Prior stories in this series: ATH (QB) Dennis Andrews, ATH (QB) Justin Thomas, WR Michael Summers, ATH (RB) Marcus Allen, DE Francis Kallon, WR Travin Henry, DT Adam Gotsis, LB Beau Hankins, DT Pat Gamble, DB Anthony Autry, LB Tyler Stargel , and OL Freddie Burden.
Recruit #12 that we're going to profile here is one that likely should have been profiled much sooner. He was only rated as a 3-star prospect across the board by Rivals, Scout, and ESPN, but he ended up with offers from a laundry list of high-profile schools, including Boston College, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Mississippi State, NC State, Purdue, Stanford, Virginia, and Wake Forest. Also, he committed to Georgia Tech in early August, meaning his stock likely could have gone up from there as well. We have a real gem here in DE Rod Chungong, and the coaching staff is excited to have him coming to play for the Institute. He's 6'3", 250lbs, meaning he has the size of an ILB, but if he can put on about 20-30lbs he could be a pretty impressive DE. Also interesting is that he comes from Our Lady of Good Counsel HS in Olney, MD. For those keeping score, that's the same high school that high-profile CB Louis Young attended. Looks like having Coach Al Groh around has some recruiting benefits for us on defense. Another off-the-field thing that's great about Chungong is that after committing to Tech, he then was attempting to recruit 4-star DE and teammate Ryan Watson to come to Tech and join him and Young. It didn't work out (he committed to Purdue), but you always love to see kids take that initiative in making the program that they've committed to better.
As for how he will individually make our program better, I watched his film and was impressed, but in an interesting way. Usually when you're impressed by a defensive end, it's because he has this great motor and can provide a pretty nasty pass rush and really blow plays up. However, watching his film, he didn't seem like an over-the-top pass rusher or like a truly physically imposing DE. What I was impressed with off of his film was his incredible sense of discipline at defensive end, which is pretty rare among high school athletes. Play after play, he never lost contain on his side when the play started moving the other direction but came back his way. He sniffed out a number of screen passes while teammates were chasing down the passer, even intercepting a couple of short dump-passes, showing great hands to do so. This stuff is all great to see from a DE, especially in high school, but it's going to be interesting to see how it translates to our defense, and in particular Al Groh's 3-4 defense. His play style is really not what we're looking for in a DE (a big, strong guy that can create a pass rush and cause chaos in the line), and really in my opinion his play style fits best at a weak outside linebacker type, where he would need patience to not lose contain, but also the ability to wrap up a ballcarrier and cut down a play that is looking to take advantage of most of the defense being out of position. However, his size is that of an inside linebacker, too small for defensive end but a little large for an outside linebacker (where mobility and tackling ability are the two biggest concerns). So although he was recruited as a defensive end, it'll be interesting to see how he's developed within our defensive scheme. Do we pack some weight and muscle onto him and get him to put some O-Linemen on their hind quarters? Do we get him to drop a little weight and play the outside linebacker position? Do we get him to change his play style to fit that of an inside linebacker? I'm not really sure how he'll fit in, but I trust Groh to find a perfect fit for him within our scheme. Either way, we have a great player and a great kid coming our way in Roderick Chungong. Welcome to Tech, Rod!
Rod Chungong #50 2010 Highlights (via rrosen24)