Georgia Tech Football Spring Position Previews: Defensive Line

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 23: Defensive end Antonio Simmons
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 23: Defensive end Antonio Simmons /

The next installment in our spring position preview is the Georgia Tech defensive line.

To be a successful and championship caliber football team, you must be able to dominate on both sides of the ball. Last season, Georgia Tech struggled on both sides, on offense they struggle at keeping defenders out of the backfield and on defense they couldn’t find their way to opposing backfields.

Position Previews:

Now with a new look defense, Paul Johnson and Nate Woody hope the changes lead to dominant defense for the Yellow Jackets. This upcoming season, the Jackets will be running a 3-4 defense, meaning that in most cases they will have three defensive lineman on the field with four linebackers behind them.

Projected Starters:

More from Football

DE – Anree Saint-Amour – SR: 

At 6-foot-3 and 247-pounds, you can expect to see Anree Saint-Amour as one the Jackets starting defensive ends this season. Last year, Saint-Amour played in nine games and recorded 32 tackles on the season. The Suwanee native also finished the season with 5.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks.

DT – Desmond Branch – RS SR:

Right now it appears Desmond Branch will be the starting defensive tackle this season. Last year, Branch and Brenatavious Glanton both started at defensive tackle but with only one spot available this season it’s a bit more of a competition. Branch last season had a decent season managing 20 tackles including 3.5 tackles for a loss and one sack.

DE – Tyler Merriweather – RS SR:

Last season Merriweather was second on the Jackets depth chart behind KeShun Freeman for one of the defensive line spots. Despite being second on the depth chart, Merriweather didn’t get many opportunities to show what he’s got. Merriweather last season finished with just two tackles and has only racked up eight career tackles.


DE – Kelton Dawson – RS FR:

After redshirting last season, Dawson enters 2018 as a player that should see time in the Jackets defensive line rotation this season. According to reports out of spring camp, Branch has been impressive. Dawson will have the opportunity to learn from an experienced group of staters and could develop into a strong pash rusher for the Jackets.

DT – Brentavious Glanton – RS JR:

As mentioned above, Glanton was a starter last season for the Yellow Jackets at defensive tackle. This season however, the Jackets will just trot one defensive tackle out there usually meaning that Glanton may be the odd man out with Desmond Branch getting the starts. Having Glanton as a backup is good situation for the Jackets as Glanton has shown some potential and was able to finish last season with 21 tackles including three tackles for a loss.

DT – Brandon Adams – JR:

At 6-foot-2 and 329-pounds, Brandon Adams is the biggest player on Georgia Tech’s roster. Adams will most likely start the season as the third-string defensive tackle but still should see a solid amount of snaps this season. Last season, Adams had a decent season given his playing time and finished with 10 tackles including one tackle for a loss.

Playing time up in the air:

DT – Antwan Owens

Owens played in eight games last year as a true freshman collecting three tackles including one sack. Owens like Adams is hurt by the Jackets change in defensive strategy going to the 3-4. Owens may see time this season or he may have a redshirt season.

DT – T.K Chimedza – FR:

At 6-foot-3 and 300-pounds, Chimedza is already physically ready to play at the college level. Once a four-star recruit, Chimedza has potentially the highest ceiling of any Georgia Tech defensive lineman but there there is still a lot to work on for the freshman. Chimedza’s chances of seeing the field this season are probably higher than they were when he first enrolled. With players being able to play up to four games without burning a redshirt, Chimedza may be a player who gets to take advantage of limited opportunities this season.