Kyle Cerge-Henderson committed to Georgia Tech back in June of 2014. Naturally, his family was very excited for him being able to continue his football career at a high level, but more than that, they were excited he picked Georgia Tech. Why? Because Kyle's father, Kevin, played linebacker on the Flats for Bill Curry in the mid-1980s, alongside now-defensive coordinator Ted Roof. Kyle wasn't just going to carry on the family tradition of great football players -- he was going to do it at his dad's alma mater.
As a Recruit
Cerge-Henderson committed to Georgia Tech out of Plant High School in Tampa, FL. He committed over an impressive offer sheet from a slew of Power-5 schools, including Boston College, Mississippi State, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Virginia, and West Virginia. (He also had reported interest from schools such as Auburn, Clemson, and Miami.) Cerge-Henderson was rated a three-star recruit by Rivals (5.5) and the 247Sports Composite (.8414). Alongside Will Bryan and Harland Howell, he enrolled early in school, thus ending his recruitment earlier in the fall.
The thing that jumps off the screen about Cerge-Henderson's film is his athleticism. Even at 6'1", 280lbs, he's playing fullback, chasing down ballcarriers, blocking for punt returns, and doing all sorts of things you wouldn't expect someone his size to be able to. He moves extremely well for his size in general. As a DT, the thing that I noticed is, again, how quick he is. He was very good at shedding blocks and getting to ballcarriers, even when a play is quick-hitting and leaves minimal time for him to do so. He does a nice job on pursuit angles and is a solid tackler, even without help from his teammates.
The biggest thing Cerge-Henderson will need to work on or show more of is plain strength. Rarely does his film highlight him just bulldozing an offensive lineman, and in a Power-5 conference, that's going to be a skill that a defensive lineman needs to have to at least some degree. His quickness is very much appreciated and valuable, but brute force is also a necessity at this level.
What to Expect
Cerge-Henderson joins the team as one of three interior defensive line commitments, alongside Brentavious Glanton and Scott Morgan, although the depth chart is thin enough that a couple of them will likely need to play. At this point, the depth chart only includes Adam Gotsis, Patrick Gamble, and Francis Kallon, although Jabari Hunt-Days is likely to be added there, assuming he re-attains eligibility. The preference is to have five guys that can play in those roles, meaning there's room for one at least, but maybe another depending on how players perform in camp. Cerge-Henderson will certainly benefit from a full spring semester on campus, including weight room and dietary assistance and a full spring practice cycle. Don't be surprised to see him playing as a true freshman, especially in passing situations where his quickness will be particularly valuable.
Welcome to the Flats, Kyle!
What are your thoughts on Kyle's film? Do you see him playing as a true freshman, or are you holding out for the possibility of Brentavious Glanton and Scott Morgan?