2014 Defense signee recaps

Discussion in 'GT Swarm Articles, Interviews & Photos' started by Eric, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    I will go on record of saying that this is the best defensive class that we have signed in quite sometime...I am very confident that we have signed some key guys on the defensive side of the ball.

    DE (4)

    Kenderius Whitehead - Probably have to say that this is my favorite signee from the 2014 class...Kenderius has so much potential. He helps fill a HUGE need right away...One of the biggest concerns iIhad heading into next season was who was going to rush the passer...Kenderius has a chance to help fill that void right away...Kenderius is a pass rushing specialist. The kid knows how to get after the quarterback. I think the worst case for him is that he a used as a pass rusher this year..it would not be a surprise to see him earn a good bit of playing time. He is also a high energy guy and shows that emotion of the field...he has the type of energy that people feed off of on the field. Whitehead will need to continue to improve in run support but simply put this kid can play...I feel he is one of the elite 1-8 players that CPJ talks about.

    Tyler Merriweather - Excellent job of Mike Pelton and the staff getting on Merriweather early..this kid was going to blow up when he made the rounds at camps. I can tell you that he is one of the staffs favorite players in this class and they think he has a very high ceiling. Coach Pelton summed it up by saying this "There are certain guys that are just Georgia Tech guys - this is one of 'em."...Tyler is a hard worker and he isnt afraid to lead not only by example but vocally as well. Merriweather is in the 240 range now...I think he will be a guy who makes a lot of noise in a couple of years. Someone who I expect to be at least a two year starter.

    Antonio Simmons - In high school Simmons was simply a sackmaster...I think he posted something like 26 sacks his Senior year. He is a guy who just pins his ears back and gets after the quarterback on every play. Simmons will need sometime to gain weight as he is only in the 215 range right now but a couple of years in college can help that. Georgia Tech find out about this guy by someone in the area giving Lamar Owens a call and saying you might want to check this kid out...Staff got the film during the week and when they watched it they decided they were going to offer him...They called him and get a unofficial visit set up for that weekend and when he visited he decided to commit. Staff got him wrapped up quick...There is also a chance that Simmons could be a OLB. Nebraska made a late push but Simmons didnt even entertain it.

    KeShun Freeman - For those that are also talking about the "Stanford" type of kid here ya go...He turned down offers from Tennessee and Stanford to play at Georgia Tech. I had the honor of getting to know KeShun and wow what a great kid he is. He is the perfect guy to represent a school...Then turn on the film and it's off the charts. He has such a quick first step and seems to be in the backfield before the play is even devloped a lot of times...Seems to play with good insticts is always around the ball. He could also play OLB but he is going to be giving a shot at DE first. Keep in mind that he has enrolled early.

    LB (2)

    Terrell Lewis - Was my sleeper pick in the class early on...Terrell is a great football player. He is coming in at OLB and he shows on his film his potential. Terrell has the speed to be good in space but can also play inside the box...He can also gets off the edge well. Looks to be a good tackler as well...There really isnt a negative I can find on Lewis...The one think that he will need to work on is coverage but he will be fine with some reps. He is going to start out at SAM LB.

    Tre Jackson - For those who got to hear Tre speak today I am sure you were all impressed...Of course the big knock on Tre is his height. He is close to 5'9...dont make your judgement on him off of that though. Turn on the film and you will see that Tre is proabably the meanest dude on the field at all times. Tre is also a leader on the field and off of the field..I have talked to him a few times and the kid is always fired up. He also isnt afraid to be a leader and he feels it is his job to be the leader of a defense because he is a ILB. I love this quote from CAM today "He knocks the fool out of someone, picks them up and says come again."..Tre is going to be a fan favorite. That kid is going to lay some kids out the next few years.

    DB (4)

    Lance Austin - Lance played both ways in high school and was a terror on both sides of the ball...He passed for around 900 yards his Senior year and ran for over a 1,000. He had 31 TDs total...also had 3 INTs this year.. He is coming to Tech as a CB and it is easy to see why...Both Austin twins are on the short side but these guys can play. They will line up against anybody and not back down...both have great verticals and are tough players who love to hit. They also have great quickness and can run stride for stride with anyone.

    Lawrence Austin - Lawrence also played both ways in high school...He had over 1,500 yards on offense and over 20 TDs...he could play A back if we needed him to but he like his Twin brother is coming in at CB. Not surprisngly they are very similar players...They are going to bring a toughness to the defense and wont back down from anybody. I expect big things from this duo.

    Step Durham - He is probably the highest ranked guy overall that Tech landed this year...Step is the total package and has the makings of a great CB. He shows very quick feet and breaks on the football well. He is also physical and plays with confidence. This is one guy that I feel has a great chance of playing next season...He has enrolled early and will be ready to go for the Spring. Between Durham and the Austin twins I like the potential of our CBs.

    Jalen Johnson - Another Mike Pelton find...Jalen is a smooth high caliber player who excelled on both sides of the ball in HS. Roof likes Jalen as a big safety...Jalen suffered a torn ACL early on in his Senior year which ended his high school career. He is almost 100% now and will likely be ready to go when he arrives at Tech. I am not sure where I like Jalen better at but I know he is a good wideout. I trust Roof as he plans to start him at safety but I could see him making a switch down the line...Great to have guys like him in the program.
     
  2. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Any defensive questions feel free to ask.
     
  3. croberts

    croberts Helluva Engineer

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    I enjoy everything you are doing. Thanks fo all the great info. My question - When do you sleep? Thanks again.
     
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  4. croberts

    croberts Helluva Engineer

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    I know that when I have watched film on Whitehead he jumps out at you and makes me have similar feeling concerning his ability and importance to this class. I only looked at highlight film which doesnt tell the whole story. Does this guy look this good all the time? If so, I have seen many players with 4 stars that did not look this good. What gives?
     
  5. Oldgoldandwhite

    Oldgoldandwhite Helluva Engineer

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    Good synopsis! I hope they are the real deal. I have always felt that if we had Clemson or Georgia's DL, we would be a 10+ win team every year.
     
  6. mqpayne

    mqpayne Ramblin' Wreck

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    Is Marcus Allen still at LB and how is he doing.
     
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  7. bat_082994

    bat_082994 Helluva Engineer

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    Do you think Simmons moves to LB due to being on the lighter side? That way GT could use him similarly to how the Seahawks use Bruce Irvin
     
  8. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

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    Antonio Simmons is the guy Im watching "monster senior season with 50 tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss and 29.0 sacks" thats right 29 sacks !!!

    Parade All American
    Defensive Player of the Year

    Yep I'm real curious about his progression.
     
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  9. BainbridgeJacket

    BainbridgeJacket Helluva Engineer

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    Agree with you about Lewis. It seemed he had offers everywhere, but never got rated by the services and is, therefore, 'unheralded'
     
  10. GT_B

    GT_B Ramblin' Wreck

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    We picked up so many solid DE's in the last 2 clAsses I'm really interested to see who comes out on top, hard not to want to play them all but competition only makes things better. I'm projecteding a crazy battle for WDE with whitehead and Simmons
     
  11. iceeater1969

    iceeater1969 Helluva Engineer

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    With the new talent on D, hope we will we be more aggressive on early downs and in first half season. Wish we would blitz more and not be so conservative, to let the guys have fun and get some turn overs and some scores on defense,,
    Last year we did better. With a good running attack and aggressive D, tech could attract even more talent! This is where we were when coach Johnson was hired - hope he lets some of this young talent play. We Ned an up tempo defense! THWG.
     
  12. SidewalkJacket

    SidewalkJacket Helluva Engineer

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    I was wondering about these recruiting recaps. Glad I looked in this forum and found them! The great thing about this defensive class is that I don't see a lot of "reaches." We can't always say that. The DBs, especially, seem physically ready for this level of play. I, also, would like to see Searcy in this DB group, with maybe on Austin bro at AB, of the Johnson kid at WR. Of course, one big DT would have made this defensive class a homerun, but it appears we're growing some DEs into DTs. Maybe this will work out better than some of our past pure DT recruits who haven't panned out. Remember the Vance Walker, Joe Anoai type guys who grew into great DTs for us!
     
  13. Mack

    Mack Helluva Engineer

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    Eric ,in your opinion how many can step it up and play next year ?
     
  14. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Hopefully we're in a position that not many have to play but I think Step Durham is a lock at CB, Kenderius Whitehead at DE and maybe someone like Tre Jackson on special teams.
     
  15. takethepoints

    takethepoints Helluva Engineer

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    Simmons reminds me of Marco Coleman. Nobody wanted Marco because he was a classic tween; too short and small to interest the factories. I mean, Ohio State was right next store and ignored him, despite a season very like the one Simmons posted this year. Coach Ross just smiled and signed him; he knew what he had as soon as he saw the films.

    Looks like our coaches had a similar reaction.
     
  16. Mack

    Mack Helluva Engineer

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    Just wondering how many Letterman we had this year in football.....Yeah in the old days Dodd would play 44 plus a game and used entite second team when he could.Off course substitution rule has changed but my point was that every year the tank was not empty.....
     
  17. jayparr

    jayparr Helluva Engineer

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    Marco played 8 man football!!
     
  18. Mack

    Mack Helluva Engineer

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    Man it would be nice to have another Marco on the d line .......he could play !
     
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  19. iceeater1969

    iceeater1969 Helluva Engineer

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    Feb 2014
    We need an up tempo defense. It will attract better players.
    Finally Woody and some of us are on the clock.
     
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