Plenty of holes, opportunity on Tech defensive line

Candor is never in short supply with Georgia Tech defensive line coach Mike Pelton. In regards to the group that he’ll be working with when spring practice starts next Monday, he didn’t sugarcoat.

“I don’t want to sell them short, but you know what?” Pelton asked. “There’s a lot of guys that haven’t done anything in that group.”

Beyond Adam Gotsis, a returning starter at nose tackle, and fellow tackle Shawn Green, who has earned snaps when not injured, it’s hard to argue. Returning scholarship defensive linemen Chaz Cheeks, Darius Commissiong, Patrick Gamble, Francis Kallon, Jimmie Kitchen, Nick Menocal, Kevin Robbins, Roderick Rook-Chungong and Tyler Stargel have either played few meaningful snaps on the line or none at all.

Early enrollee KeShun Freeman and Travin Henry, who has switched from wide receiver, will also be with Pelton this spring, both at end.

Pelton will have to train up a group that needs to somehow replace the productive play of Jeremiah Attaochu, Euclid Cummings and Emmanuel Dieke, who started a combined 77 games for Tech and were rarely taken off the field last year.

“That’s the good thing about college football,” Pelton said. “A star is born every year. A new star is born every year. It’s an opportunity for these guys. I think some of them are hungry, because I can look at them and see the way they’ve changed their body from the season’s end till now, looking at numbers in the weight room. You kind of wonder what’s going to happen, but at the same time, it excites me because there has to be a new crew that comes along and takes us where we’ve got to go.”

I’ll save more for a story I’m writing today for Tuesday’s paper and myajc, but I’ll have more on the blog the rest of the week as we head into spring practice.

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