What an odd selection of a player to have pegged as a breakout player. As a redshirt freshman Ja’Quon Griffin had 2.5 sacks last year which lead the team. Most of the time a returning sack leader would be picked as an impact player yet Griffin led the team while not being a starter and as a defensive tackle.
Calling someone a starter on Georgia Tech right now may be a bit misleading with the “Above the Line” chart Coach Collins likes to use. Most of the season saw a lot of young guys get rotated out on the defensive line. Griffin was one of those guys but made his presence felt when he saw the field. He may still be rotated out with so many returning along with Lee and Chris Martin coming back from injury but Griffin will take another step in his game with a better overall defense.
Ja’Quon might be smaller than some of the other defensive tackles on the line but he has a great burst and strength that lets him collapse the pocket on passing downs.
In what appears to be a busted screen play by Miami Demetrius Knight makes a great-strip sack on this play but he is unblocked while Griffin works through a block to follow only a step behind to score the fumble recovery and touchdown. Before going down, the quarterback seems to pump his throw but holds on with Griffin being in the passing lane.
Here Ja’Quon beats the guard on a rush and pushes through the right tackle to bring down Virginia’s elusive quarterback, Bryce Perkins. With the odd fronts the coaches like to mix in on occasion it shows they have a trust in his versatile skill set.
The defensive line is only going to get better in year 2 and Ja’Quon Griffin is going to be a big part of that. Look for him to improve on his numbers from last year as opposing offenses will have their hands full with a larger more experienced defensive front from Georgia Tech.