7 Comments

  1. Conine

    Love the breakdown.

    I agree with your assessment on Mbanasor. In watching his defensive end tape, he doesn’t seem to have much of an outside pass rush. But he looked really good on the inside pass rush from the 3 and 4i techniques. I think some of the posturing about starting him out at d-end was a recruiting gambit where other teams saw him as an obvious fit inside and he wanted to play defensive end.

    My take on Tony Jones is that he’ll probably end up being a third town pass rush specialist from that outside linebacker position. I don’t see him beating out Allen or Brooks on the inside. The one concern there obviously is that most of his film shows him getting a more or less free shot at the quarterback. There’s not much film of him taking on and beating an offensive tackle so much as just running around them.

    On ancillary players, Kingsbury definitely takes his shot, offering a few every year. I do wonder if he’s hurt by negative recruiting. I think Amaro washing out in the NFL and the lack of a dedicated tight end coach probably doesn’t help. He finally did what a handful of Tech fans have been calling for for a long time, putting in an extra tackle at the tight end position on short yardage and goal line plays.

    I’m with you on Allen and Layne. As a Tech, fan it gives me tremendous heartburn. More so on Layne than Allen, who by all accounts was a really good kid. Had never been in trouble in his life, was first team all academic big 12, and the whole thing was tremendously out of character. Given the nature of his plea bargain it will be impossible to know for sure, but I suspect his involvement was much less than that of the other two participants, who obviously were not welcomed back on the team. Still, it’s a risk I’d rather Kingsbury not take even if it costs wins, and it obviously doesn’t look good in terms of PR.

    • ianaboyd

      Good thoughts.

      Still seems like Kingsbury should have a nice pitch to big, flex TEs that fancy themselves as WRs but are obviously going to grow too large to stay out wide. Just sell to them as WRs and then use them inside running option routes like Jason Witten. You don’t have to recruit from a pool of NFL hopefuls to get good players there, I don’t think.

      Anyways, the NFL barely has their star TEs block either so it may matter less and less anyways.

      I’m really curious about whether Lane learned anything over the last two years or if the JUCO was just good at keeping him out of bad situations or keeping bad situations out of the public eye.

      • Conine

        Yeah, I agree. Kingsbury seems to offer a handful of highly rated tight end prospects and then shrugs his shoulders and gives up when they commit to the likes of Bama, Clemson, etc.

        On the other hand, this kid was committed for a long time before having a long flirtation with UT and then ultimately and strangely signing with Fresno State: http://247sports.com/Player/Donte-Coleman-36523?Institution=21362

        There’s also Donta Thompson from the 2015 class. 6’4 up to 215 and has been moved inside, so he may grow into that role as an upperclassman.

        Then obviously Gary Moore. The fact that he was relegated to playing defensive end at his size is probably a pretty good indication of the value Kingsbury places on the tight end.

          • Conine

            Yeah, I imagine there would have been more urgency to recruit more defensive linemen if Fehoko has announced his transfer after the season ended in early December rather than in mid-January. Losing a starting tackle created an unexpected numbers crunch that wasn’t there before.

  2. Cameron

    “Everyone likes to say “recruit all tackles and then convert the failures into guards” but the problem is that failed tackles aren’t necessarily any better suited to winning physical battles with DTs than they were at winning athletic contests with DEs.”

    Yeah, that’s the problem. Who you want to block a speed rushing DE/OLB looks very different than who you want to block a 310 lb DT.

    Now I know there is going to be the response of “here are X, Y, and Z” examples of a recruited tackle successfully transition to a guard. But there’s two problems with these stories. First, the coaching staff generally decides on the transition really early in the offensive lineman’s tenure, which makes it a doable change. (Unless you’ve got an NFL-prospect, you can’t do it quickly.) Second, you rarely hear about the numerous attempts at this process that failed – only the successes. Its not nearly the slam-dunk proposition a lot of people think it is. A lot of these conversions never pan out, and it ends up being a waste of everyone’s time (player and coach).

    That being said, if you’re going to throw the ball as much as Tech does, then maybe the potential interior run game weaknesses would be worth the price of upside in pass protection. Maybe.

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