Sunday, July 6, 2008

Countdown to UGA-GSU: 56 Days

Sorry for the delay on yesterday's countdown entry. I was actually very much looking forward to profiling one of my favorite players on the team for day #56, but the day snuck up on me. Looking at the bright side, we get two good (and very important) players to look at today.

#56 Geno Atkins, DT
6-1, 290, Pembroke Pines FL (St. Thomas Aquinas HS), Jr.

For the life of me I can't figure out how Geno wasn't considered one of the best defensive line prospects in America coming out of high school. He was a little lighter at the time, and played mostly at DE. But still....he was the Defensive Player of the Year in one of Florida High School football's highest classifications, and at one of its more accomplished football programs. In his true freshman season in Athens (after enrolling early for the previous spring practice), he played on defense in all but one game. As a sophomore, he came on extremely strong in the latter half of the season, registering 6.5 sacks and an SEC-leading 14.5 tackles for loss, which helped him garner 1st Team All-SEC honors. I don't think anybody was surprised that he was as good as he was. But to come on as fast as he did, and really become a force heading into 2008, may not have been totally expected. Atkins is also a member of the UGA Track and Field squad as an accomplished Shot Putter.
Depth Chart Analysis: Starting the season on the Nagurski and Outland watch lists (along with preseason first team All-SEC honors, and showing up on some All-American lists), is usually a good indicator that you'll see the majority of playing time at your position. Atkins is a firm starter at DT along with Jeff Owens. He's already getting some publicity as a possible high draft pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, although with a big junior campaign he could perhaps test the waters after this coming season. Geno might also help make Owens alot of money very soon, as Atkins might get quite a few double-teams this season.

1 comment:

Bop said...

No kidding...how the heck was he not all world out of high school. Yet again, another in a long line of stud dlinemen that Coach Garner has groomed into a future early NFL pick.

Players like Atkins and Owens are what win Championships. Give me a great defensive line before anything else when building a team.