punters Sean Poole and Rodwell and kickers David Scully and Butker were all either experienced or, in the case of Butker, highly touted.

The projected offensive depth chart

49 comments
LongBeachJacket
LongBeachJacket

Could not agree more with the previous post....George O'Leary can FLAT OUT coach!  He inherited a team in total disarray in '94 (although not barren of talent), and by '98 he had Tech on the cusp of greatness.  98, 99 and 2000 were some awesome years..esp with O'Leary and Friedgen....notice that Bill O'Brien...directly from O'Leary's coaching tree has gone on to greatness as a coach.  Tech's 2001 season was torpedoed by 9/11 (were 3-0 headed into FSU showdown when tragedy struck)...team was a bit off-kilter after the 3 week layoff.  Timing is always a random thing and ND's coaching vacancy occurred at an untimely moment...and O'Leary was gone.  Had he stayed, we would have been really competitive year in and out.... That said....you can say what you want, but Paul Johnson is a pretty darn good coach.  You can say we should be better...and I, like all  true Tech fans ALWAYS want us to be 14-0 EVERY year...but so does everybody else....  I really think Justin Thomas might be special this year.  Defense continuing to climb.  Schedule set in a good order for team to build early toward the series of tests:  VT, Miami, Duke (games 4-6)....as they go...the tenor of the season will be set....would be really nice to get to the Clemson game with something on the line.  Expect Pitt and the Cuse to be formidable road opponents....should be fun... Go Jackets!

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

Who cares about this depth chart ? 2014 will be no different than 2010,2011,2012, and 2013. The poor recruiting has finally emerged as 1 of the 2 problems. The 2 problem is CPJ. This will be another year of being average. GT will play VT tough but lose the game. With that said CPJ will be 0-4 against the big 4. Until GT decides athletics is number 1, the same piss poor results will happen year and year. Hate to say this but I am embarrassed sometimes that I even like GT. When is GT going to realize that some sacrifices need to be made so that athletics can succeed? Maybe we should start buy getting rid of "buzz' Peterson.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Our defense last year was a definite improvement over previous years.  With the exception of the Miami and (late) Georgia games, opponents had a difficult time moving the ball on the ground against us.  Passing of course, was all too easy.  We made BYUs and VTs QBs who struggled most of the season look like Heisman candidates.


Even against 1st year QBs, I'm confident we will encounter similar problems against the pass this year given the losses along the D line and CB.  What I'm afraid of, is that teams will now also be able to pound the ball between the tackles too, and whole darn defense turns into one leaky Roof!

GTRay
GTRay

I look forward to seeing what kind of impact guys like Kallon, O'Reillly, Commissiong, Rook-Chungong and Devine will have, plus some of the incoming freshmen (if they play) like Autry, Durham, Marshall, Jackson, the trio from Lamar County and Custis (is he officially on the team?).  And I'm definitely curious about Antonio Simmons, given his recent selection as a Parade All-American.


Here's to a good spring practice and a good year with Justin Thomas at QB.  For some reason (and I admit I can't point to any particular thing that makes me feel this way), in spite of the fact that we unexpectedly lost our starting QB, I am more optimistic about this season than I was at this time last year, when I was cautioning people not to get too excited due to the high expectations on Vad Lee.

wima13
wima13

I'm excited about our defense this year. Hopefully year 2 of Ted Roof will really help us going forward!

juvenal
juvenal

what are the weights on the D-line now, Ken?

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

Is Jimmie Kitchen a DT he seemed to play inside most of the time?

Where is the RS-Fr. Robbins, wasn't he the Scout Team PotY?

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@IhateCPJ

Umm ... does someone with the screen name "IhateCPJ" really think his rants are taken seriously?

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

*By sorry the grammar mistake. I know some of guys will freak out over something like this.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

GT athletics will always take a back seat to academics--- and should. GT FB will never be considered priority #1.  Bud Peterson's job is safe, because the vast alumni don't really care.

Johnson is not "terrible" as a HC.  But better players just don't like the system. Add that to requirements and expectation of graduation, and it's just a tough place to recruit.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@GTRay  


The good news:  You will get to keep your optimism until almost the end of September!


The bad news:  You probably won't be very optimistic about all those defensive players after September 20, and you will understand why Vad Lee was the starter last season and JT was the back up.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@juvenal  

Not sure the "official" publication really matters....


Georgia Tech has a tendency to weigh its linemen in full pads after a swim or their scales are wrong--- OL especially.  


Either that, or the defensive linemen for a lot of the teams we played last year weighed in the 330 range.

BigTimeTECHFan
BigTimeTECHFan

@juvenal  


DE Tyler Stargel  255 

Nick Menocal 255

DT Patrick Gamble 275  

Francis Kallon 305

NT Adam Gotsis 282

Shawn Green 280

DE Jimmie Kitchen 275

Roderick Rook-Chungong 265

hpt84
hpt84

@juvenal  Typically, this information isn't available til spring practice

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

The defense is why I think this team will struggle to win 6 games this year.  All you have to do is look at the 2nd half of the UGA game when I starters were so gassed, and yet the coaches refused to sub to figure that out.

RambleOn84
RambleOn84

@MikeBanning  

Just curious:

Why are the linebackers a step back from last year?  Who did we lose?

gt1995
gt1995

@MikeBanning  Actually, up until the latter part of 2012, the team was playing a 3/4 alignment so the defense didn't need as many numbers on the DL. Now that we are back to the 4/3 we are a bit short and the numbers need to go up.


Also...


DE may be a step back based on the loss of Attouchu and looking at the current depth chart. But given the kids coming in, in particular Whitehead from JUCO, and Freeman playing in the spring, we may actually be better top to bottom as the depth fills out. Overall,  I don't see as big of a step back as you probably do.


DT should be the same. Gotsis will be better this year with hopefully stability at the other side.


LB should be the same, possibly better as Paul Davis is very good.


CB should not be a step back. Overall I believe it will be a step forward. Louis Young was not all world and Thomas played more safety than corner. Step Durham will be very good as will the Austin twins. Combined with White, Golden and Griffin give Tech a bunch more depth than they've had at that position for a while which means better matchups against the spread like Clemson, UNC and Duke.


Safety will hopefully be a push.


Overall, the belief is that we will see more depth than in the past few years. Personally, I believe that lack of depth cost us a couple of games last year (definitely UGA, probably Miami and Ole Miss).

djack0062
djack0062

@MikeBanning Jackets Online.com (Rivals,com) depth chart has Robbins at DE and Kitchen inside at DT.

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

@Birminham__Jacket WRONG! It has been done at TECH and can BE done. With this attitude GT will NEVER CHANGE. "US" fans need to dictate the culture of athletics. PLAIN and SIMPLE. Two people can't do it but, a few thousands can.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@RambleOn84 @MikeBanning Also don't see how CBs can be a HUGE step back when we're returning White (who had a rough season) and we're losing Louis Young who really didn't perform up to expectations

KenAJC
KenAJC moderator

@djack0062 @MikeBanningthe Tech roster lists Kitchens as a DE. that's what i was going on. I would have had him inside otherwise. As i said, there's some guesswork. Hankins was defensive scout team player of the year.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

UNC would have won last year had it not been for a miracle holding call.

But yes.  They have recruited much better, it's up there and they are due.

UVA, Pitt and Duke will be tough too.  On paper, they are also bigger, stronger and faster than we are.

You just can't recruit like we have and expect it to not catch up with you.  Kind of like the two pack a day smoker, sooner or later you'll be sorry...

hpt84
hpt84

@Birminham__Jacket  So why do you think UNC will win? Is it because they are talented, but they been talented for the last 5 years.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Yes.  I did know that.  And they're still a toss up. 

I'll be you 2 GT Homers wouldn't have given Middle Tennessee State a chance at home against us, would you?  I'll bet you thought it was just a fluke that BYU beat the hell out of us @ home, too.

When are you going to realize that we are just not all that good under Johnson?

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Would you have said Middle Tennessee State at home was a "toss up" 2 years ago?

GTfan2013
GTfan2013

My favorite point about this is that B-ham has no clue regarding Ga Southern.  If you knew that Ga Southern lost their Coach, top rusher, their #3 rusher, their #2 tackler, and their #3 tackler, would you still have the same prediction on Ga Southern as a toss up?

GT-TN
GT-TN

Ga southern will be a win. They lost there best RB and will be changing offenses with a new coach.

Don't think VT is a automatic loss since the 1 player who has beat us is now gone.

Not sure how Duke is a toss up. They haven't stopped the option yet since CPJ has been at tech.

I would say unc is a toss up. They haven't showed they can completely stop thx option either.

Don't know how you can say UVA is a toss up. They are another team that has shown they could stop our offense.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

I agree with Banning.  Here's my take:

Wofford - W

Tulane - W

Ga. Southern - toss up... Don't laugh.  I'm serious.

VT - L

Miami - L

Duke - toss up

UNC - L

Pitt - toss up

UVA - toss up

NCST - should be a W.  But it's on the road and they play tuff at home.  Toss up

Clemson - L

UGA - huge embarassing loss

Georgia Tech is not a good football team, folks.  You can't point to more than a couple of games over the past 2 seasons that argue that we are.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@MikeBanning @Birminham__Jacket @GTRay  


With the exception of 1 good class Chan Gailey signed, our recruiting has been like Wake Forest ever since The Nerds ran O'Leary off.  He and Ross were the only two coaches we've had since Dodd that understood how to win.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@Birminham__Jacket Doubt it.  Not enough fire power on opposing offenses.  Also think it's funny you're using one half of a game LAST SEASON to dictate how our defense will perform THIS SEASON.  Guess Bama's D will struggle against all hurry up offenses this year because Oklahoma ran circles around them, right?

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

This defense will be a disaster.  If Ted Roof is looking for a promotion, it won't be after this season.

GTfan2013
GTfan2013

@IhateCPJ I think you are wrong,  I watched him start the last eight games at CB.  He is a star.

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

@GTfan2013 He is not a star as of now. A star is Dwyer,Hamilton,and C.Johnson.

GTfan2013
GTfan2013

If you don't think White is a star, you are not paying attention. Down the stretch, he played better than the young VT DBs that got all the love last year.

RambleOn84
RambleOn84

@MikeBanning @RambleOn84  

Watts was a good player.  So are all three of the guys currently slated to start.  All with an extra year in Roof's system.


I think linebacker will be the strength of the defense, and possibly the strongest unit on the whole team.