The Jackets brought in their second commit in as many days today with the commitment of TD Roof, the son of Georgia Tech Defensive Coordinator and alumnus Ted Roof. The younger Roof committed to Tech over a number of offers, mostly from G5 programs. Roof's other Power-5 offer came from Indiana.
Roof currently plays for Buford HS, and helped lead the team to the state AAAA finals, where they lost 10-0 to Cartersville. This will be the 3rd straight year in which the Jackets have reeled in a recruit from the Gwinnett County powerhouse, and have been setting up a substantial pipeline for talent. Since Roof's father arrived on the coaching staff in 2013, a specific focus has been placed upon his native Gwinnett County. Last year, 5 of 18 Georgia Tech signees came from Gwinnett, including Xavier Gantt, Georgia Tech's highest-rated in-state prospect. Roof will start the Gwinnett pipeline this year, and he likely won't be the end of it.
Roof stands out instantly on film as a player who is quick off the ball, decisive, and who takes great angles to the ball-carrier. Roof plays sideline-to-sideline, and has a fantastic motor. When dealing with blockers, he does a great job of slipping by men who are too big for him to take head on, but there are times when a LB simply has to take on much bigger men. I didn't see enough of that from Roof in his highlights.
Roof was excellent on special teams coverage units, delivering a couple of nasty hits on returners and proving to be hard to block in open space. This will help him get on the field a bit earlier, and the coaches have shown in the past that they take of note of great special teams contributors.
There weren't many highlights of Roof blitzing, but one play in particular showed me that he has potential. He has quickness to get up the field on OTs, knows how to effectively use a rip move, and how to "bend the corner" to finish the play for a sack. He could be an asset coming off the edge in passing situations.
While I would have liked to have seen more plays in pass coverage, his biggest need right now is size. Currently listed at 5-11, 200(Though I think he's slightly bigger than that), Roof will need bulk in order take on Power-5 level linemen and backs. He has room on his frame to add more weight easily.
When I first saw the name "Roof" and "Linebacker" before watching his film, I expected a run-stopping middle linebacker who sticks to the box. What I found was quite different. When thinking of a comparison to a current Georgia Tech player, I felt that Roof was more of a PJ Davis than a Brant Mitchell. He'll likely play the Will LB role in his father's defense, at least initially.
The Class So Far
Roof marks the first defensive recruit of this cycle, and Tech now has a specialist, an offensive player, and a defensive player. After a long drought, the coaches are finally reeling in commits, and we can only hope the momentum continues through the rest of the summer.