Posted: 12:33 pm Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
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
K Harrison Butker Andrew Chau
P Ryan Rodwell Will Somers
LS Sean Tobin Trevor Stroebel
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.