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Ken SugiuraKen Sugiura

Gotsis ‘100 percent confident’ in defensive line

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Georgia Tech defensive tackle Adam Gotsis has high hopes and expectations for his fellow linemen. He said of freshman end KeShun Freeman, "I can definitely see him making plays this year." (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Georgia Tech defensive tackle Adam Gotsis has high hopes and expectations for his fellow linemen. He said of freshman end KeShun Freeman, “I can definitely see him making plays this year.” (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Georgia Tech defensive tackle Adam Gotsis understands the doubts about the defensive line.

It bothers him, “but I can see where they’re coming from, as well, because we did lose a lot of guys,” Gotsis said Saturday at Tech’s media day. “We didn’t really have much of a rotation last year, and we did lose a lot of guys that made impacts on the defensive line.”

That said, as you might expect, Gotsis does not share the doubts about the Yellow Jackets’ ability to replace Jeremiah Attaochu, Euclid Cummings and Emmanuel Dieke. He was plenty optimistic about the three linemen most likely to start alongside him, as well as a couple backups.

“It’s just another opportunity for these young guys to step up and fill some big shoes,” he said. “I’m 100 percent confident in everyone that’s going to.”

On true freshman KeShun Freeman, who is in line to start at rush end: “Definitely a smart player. You can tell that he’s understood the concepts of the defense, he’s understood what we expect from him and what we need from him. Definitely, his strengths are his speed and just his smarts. He’s a smart player. He’ll be able to play with tackles’ heads the way he rushes the passer, the way he plays defense. You can see that already.”

On Shawn Green, expected to start next to Gotsis at nose tackle: “A healthy Shawn Green is someone not to be messed with. It’s kind of been unfortunate for him, he’s been pretty banged up since he got here. He’s probably had one of his best offseasons, I’d say, running-wise, lifting-wise, just getting himself in shape. I feel like he’s ready to make that impact this year.”

On likely strongside end Tyler Stargel: “Last year, playing behind Jerry, he knew that he really wasn’t getting in the game much, so when he got in there, he was kind of just trying to make a play, where now he understands the role that he plays in the defense. It might not be that he has to get the sack every play. If he can influence (the play) by doing his job, that’s what we need him to do. And I think he understands that now. He’s gotten faster, stronger. … I definitely feel like he’s where he needs to be.”

On tackle backups Francis Kallon and Pat Gamble: “On the inside, I feel like Francis Kallon has definitely come a long way. From the end of last season to where he is now, he’s a whole different player. Hopefully we can get him right in these last two weeks of camp because he’s definitely going to have to play this year and have an impact. Pat Gamble played a little bit last year, but he’s definitely another guy that’s going to have a huge impact. I feel like he’s definitely going to get the rotation a lot this year, so hopefully we can get a good rotation on the d line, stay fresh out there and make plays.”

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