One of the biggest questions leading into the 2014 season for the Georgia Tech football team is what impact will the changes on defensive line have?
There is cause for concern with regards to the defensive line in their lack of experience. Three of the four starters from last season graduated and two players left the program leaving a huge void for the remaining players to fill.
The unit will look toward Adam Gotsis to lead them. Gotsis averaged nearly 3 tackles per game and was second on the team in tackles for loss and sacks with 14.5 and 5.5 respectively. The only other player with significant experience is Shawn Green. Green is a red-shirt senior and is likely to play the nose tackle position. Green missed six games this past season but was able to play in the final four games.
Though they may lack experience, there are several players on the line that could provide stability to the unit. Players like Darius Commissioning and Mitchell Williams are coming off of their red-shirt season and are looking to show what they learned from the previous season. Tyler Stergel, Roderick Rook-Chungong, and Nick Menocal played sparingly last season and are looking to prove themselves this season. KeShun Freeman comes in as a true freshman and an early enrollee but it remains to be seen whether or not he will see playing time this fall or will red-shirt.
A potential wild card that could provide a spark to the defensive line is Jabari Hunt-Days. Hunt-Days played linebacker his first two seasons on the Flats and garnered First Team Freshman All-American honors in 2012. The hope is that Hunt-Days can have the same impact Jeremiah Attaochu had last season at the same position. Factors that would take Hunt-Days out of the equation for defensive end include the emergence of transfer Kenderius Whitehead and/or Hunt-Days being more effective at linebacker.
Although there aren’t a lot of household names at this position, the ability to make a significant impact is there. As long as the units gels and progresses throughout spring practice and into the fall, the sky’s the limit for them.
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