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Georgia Tech Football: Position Previews - Interior Defensive Line

Let’s take a look at the big uglies!

NCAA Football: South Florida at Georgia Tech Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The transition into the 2022 season saw the departures of Djimon Brooks (graduation), Mike Lockhart (transfer), and Ja’Quon Griffin (transfer), at defensive tackle. Though the group was not the strongest, Brooks and Griffin in particular were both key cogs in the defensive tackle group.

Returning Players

The Yellow Jackets return six players at defensive tackle, with three of them really standing out among the crowd: T.K. Chimedza, Zeek Biggers, and Makius Scott. Chimedza has started at different times for the Yellow Jackets, and now, as an upper classman and one of the senior members of the defensive line, he should be serving as the anchor of it. He only played five games last year and collected 12 tackles.

Zeek Biggers is a guy that really intrigues me. He is one of the biggest presences on the defensive line, standing at 6-6, 363 pounds, and should serve as a great run stuffer. He played sparingly last year, collecting 9 tackles.

We round out these top three with Makius Scott, the former South Carolina transfer. He did not really play much at all last year, but I expect we will see a little more of him, for depth if nothing else.

Joining these three in returning are redshirt sophomore D’Quan Douse, redshirt freshman Akelo Stone, and redshirt freshman Jason Moore.

Incoming Transfers

Though the Yellow Jackets initially had multiple players committed to transfer in at defensive tackle, they ended up with just one: Daniel Carson from Western Illinois. After beginning his career at Texas, Carson transferred to Western Illinois after the shortened Covid season of 2020. Last season, he started seven games for Western Illinois, and tallied at least two tackles in all but one.

Incoming Freshmen

Here is where things start to get a bit more interesting. Georgia Tech added arguably the two best defensive tackles Geoff Collins has brought in with Horace Lockett and KJ Miles. Both were rated 4-star prospects by Rivals. They also both have some pretty impressive reported offers to choose from.

Starting with KJ Miles, he has incredible versatility, being able to play all over the defensive line. Miles is pretty shifty along the defensive line, allowing him to slide off of blockers and get through. He also does a good job of knowing when he needs to hold back and let the play come to him.

It’s tougher to scout Lockett, as he does not have any recent film available, but here’s what I had to say about him in a previous article:

It’s hard to draw too much from these clips, since they are so limited, but what I can gather is that Lockett is quick off the line and had no trouble pushing through the offensive lines he went against. Knowing how much Tech has struggled, especially in the middle of the defensive line, Lockett is a very welcome addition.

Who’s Above the Line?

I think it’s safe to say that Chimedza, Biggers, and Scott, will all be Above the Line. Chimedza and Biggers will likely serve as the primary starters. To join them, I think will be a battle between KJ Miles and Daniel Carson. Carson brings the in-game experience, but I wonder if Miles is just too good to keep off the field. Either way, I think we could begin to see some improvement along the defensive line.