Every year at this time I like to look ahead and analyze the roster a little, taking an in depth look at each position group. I don't comment on recruits because, until they sign, it isn't worth the effort. I also leave out walk-ons unless they have gotten significant snaps on offense or defense. At DE: GONE: are Jeremiah Attaochu and Emmanuel Dieke. Attaochu, despite probably playing out of position for his last two years will go down as one of TECH's best ever pass rushers. At times it looked like he was all alone getting pressure. His career is full of huge plays and one single huge penalty. Nearly every game he played in, he left some kind of substantial mark. He will most likely play at 3-4 OLB in the NFL. Dieke, while having a prototype body for the position, never really made an impact. He lacked the explosiveness off the ball and agility to give anybody trouble. He was rarely doubled and yet was silent most of the time. The vast majority of plays he made were steered into him rather than him whipping somebody and making a play. Of the two, JA will be the tough one to replace without having a drop off. RETURNING WITH PLAYING TIME: are Anthony Williams (R-SR) 6-4, 237, Patrick Gamble (R-SO)6-5, 271 and Tyler Stargell (R-SO) 6-3, 251. Williams has been a big disappointment in terms of earning any meaningful playing time despite plenty of time in the system. He appeared to have the quicks if not the strength to have an impact on the edge. I thought the move to a 4-3 would help him a lot, but it never materialized. He is set to graduate and I would not be surprised if he packs it in and moves on with his life. Gamble is a bit of a tweener. He is a little light in his pants for DT and maybe not quite quick enough to make a huge impact at DE. Having seen him on film this season, it is hard to imagine him being substantially more effective than Dieke. On the other hand Stargell is all DE. He saw limited action as a sub this season with mixed results. He looks to have potential, but never really left a huge imprint on any game he played in. OTHER RETURNERS: are Nick Menocal (SR) 6-3, 248, Roderick Chungong (R-SO)6-3, 263, and Kevin Robbins (R-FR)6-4, 230. To this point Menocal has been mostly a STs player and it hard to see that changing. I have no real observations of either Chungong or Robbins. Needless to say, I am concerned about taking a step back at this position. Barring a surprising step up from somebody, we may be in some trouble. At DT: GONE: is Euclid Cummings. Euclid steadily improved over the course of his tenure on the flats but he never became a force that the opposition needed to plan for. He rarely faced double teams or made huge plays. I would characterize him as an average DT for this level of play. Replacing him without a drop off will not be as difficult as it will be for Attaochu. RETURNING WITH PLAYING TIME: are Shawn Green (R-SR) 6-0, 280, Jimmy Kitchens (R-JR)6-3, 279, Adam Gotsis (JR) 6-5, 277 and Francis Kallon (R-SO) 6-5, 303. Green has been an oft injured sub player for us recently. He is a solid situational type player who is adept at getting low, firing off the ball, and knifing into gaps. 3rd and 4th and short are his specialty, where he struggles in the pass rush. He will be valuable to us even if not as a full time starter. Kitchens got a lot of time as a sub and was pretty much on even terms production wise with Cummings. He has some potential to be a major contributor, but he will need to get serious about his strength and conditioning in the off season. At this point he has yet to prove that he is the heir apparent. Gotsis has been a starter as a true sophomore all season. The progress he has made has been remarkable over that time. However, he needs to improve his upper body strength and general football playing acumen. If he continues to improve at the rate he has, we may be looking at an all conference type player before he is done. All signs point up with him. Kallon pretty much came to GT as a football virgin. Of all the guys in this position group, he has the prototype body and athletic ability. He has just been unable to master the techniques required to successfully battle in the trenches. Word from the coaches is that he is starting to "get it". If this is true, we may be seeing a huge step forward at DT next season. IMHO, there is no more important person on defense that needs to make that kind of jump. OTHER RETURNERS: are Justin Akins (R-FR) 6-4, 240 and Darius Commishiong (R-FR) 6-3, 305. Both kids have good reps. It will be interesting to see if they can step up and have a meaningful role. IN SUMMARY: The most likely outcome is that we improve some on the interior. Gotsis will most likely be better and the potential for others to step up is there. However, on the outside, it will be a lot more difficult to avoid taking a step back. So, the personality of the DL should change some, but I anticipate having this remain the weak point of the defense in 2014.