Posted: 2:45 pm Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Tech defensive depth chart released 

By Ken Sugiura

Behold, the Georgia Tech defensive depth chart, in all its double-stacked glory.

Defensive line

DE Roderick Rook-Chungong 6-3 248
KeShun Freeman 6-4 230
NT Shawn Green 6-0 280
Patrick Gamble 6-5 280
DT Adam Gotsis 6-5 285
Francis Kallon 6-5 296
DE Tyler Stargel 6-3 242
Nick Menocal 6-3 244

The group has defined itself a little more than it did going into spring, but depth and who ultimately will start are still question marks. Of the eight listed here, only Gotsis has started any games. Green figures to be an impactful player as a senior. But, if Gamble continues to develop – he missed most of spring practice after he was injured in a car accident – he would be a great help if he could earn his way into a tackle rotation with Green and Gotsis (for that matter, Kallon also, although Gamble would seem closer at this stage).

Coaches are eagerly awaiting for signee Kenderius Whitehead to graduate from Georgia Military College in late summer and join the team. A junior-college All-American after transferring from N.C. State, he’ll push for a starting job at one of the end spots. Freeman was impressive in spring practice as an early enrollee and will likely get playing time, although 230 pounds is obviously light. My suspicion is that Whitehead will ultimately end up starting at rush end.

Obviously, not having defensive end Jabari Hunt-Days, who will not play due to academic ineligibility, is a critical loss.

Linebackers

LB Quayshawn Nealy 6-1 236
Tremayne McNair 6-2 216
LB Tyler Marcordes 6-4 243
Paul Davis 5-11 218

An old hand and a possible star on the rise. Nealy, going into his fourth season as a starter, and Marcordes, who will be in his first year as a starter after playing behind Brandon Watts for two seasons, were two of the most productive players in spring practice. Speed will be a particular strength of this group. I suspect McNair and Davis, even if not starting, will find ways to impact the team on defense or special teams.

Secondary

DB Demond Smith 6-0 194
  Domonique Noble 6-2 216
CB Lynn Griffin 6-0 200
  Chris Milton 5-11 183
SS Isaiah Johnson 6-2 213
  John Marvin 6-1 199
FS Jamal Golden 6-0 193
  Corey Griffin 6-2 195
CB D.J. White 5-11 190
  Step Durham 5-11 175

Secondary

Not a bad starting group, although the depth is a little bit of a concern, and there’s only one senior in the 10 players listed, safety Isaiah Johnson. At corner, White and Griffin haven’t gotten much notoriety playing alongside Jemea Thomas and Louis Young, but are both promising. Demond Smith, who will be a nickel back/safety in the 4-2-5 alignment, showed promise but has to become more consistent.

I’ll be curious to see how Johnson comes back after missing a year recovering from ACL surgery. At the time of his injury, during bowl practice in Dec. 2012, he was probably at the top form of his career to that point.

There probably wasn’t much question whether or not Durham, one of the most highly-rated players in Tech’s signing class and an early enrollee, would play this fall, but this is essentially confirmation.

Of the five second-stringers, Noble has played two seasons, Milton has also played two seasons but is at a new position and Marvin, Griffin and Durham will all be playing their first season.

Overall

Tech lost six senior starters and will have three in the lineup this year with Green, Nealy and Johnson. The two big questions, as they’ve been since the start of spring practice, are depth and the front. As is also the case with the offensive depth chart, there’s not a lot of players who have significant experience. Of the 11 backups listed here, there aren’t many that have enough experience that they could simply be plugged in and reasonably expected to play at a similar level to the starter ahead of them.

And, with three new starters on the line, how well they can stop the run and create pass rush without additional help.

On the other hand, it’s a group that will be going into its second year with defensive coordinator Ted Roof, which should help players player faster and with more confidence in their knowledge of the scheme.

 

 

38 comments
Jmonty
Jmonty

My concern is the lack of size and experience up front.  The DB's are also somewhat young.  I hope the offense can score more points, I see the "D" not being as good this year.  Hope I'm wrong.

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

I hope the corners are good, the line looks smallish.

FreddieBlassie
FreddieBlassie

Should Francis Kallon be playing at defensive end rather than in the pit at defensive tackle? Obviously Roof and the other defensive coaches do not think so. Has anyone out there in cyber space spoken with the coaches about Kallon? This guy had no background as a football player, but plenty of experience in rugby. In his high school football career he ran to the football and arrived with bad intentions greeting quarterbacks and ball carriers with play ending results. As a casual observer, it would seem that Kallon would be more effective on the outside where he could react and go to the ball rather than be thrust into the inside where the mind numbing coaching to give him the techniques to defeat various and sometimes multiple blockers needs to be incorporated into his game.

Anyone have any coaches' insights as to why he isn't used as a pass rusher?

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Ted Roof has turned into a pretty good D coordinator since his first stint here.

Big question marks up front--- can these guys generate a pass rush? They played behind starters last season that could not consistently. Last years group stopped the run pretty well, but struggled to create pressure. And Attaochu is a big loss.

LBs should be pretty solid.

Secondary concerns me with sub-6ft corners, especially in man to man coverage. Those are mismatches against 6 3" and 6 5" receivers.

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

they cannot defend against a shotgun, the offense cannot run a shotgun that works, they wear pink, some wear stud earrings, they wear black high stockings against Georgia some years if it's cold, they have long hair in back of their helmets, they aren't the original all male Tech-types, they have what might be a female in the "Buzz" outfit at some games, the TO play of Air Force and Navy worked better b/c of no long hair, no earrings, no pink powder puff football colors, it just all adds up to Tech looking to be the other team's patsy, even with Heisman Dodd history, does that add up or what? give me a break, time for a coaching change to a conservative coach and not liberal PJ

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

can they defend against a shotgun is all I want to know, b/c they usually cannot

odellgtpt
odellgtpt

Now that we have seen the 2 deep on both sides of the ball, I still feel we have a bunch of good , solid , hardworking SAs. BUUUT, we still do not have enough playmakers ; someone who can make THE PLAY when the game is on the line. I wish it were not so , I live and die with Tech sports. Schemes and coaching will only get you so far. We need more talent , and it's PJ's job to get it. He may not like recruiting ( he gives that impression ), but if he doesn't get more like Myles Autry and Custis ( and keep him), then we are looking at 7-5 and a loss to UGA for the foreseeable future, IMO.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Interesting line up for the 4-2-5 base defense.

Who is going to play LB when they go to a 4-3-4 against running teams?  VT, Miami and UGA are going to run on that 4-2-5 line up

GTBob
GTBob

I think Whitehead starts and Freeman gets significant playing time. Im not so sure I would categorize Hunt-Days as a critical loss. He was going to be in a tough competition with Whitehead and Freeman anyways for playing time. It certainly hurts depth though. Overall its actually a pretty solid 2 deep. Especially in the secondary.

BigTimeJacketFan
BigTimeJacketFan

Not enough "lbs" to play with the big boys up front.  Rest of it looks OK.  This can get you a middle of the pack finish in the ACC.  Where does Commissiong fit in when he gets back?  Can they get some more weight on these guys over the summer, or do they think this size is a good idea?

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

If you hedge your bets because of Ted Roof, you are a very smart GT fan.  The man can flat out coach!  If you are a betting man, you can win some $ this season.

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

Overall, not a bad first depth chart.  I think Smith and Noble are interchangeable and both will see significant time in some form on defense this year.  I also think Whitehead will be starting by seasons' end and I'd be extremely surprised if Marcordes is starting over Davis by mid season, much less come the end of the season.

Radar123
Radar123

Maybe all we can agree on at this point is that Ken does a great job.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@Ken Sugiura:  Inside the Swarm has the DE spot listed as Chungong OR Freeman.  While I agree that, most likely, Whitehead will be the starting end in the fall, it is noteworthy that Freeman impressed enough to warrant the "OR" after the spring practices. 

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@Jmonty

It will be good... Against Wofford, Ga. Southern and Tulane.  

Thank goodness we don't have play BYU.

Yellerbug
Yellerbug

@FreddieBlassie  I have to trust the coaches, but our starting DL seems light at the ends---the standard DL is to have a rush end and a beefier strong side DE.  Based on the Line-up above---we've got 2 glorified LBs at each end--it's almost a 2-4-5.  Kallon was a raw athlete with little football experience so I hope the coaches are trying to put him in a place where he can contribute, but I agree---I think making him a road block on the TE side of the offense would require the least amount of technique training.

A team with 300+ lb tackles, throw in another 300 lb pulling guard and it will be 4 yards and a cloud of dust all day long running the ball against us on the outside.  I think our secondary will do fine against the pass and our LBs are good, but we may have trouble this year stopping a power running attack. With 5 DBs, they'll have to be good at tackling in run support.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@bigmacondawg 

I'll give you credit for including SOME logic in your post.  It's usually all BS trolling

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@Birmingham__Jacket "Big question marks up front--- can these guys generate a pass rush? They played behind starters last season that could not consistently. Last years group stopped the run pretty well, but struggled to create pressure. "

______________________________________________________


Last year the D had 34 sacks.  Same as in 2008, when we had three future NFL guys on the line.  But don't let facts get in the way...

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

@ddroad - I guess by your blog name you're also against asphalt roads.  Times haven't just past you bye, you're a spec in the rear view mirror.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@drydirtroad Rarely will you ever find more stupid concentrated in one place outside of Athens, GA than in a drydirtroad post.  He's not disappointing tonight, either....

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@drydirtroad 

are you a real person? I've seen enough of your blathering on the AJC to last a lifetime. Just go away and find somewhere else to spew your mindless rantings. SMH

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@odellgtpt CJ Leggett in this years class was rated as a better RB prospect across than Travis Custis.  

YesIamapirate
YesIamapirate

@Radar123


We could all probably agree that you're just another troll with multiple screen names i.e. Jacket Detective, and that you've never bought a ticket to a GT game in your life. 


I'd guess closet Dwag myself.

GTBob
GTBob

@Birmingham__Jacket Yep, and it will be good against just about everyone else also just like it is every year. Im sure one or two teams will slow it down though just like every year, just like every other offense. Then you will get your chance to cry about how horrible it is again.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Pass defense killed us last season, dude. That's why we struggled to get off the field on 3rd downs. And most of the problem was an ineffective pass rush.

How many sacks did we have against BYU and Clemson? How was UGA able to overcome a 20 point deficit? Their backup threw for 300 yds. Mediocre Miami threw for 330 yards. Logan Thomas had another good game in the VT game.

"Facts" and stats are deceiving when you're counting Elons and Bama A&Ms. Don't do that.

Games of significance, bro. Games of significance...

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@AugustaJacket

My bad, misread.  Agreed though.  I don't think it would look good if we had both QBs on there.   Still think Laskey should be on there though.  Do think the unis look good though.  Wonder if we would leave the "GT" off the helmet like we did against VT....

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@Birmingham__Jacket '"Facts" and stats are deceiving when you're counting Elons and Bama A&Ms. Don't do that.

Games of significance, bro. Games of significance..."

_______________________________________________


You don't know when to quit...


Here's the breakdown...


Elon - 1

Duke - 2

UNC - 1

VT - 2

Miami - 1

BYU - 3

Syracuse - 1

UVA - 3

Pitt - 5

Clemson - 4

Bama A&M - 4

uga - 5

Ole Miss - 2


As you can see, 5 sacks, or 15% came against FCS opponents.  17 sacks, or 50% of them came against our 6 toughest opponents.  (Big 4 + BYU & Ole Miss)


You should really check your facts before you argue with invalid assumptions.  The problem with our pass D last year wasn't pressure on the line, it was an injury-riddled secondary.