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Georgia Tech Football: Five Breakout Players - DT D’Quan Douse

The departure of Keion White creates a need for someone to apply pressure on the QB. It could come from the interior of the line.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 01 Georgia Tech at Pitt Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

D”Quan Douse came to Georgia Tech during the coaching change to Geoff Collins in 2019. He redshirted his first year but also retained a year due to the 2020 COVID rules and will enter the season as a redshirt junior. Douse played in 19 games with 2 starts in his first two years with the team for a total of 8 tackles in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Last year he was the starter for all 12 games and his numbers improved to 26 total tackles, 5.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

The defensive line will miss Keion White on the edge to produce sacks but Douse finished second on the team last year. Interior linemen typically don’t generate as many stats as the edge but the fact he accounted for just over 10% of the team’s sacks indicates he can push the pocket in on the opposing QB.

Douse really stood out in two games against Virginia Tech and UNC where he accounted for all his sacks and forced fumbles. You could chalk some of that production up to either of those teams' offensive lines being down, but there isn’t a doubt that Douse began to improve in the later half of the season. It felt like the defense as a whole began to click better when Andrew Thacker had more control over the defense and switched to a 4-3 once Brent Key was promoted to interim. Douse weighs in at around 280 pounds which is on the lighter side for a Nose Guard but the switch to a four-man front allowed him to work against a single blocker rather than be double-teamed.

Having D’Quan Douse rise to the occasion will be beneficial for the defense in the early season as the linebackers behind him from last year, Eley and Thomas, have departed. Holding the interior and clogging up running lanes will be essential as less experienced players at other positions gain their footing.