A look at Georgia Tech’s linebackers

Switching from the wide receivers, we take a look at Georgia Tech’s linebackers:

THE LINEBACKERS

  • Returning starters: Anthony Barnes, Julian Burnett, Brad Jefferson, Kyle Jackson, Steven Sylvester.
  • Others to watch: Anthony Egbuniwe (converted from DE), Albert Rocker, Quayshawn Nealy, Jeremiah Attaochu.
  • Key losses: Outside linebacker Sedric Griffin.
  • Key fact: Tech’s linebackers totaled five sacks last season, including three by Sylvester.
  • Key question: Will the switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4, which places an emphasis on pressure from the outside linebackers, produce more sacks from this position?
  • Key question 2: Who will be those outside linebackers? Barnes and Egbuniwe were the starters during spring practice. Nealy and Attaochu could push for playing time. Attaochu, specifically, was recruited specifically by new defensive coordinator Al Groh to play OLB in this system.
  • Key question 3: Who will start beside Jefferson at the inside linebacker spot? Sylvester ran with the first unit for most of the spring. He played mostly outside last season and seems to have the frame for that spot, compared to the larger guys who play ILB. Burnett was a tackling machine last season, though his inexperience sometimes led to him making the wrong reads and being out of position. Jackson missed last season with a broken foot. Two seasons ago he helped pull the group together when injuries caused absences.
  • Outlook: Not to be a broken record, but it’s hard to say that any group shined last season. So, this group should also improve. Groh will coach the outside linebackers, and Joe Speed will coach the ILBs.
  • Your turn: What say you about the linebackers?

For a look at the wide receivers, go here

For a look at the safeties, go here

For a look at the offensive line, go here

For a look at the running backs, go here

For a look at the defensive line, go here

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91 comments Add your comment

Joe

June 29th, 2010
5:54 am

FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

gtfanfrom1951

June 29th, 2010
5:58 am

this unit will get better after playing together in the fall…I have confidence in Coach Al to make the defense as good as the offense.

Destin Dawg

June 29th, 2010
6:12 am

Good luck to the Jackets in all but one game… it’s good for the State for both of us to be winners !! WE BOTH need to start playing hard nosed DDEEE !!!! we’re happy to have Grantham, Belin and Lagotos….

rainman

June 29th, 2010
7:41 am

You seem to have overlooked three linebackers that will be in the mix for substantial playing time: Malcolm Munroe, BJ Machen, and Brandon Watts.
Watts was pushing Sylvester for the other inside spot alongside Jefferson, and Munroe and Machen both have game experience.
With these 3, plus those you mentioned above, I don’t see the rooks (Nealy & Attaochu) getting on the field very often this year – unless one of them really stands-out in preseason practice.
By the way, why is Tongo no longer listed on the roster?

We_Run_This_Country

June 29th, 2010
8:00 am

We are stacked at LB…..the New Linebacker U?!?!

RambleOn84

June 29th, 2010
8:07 am

I feel confident that the linebackers will do a great job this year. With the secondary also looking very solid, it is the D-line I am primarily concerned with on defense this upcoming season.

Let’s just hope the guys stay healthy, and I see another 10-win season coming this fall.

GO JACKETS

Savannah Jacket

June 29th, 2010
8:08 am

Thanks for the positive comments Destin. Good article Doug…I agree that this is going to be a very Key Unit this fall. I would bet with a new coach installing a new scheme that we will get to see a lot of these guys, vets and rooks on the field.

I have to admit that last year Julian Burnett really stood out to me on the field during game time. He might not be the tallest guy but for a true freshmen he had great football instinks and was always around the ball. I look forward to his progression and that of the entire defense.

Go Jackets!!!

Doug Roberson

June 29th, 2010
8:20 am

I didn’t forget about Machen, etc. As much as I’d like to get every player’s name in these breakdowns, I have to pick and choose. They are players to watch, though.

Steady GT Fan

June 29th, 2010
8:33 am

Doug, do you have a sense of the attitude of the players this summer and what their expectations are?

Brian

June 29th, 2010
8:40 am

It will be interesting to see where J Burnett fits into this group. The move to a 3-4 didn’t help him I don’t think, but sometimes kids are just football players. Hope he finds his way onto the field somehow.

Jacket Backer

June 29th, 2010
8:47 am

gotta get better…..don’t see how they can’t improve from last year….can’t wait until the fall!

Go Jackets!!

RambleOn84

June 29th, 2010
8:47 am

I think Burnett will be a star player by next year. He might need to put on some more weight, but he has the natural talent as we all saw last year.

RambleOn84

June 29th, 2010
8:50 am

And by the way, thank you to Destin Dawg for exhibiting class and humility.

Hope we’re both 11-0 when we meet in late November.

Gold Whitey

June 29th, 2010
8:56 am

If they can all stay healthy I would say the competition is going to make them all better. Linebackers have to be intense all the time, thats why I like Burnett. He’s undersized but plays like he’s got a bone to pick. I think it may take a couple of games but they’ll settle in and be way better than last year.

dawgfan

June 29th, 2010
9:17 am

Uh, humility? Class is one thing. I personally think Techies exhibit very little class themselves so I see no need to do so myself. Destin Dawg takes a different view and actually seems to like you clowns. I think he needs to get his head checked, but if that’s his bag I can dig it. But humility? What exactly has happened in the past…oh, I don’t know, 20 years that requires a Dawg fan to be humble in the presence of the mighty Yellow Jackets? Please enlighten me.

RambleOn84

June 29th, 2010
9:31 am

What has happened in the past 30 years to make you so arrogant? Oh, that’s right, a couple 10-win seasons and a couple SEC championships that were won before Urban Meyer and Nick Saban showed up to smack you back down.

RambleOn84

June 29th, 2010
9:33 am

And humility is a virtue that will get you very far in life. Even if you are on the top of the world (which UGA is most certainly not), you can still be humble.

dagnabit

June 29th, 2010
9:33 am

Well; the dawgs had their butts ripped off two years ago ,in athens , with two first round picks leading the team to disaster. How classy was that?

A 48 Hours Exclusive for Delusional Tech Fans

June 29th, 2010
9:35 am

Tech will lose to Miami, FSU, UNC, VT mark it down

Ive read enough of you clowns delusional infatuation about your so called great coach that its time to put you in your place.

You guys need a better QB, teams have begun to show that your gimmick offense can and will be stopped starting this year.

This began when you got destroyed by Miami and then torched by a couple of running backs and a defensive joke coached UGA team

FSU will be much improved now that they dont have to deal with a coach that should have stepped down

Miami is on the rise and so is FSU, your arrogant coach will cause you to lose in Blacksburg mark it down

Heres a tip get yourself a QB that can pass. Nesbitt for heisman whatever, Jacory Harris will win that before that will happen.

Heck you’ll probably lose to CLEMSON

Oh and get prepared to be called for illegal chop blocking more often cheaters

RambleOn84

June 29th, 2010
9:37 am

Tech doesn’t play FSU this year…we could in fact lose to any of those other teams, but not a chance we will lose to all three.

Bitter much?

Destin Dawg

June 29th, 2010
9:40 am

we just need to talk football… both are great schools !! almost all states have 2 major schools with different areas of studies for a variety of career paths… Hate and Trash talk is for losers… GO DAWGS

lucky21

June 29th, 2010
9:45 am

There is no way we will lose to all three of UNC VT and Miami. I can see us losing two of those games maybe but that would be about it. I think we will win against UNC and Miami this year but I think that this year VT has us pegged for a revenge game in BLacksburg so it will be tough.

Ramblin Wrecker

June 29th, 2010
9:55 am

I think this is the unit on defense that will benefit the most from the coaching of Al Groh. This is his forte and the key group of a 3-4 defense, particularly the OLB’s. (For examples of this look around at guys like Demarcus Ware in Dallas, historically Lawrence Taylor, Shawn Merriman a few years ago.) I think GT has always had talent at LB but has struggled to capitalize on that talent under Dave Wommack. Groh should maximize that talent. Most people wonder how GT was going to overcome the loss of Derrick Morgan and who among the defensive line was going to step up in that void, but OLB is where that production will come from.

About the linebackers

June 29th, 2010
9:56 am

Its amazing how these threads get hijacked – we’re talking linebackers here.
Tech could not control the line of scriimage on D last year – obvious. Evidence: A mediocre UGA running game shreaded Tech’s defense.
This year, one less Tech defensive lineman on the line of scrimmage.

I have never been sold on the 3-4, but others are, including the pros. (of course, I was not big on the triple option, but that turned out OK.)

Tech’s linebackers will dictate how this defense performs, but I am not nearly as optimistic that they will dominate anybody.

john

June 29th, 2010
10:03 am

I want to see Jackson get back to form. I hope it’s Jackson and Jefferson on the inside, spelled by Burnett. That kid really needs some quality playing time, becasue he is going to be good. I like Sylvester, but I hope they move him outside. Speaking of the outside, I would like Sylvester and Egbuniwe, spelled by Barnes. I bet Attachou gets in some playing time, Watts too

DDPO

June 29th, 2010
10:10 am

Dawg Fan:

What exactly has happened in the past…oh, I don’t know, 20 years that requires a Gator fan to be humble in the presence of the might Bulldogs? Please enlighten me.

Keep casting those stones, liitle guy…

We_Run_This_Country

June 29th, 2010
10:14 am

The BLACK WATCH DEFENSE is back! This is going to be a great year for GT Football!

SILLY UGA FANS

June 29th, 2010
10:22 am

Only time will tell. Hopefully the team learns to gel in the first two games then the real test will come against UNC. I always hope for an undefeated season but expect a nine win for this year. The main goal for this year should beto take out UGA and do well in whatever bowl game we end up in.

dawgfansmakemelaugh

June 29th, 2010
10:34 am

“woof, woof, woof.”

superDawg

June 29th, 2010
10:35 am

If tek loses every game it would be alright with me you bunch of low down hole living varmits.How was that dawgfan.

superDawg

June 29th, 2010
10:39 am

chop blocking is what low down hole dwellers do.

Brock

June 29th, 2010
10:42 am

48- GT doesn’t play FSU this year so right off the bat your post holds no merit. Research a bit before you post next time. Maybe you won’t look like such a fool in front of your fellow fans.

Could someone teach this kid how to look up a schedule?

dawgfan

June 29th, 2010
10:46 am

What has happened in the past 30 years? Oh, I don’t know. What about 23 victories over your joke of a football program big mouth? That’s an eye popping 77% winning percentage for those keeping score at home. Yet I am supposed to be all HUMBLE around all these big mouthed Techies who never have a single solitary HUMBLE thing to say about UGA.

Time to go run and hide behind Florida like scared little mamma’s boys Techies…

Brock

June 29th, 2010
10:49 am

someone constantly posting on a blog about tech is humble enough for me. Thanks

dawgfan

June 29th, 2010
10:54 am

Why does God hate me?

dawgfan

June 29th, 2010
10:55 am

Why do I have to live vicariously through a football team?

dawgfan

June 29th, 2010
10:55 am

Why don’t girls like me?

dawgfan

June 29th, 2010
10:55 am

Heck, why doesn’t anyone like me?

I just on home from Mars and DL was late again

June 29th, 2010
11:15 am

Tech beat UGA in baseball like 68-0 didn’t they? I was on Mars at that time and as a UGA man was ticked that we got whupped. Things happen.

Well, um, ah, how deeply into the CWS regionals did Tech go? Oh! You mean that they AGAIN DID NOT GET AN INVITATION to the same tourney that UGA has won and recently ended up at # 2?

All the tech noise about that 129-0 baseball game vs UGA was just that ……………empty noise. Tech plays in the ACC and is South Carolina NOT in the SEC !!! Are their ANY ACC teams still there??? NOPE!!!

Win or lose the CWS now, another SEC will end up at least # 2 and no ACC teams in sight.

AAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

dawgfan

June 29th, 2010
11:21 am

That’s a really good point Mars. You can’t spell second withoutout S-E-C.

30

June 29th, 2010
11:22 am

73

June 29th, 2010
11:23 am

50,000

June 29th, 2010
11:23 am

Unfilled Seats (even though located in the downtown area of the largest city in the State, plus free food)

BBBUUUHHHUUUUUU

June 29th, 2010
11:24 am

WWWAAAAAHHHAAAAHHHAAA

SEC

June 29th, 2010
11:27 am

got rejected by Oklahoma and Texas A&M

UGA

June 29th, 2010
11:28 am

Which is

June 29th, 2010
11:28 am

an improvement

Mark Richt

June 29th, 2010
11:28 am

Boo Dawg Fan

June 29th, 2010
11:31 am

………Urban Myer

or Nick Saban, or Les Miles, or Lane Kiffin, or Phillip Fu………….

Delbert D.

June 29th, 2010
11:36 am

Chop blocking ala Alex Gibbs turned a Denver 6th round draft pick/6th team TB into a Super Bowl MVP with a 2,000 yard season.