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Georgia Tech Football: Position Previews - Linebacker

A position that can benefit from some new names

NCAA Football: Georgia at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The linebacker group didn’t lose anyone to graduation but there were a couple of movements that will change the rotation up come this Fall. Charlie Thomas, who saw considerable time and was fifth on the team in tackles, will move to the Nickel spot to give that position some needed help. Also, Bruce Jordan-Swilling will move to running back while Jerry Howard will take his place. Georgia Tech saw about 5 to 6 linebackers on it’s “Above The Line” chart each week.

Above The Line

David Curry | “RS RS Senior”

2019 Stats: 97 Tackles | 6 TFL | 2 Sacks | 1 INT | 1 FR | 2 FF

Curry has been apart of the Yellow Jackets for quite a while now. He returns for his 6th season after being granted an extra year by the NCAA due to injuries earlier in his career. He was just a true freshman when something called the “Miracle on Techwood” happened. He was the leader of the defense last year and will sure to be this year as well. Curry also led the team in tackles and was one of only three players to record multiple sacks while coming up with a couple of turnovers. He has a way of creating timely plays and will probably make a few more this coming season.

Demetrius Knight | Sophomore

2019 Stats: 18 Tackles | 2 TFL | 1 Sack | 1 FF

Knight was originally pegged as a dual-threat QB during his recruitment but changed to LB with the new coaching staff. He saw playing time in each game and came away with his biggest play by strip sacking Miami’s N’Kosi Perry that was recovered for a touchdown. After gaining valuable experience in his freshman year he will likely grow into more playing time and provide strong run support as he was proficient and chasing down running backs.

Quez Jackson | Junior

2019 Stats : 49 Tackles | 5 TFL | 1 FF

Quez saw quite an improvement from his first year on the team as he only recorded 15 tackles in his freshman year. Last year he was 5th in tackles with 49 and even forced a fumble on Georgia’s D’Andre Swift. Quez is one of the faster linebackers and can help provide additional coverage support as he had two passes defended.

Chico Bennett Jr. | Sophomore

2019 Stats: 15 Tackles

Bennett’s stat line may not look like much at first but that was as a freshman and only being able to play 7 games after sustaining a season-ending injury. Chico is by far the biggest linebacker on the team and the coaching staff had great trust in him to play so early in his career. Expect Chico to be the big-time hitter now that Charlie Thomas has moved over to the Nickel position.

In Contention

Khatavian Franks | Freshman

2019 High School Stats: 158 Tackles | 21 TFL | 18 Sacks

Franks will be new to the team this season but expect to see him on the field a few times this season. He is very lean for a linebacker but would add excellent pass rushing with his speed and could have the ability to cover any receivers who try to run shallow routes across this middle.

Jerry Howard | Senior

2019 Running Back: 23 Carries | 102 Yards | 4.4 Avg

Howard joins the linebackers to avoid a deep running back group. While he is a veteran player in a younger position group he may have a hard time breaking into his new role with the shortened spring. He could grab one of the last spots but would probably fill more of a reserve role.

Tyson Meiguez | Freshman

2019 High School Stats: 180 Tackles | 3 Sacks | 2 INTs

Meiguez and Franks were high school teammates and have the potential to lead the group later in their careers. Meiquez is built like your old-fashioned linebacker who delivers punishing blows to any running back thinking of meeting him head-on. He was certainly involved with 180 tackles his final year at Creekside and hopefully, he develops into an impact player with Tech.

Conclusion

Georgia Tech has a young linebacking core that should start to build towards being a strength for the defense. Cornelius Evans and Khaya Wright will also be competing but will probably become more involved after a few departures this year. Georgia Tech had a rough year against the run game last year so the added depth should help plug up some holes.