As a Recruit
A long time ago in a land far away, in a place called Hawaii, Paul Johnson was an offensive coordinator. While there, he met a young player by the name of Paul Manera. Johnson and Manera stayed in touch after they both departed from the Rainbow Warriors for greener pastures. Fast forward quite a few years, and Johnson is now the head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Manera has moved to Australia to teach them about American football and was a "gridiron" coach, as they say Down Under.
While in Australia, there was a player by the name of Adam Gotsis who was the most remarkable player on the team -- and it wasn't close. Manera sent word to Johnson about the nugget of Australian gold he had found in Gotsis. Johnson knew all the risks of getting a very raw player like Gotsis, but he also knew of the potential reward. So he went for it. In secret, Johnson and the Yellow Jackets had Gotsis come in and after visiting the campus, sealed his commitment to the Institute. He was ranked a measly two-star recruit by Rivals, and we all know that would go on to doom his career, just like all other two-star (or lower) recruits.
On the Flats
After getting to Georgia Tech, the legend of Adam Gotsis only continued to grow. Gotsis came to campus and made an immediate impact on the gridiron, which was nothing new to him. In his final year in Australia, Gotsis led his team with 12.5 sacks and was the MVP of the team. While his numbers weren't quite as high, the fact that he was able to obtain playing time spoke volumes about his oozing talent at the time. The following year, he was named the starter at defensive tackle in Ted Roof's new 4-3 scheme and he only solidified himself even more at the position. He finished second on the team with 5.5 sacks and also had 14.5 tackles for loss. This past season wasn't quite as good for Gotsis, but I believe there were other factors at play around him -- young players around him. He still performed well enough to be named second team All-ACC though.
With Gotsis' athleticism and pure talent, there will be NFL teams drooling over him by season's end. And standing at 6'5" 282 lbs., Gotsis also has the versatility to play defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense, or strongside defensive end in either a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense. The best thing that Gotsis can do to improve his draft stock this season is go out and play. He's got a little bit more experience around him this year, so the opposing offensive lines now know that there is more than just Gotsis to worry about now. With that, it seems pretty likely that Gotsis could have his best season on the Flats this year.
Gotsis is already starting to pop up on draft boards, and CBS Sports' Rob Rang calls Gotsis "a name to remember." Don't gloss over that article either. Rang does an excellent job of going a lot more in depth about Gotsis and his untapped potential. Best of all, he does so by looking at Gotsis' performance against in-state rival uga, so you'll also get to be reminded of the joys of that game.
If you're an NFL team in need of a DT, where do you take Gotsis? Is Gotsis our best NFL prospect this year?