Posted: 9:40 pm Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
By Ken Sugiura
Georgia Tech defensive end Roderick Rook-Chungong has a lot of work yet to do in his return from his lateral meniscus tear last fall. He’s ready for it.
“Health-wise, I should be good,” Rook-Chungong said recently. “Right now, it’s just strengthening my knee, but I’m just ready for the competition, really, to help out the team finally. And just ready to go and grind pretty much and just real eager to get out there and prove myself like I did in high school.”
Rook-Chungong injured his right knee in a rather peculiar way prior to a practice the week of the Miami game.
“Stretching,” he said. “It was crazy. I was just stretching and it just tore. My knee started to lock up. I couldn’t straighten my knee for, like, two days.”
After redshirting the 2012 season, Rook-Chungong ended up not playing a down in the 2013 season, either. He is eligible for a medical redshirt. He has been cleared to participate in spring practice.
“It’s been a while,” he said. “I have to get used to all the little drills and planting and cutting and trusting my knee again, but it’s going to be there sooner or later.”
Building up his strength and explosiveness will be another priority. Prior to his injury, Rook-Chungong’s max squat was 490 pounds. He recently did a set at 275 pounds.
“I know my legs, that’s where my strength is,” he said. “So I’m trying to get that back.”
Rook-Chungong will be among the competitors at the rush end spot vacated by All-American Jeremiah Attaochu. He said his goal is to “just come out of spring with a good evaluation by (defensive line coach) Coach (Mike) Pelton and Coach (Paul) Johnson, saying that you had a good spring, just continue what you’re doing, hopefully saying you’re looking good for a starting spot or contributing to the team.”
Attaochu made an impression on Rook-Chungong.
“I believe Jerry’s production comes all off of effort,” Rook-Chungong said. “it’s a good position as a hybrid linebacker/defensive end tpe of thing, but I believe at the end of the day, it’s all about effort. If you give all that effort, you get the production.”