Next up in our meet the freshman series is defensive tackle TK Chimedza out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
One of the biggest wins on the recruiting trail in recent memory for Georgia Tech, defensive tackle TK Chimedza represents that the Jackets can in fact get elite talent. While he ended p being a three-star defensive tackle to end the cycle, at the time of his commitment, Chimedza was considered a four-star recruit and one of the top-300 players in the nation.
At the time of his commitment it could be argued that the Georgia native was the biggest commitment that Paul Johnson ever received on The Flats. While he would eventually fall down rankings, Chimedza still shows that the Yellow Jackets can go up against some of the nation’s top programs on the recruiting trail.
Chimedza’s commitment to Georgia Tech was not a shock, prior to his commitment, both sides showed a ton of interest in each other. That being said, it wasn’t going to be easy to land the then four-star recruit at IMG Academy, one of the nation’s top high school football programs. In his recruitment, the Jackets had to go up against heavy hitters such as Florida State, Georgia, Oregon, and Tennessee on the recruiting trail before landing his eventual commitment.
What to Expect in 2018 and beyond:
At 6-foot-3 and 300-pounds, Chimedza is physically readyto take on college offensive lineman with a little bit of work in the weight room. This season, Chimedza chances to see the field is hard to gauge. With the Jackets new 3-4 defense, they will be at most times running one defensive tackle onto the field. With four other defensive tackles in front of him, it will be hard for him to gain some playing time.
That being said, the coaching staff will most likely try to get him at least some work to see how he does and when put in the fire. If he struggles, they could pull him back and redshirt him this season. If he flourishes, than the Jackets can go full steam ahead with him as part of the rotation at defensive tackle.
In his high school HUDL tape, Chimedza doesn’t burst off the offensive line as a pass rusher but more of a run stuffer. In his tape below, you can see that Chimedza uses his long arms to wrangle ball carriers and bring them to the ground. There are some decencies in his game and that lead to his dropping in rankings that being said, the one time highly touted defensive end is still there and with some refining, could become the player that scouts once believed he could be.
If he can show himself to be one of the better run stuffers at defensive tackle, Chimedza could find himself a role in the rush defense this season. If Chimedza can maintain a healthy weight while developing over the next year, the Yellow Jackets should be confident at defensive tackle for the next 3-4 years. As mentioned above, the same player that was a high four-star recruits is still somewhere within Chimedza, it may just take sometime to bring him back out but if that player does arrive on The Flats, he could be a game-changer.