Although former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze’s taste for the best and brightest of Tampa proved detrimental for the program up in Oxford, his resignation and subsequent NCAA rulings on the matter will at least be of some benefit to Georgia Tech in the form of transfer tackle Jack DeFoor.
DeFoor, a former three-star prospect out of Calhoun, GA, originally chose Ole Miss over offers from Clemson and Michigan among others. He was initially declared ineligible for the 2018 season before the NCAA backtracked and granted immediate eligibility to all of the Ole Miss evacuees, many of whom were underclassmen like DeFoor.
Due to the team’s overall lack of depth across the offensive line, the odds are good that DeFoor will be asked to play meaningful snaps at some point this season. To call him a veteran presence would be a stretch to say the least — DeFoor has played six career snaps at an offensive line position after redshirting his first year — but there’s no denying that his upside makes him an interesting player to watch. It will all boil down to how quickly he can grasp the offensive scheme, especially after spending years in the up-tempo spread-style offense in Oxford.
As a player, DeFoor is unquestionably strong. He has a good 6-foot-5, 305-pound frame that drew so much early interest from the biggest football schools in the country and looked good in those aforementioned six plays, all of which came in garbage time versus Vanderbilt last season. Below is one of them:
DeFoor is #54, lined up at left guard in the clip above. I picked this play because it showcases his agility, a trait that’s even more important for a lineman in Paul Johnson’s offensive scheme than most others. He executes the pull half of the pin-and-pull well, taking his man out of the play entirely and allowing for a nice gain.
All film from the YouTube channel of Luke Carlton
In this second play, we see the strength come in to play as DeFoor clears out his assignment (290-pound defensive lineman Cameron Tidd of Vanderbilt), finding a way to get some leverage against the shorter defender. The common denominator from all six snaps against Vanderbilt is that he blocks all the way through each play, a personality trait that (obviously) translates to every offensive scheme on earth.
In a perfect world, DeFoor would be able to play sparingly this season as he learned the ins and outs of a completely different offense. Unfortunately, the 2018 Yellow Jackets likely won’t have that luxury given the dearth of solid options at most every offensive line position; expect to see him playing early, and possibly with mixed results. Even if there is some light frustration, don’t forget that the pure talent is certainly there for Jack DeFoor. He may not be a world-beater right off the bat, but don’t hold your breath on any of his struggles lasting for too long.