DE: Tony Hargrove, Terron Pullen (INJ), Chirod Williams, Adamm Oliver
DE: *Greg Gathers (INJ), Eric Henderson, Darius Williams, Joe Anoai
* Former All-ACC selection
Throughout spring the Defensive Ends have been the strength of
the Georgia Tech football team. They come away with my highest grade and, yes,
that is without including former All-ACC selection Greg Gathers. We have enough
power behind Gathers to be able to get by without him but, of course, we are
even stronger if he is healthy. Gathers is supposed to return in fall close to
With him sitting out last season, we were able to further
develop DEs Tony Hargrove and Eric Henderson into legitimate forces. Henderson
has benefited the most from Gathers' absence. He was able to earn a starting
spot last season opposite Hargrove and is now one of, if not the, top defenders
in our lineup.
Hargrove and Henderspm are two guys you just don't want to
mess with. Both are brutally fierce, very strong and play with unmatched
intensity. We did more live QB hitting during scrimmages this spring than normal
and Bilbo probably had all he wanted to see of those two for a few months. I
can't say enough positive things about those two but they are exciting to watch.
The only real knock I could find against them is that both
were caught off sides too many times in scrimmages in their over exuberance to
terrorize our Quarterbacks.
But the talent doesn't stop there. We have another that is
supposed to eventually be as good or better than both, Terron Pullen. Pullen got
injured halfway through spring drills, so I didn't get to see as much of him as
I would have wanted. But what I did see was very promising. Like Gathers, he's a
guy that is able to move from the outside to the interior. He's got some things
to learn still but his talents are easily apparent. If we get all 4 healthy for
fall it could give Coach Tenuta the "good problem" of trying to figure
out how to get all of them in the game.
The depth doesn't stop there because Chirod Williams is back
from experimenting with the Linebacker position last season and Darius Williams
moved over from Tight End in the middle of spring. C. Williams saw more reps
this spring than he has yet. He is not on the level of the others ahead of him
but it was nice to see all of his persistence pay off with some good playing
time in practice.
D. Williams looks like a much more natural fit at DE after
years of languishing behind others at TE and never moving up the depth chart. He
was obviously trying to feel out exactly where his assignments were on the
defense but looked strong enough to fight off blocks and make a few plays. He is
easily the tallest guy on the line at 6'6" and that size really catches
The rich gets even richer in fall when this group adds newly
signed Adamm Oliver and Joe Anoai. I can't see needing to use them next season
but if they arrive good enough to compete, then that will just make this group
even more formidable. The grade could have been higher even still if the group
was healthier and made a few less penalties in scrimmages.