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Georgia Tech Football: Five Breakout Players - LB Tyler Marcordes

Our series continues today with another seasoned veteran who's just now getting a chance to shine at linebacker.

Tyler Marcordes, Redshirt Junior, Linebacker

There are three distinct memories I have concerning Tyler Marcordes on the Flats. The first is from 2012, when he started the Middle Tennessee State game debacle at Jack linebacker in place of an injured Jeremiah Attaochu. I remember being in the press box in that game, and how a lot of the media around me were pointing out that the Blue Raiders were targeting Marcordes with passes and runs, as he missed a lot of tackles and generally struggled the entire game. It was really tough to watch. The other memory I have of Tyler Marcordes is just before halftime in last year's Elon game, where the Phoenix was on its most successful drive of the entire game. In the red zone, their QB threw a pass to his left, going for six. Marcordes did his best Dikembe Mutombo impression with a little "not in my house", stepping in front of the pass for an interception, and taking it all the way back for six.

The third memory I have actually hardly involves him at all, but is important. Prior to the aforementioned 2012 season, I was at Fan Day talking to Attaochu before everyone went out to the field. I asked him who he thought would surprise Tech fans that year, and that future second-round pick's response? You guessed it -- Marcordes. I think that says the most of all. Sure, as a freshman, Marcordes had a tough game against MTSU. It's understandable, right? He was starting for the first time on the college level, replacing a guy who was one of the best players on the defense. I'm sure he was nervous, and mistakes can quickly snowball as your confidence drops in those scenarios. But think -- he did enough in practice to make the guy he was backing up take notice.

Believe it or not, Marcordes has played in all 27 games since the start of the 2012 season, although his only other start was against Alabama A&M last year. He's a veteran guy who works very hard and has impressed a lot of coaches since the end of last season. As is the case with a number of players that will be starting for the first time this year, he was stuck behind new Minnesota Viking Brandon Watts on the depth chart last year, afforded little opportunity to play. However, this year is going to need to be a big one for Marcordes. As mentioned, reviews from camp are very positive on Marcordes, which is a good sign, but as the defense transitions to a 4-2-5, he'll need to work well with Quayshawn Nealy to support the defensive line. This blogger thinks he will, and thinks that he'll surprise quite a few people (in a positive way) with his play this season. As for that guy he'll be replacing? Well, let's ask what he thinks.

Do you have high expectations from Marcordes? Are you happy to see him starting?