College: Georgia Tech
Birthday: August 26, 1981
Strengths: Greg Gathers is a disruptive defensive force. Last year, he led the ACC with 10 quarterback sacks, putting his career total at 30, which places him atop Tech’s all-time sack list. He’s also first in school history with 56 tackles behind the line of scrimmage… and he still has another year of eligibility left to pad those numbers.
Lacking prototypical size for a defensive end, Gathers is a smart football player who uses a burst of quickness, strong hands and excellent flexibility to fight off bigger, stronger offensive linemen.
He’s obviously a prolific pass rusher, but he’s no slouch in run defense, either. In fact, during spring drills in 2000, the team temporarily moved Gathers to tackle because of his relentless ability to locate and attack the football. Also, Jon Tenuta is the team’s new defensive coordinator, and that’s important because last year, Tenuta made first round picks out of Julius Peppers and Ryan Sims.
Areas for Concern: While it hasn’t been a hindrance thus far, at 6’1″, Gathers may be too small to play defensive end in the NFL. And while he’s quick, Gathers isn’t going to set any tongues waging with his 40 time, so it’s doubtful he could play linebacker, either, despite his propensity for hanging out in the opponent’s backfield.
Yep, Gathers has all the markings of a classic ‘tweener, so he’ll need another big season to stay on people’s radars. And this year should prove to be a big test for him because he’ll have to play without Nick Rogers, an athletic end who last year drew some of the offense’s focus.
Alongside Rogers, the smaller Gathers saw a lot of single-coverage. With Rogers now in the NFL, expect Gathers to see a wave of double teams this season, which could impact his numbers.
How Would He Look in Steel Blue? The Texans seem to have a thing for versatile, undersized defensive linemen who consistently make big plays. Gathers certainly meets that criteria, especially the later, so it’s likely they’ll keep an eye on him.
A selfless player who cares about winning, Gathers has said “the hell with individual awards” when asked how they would compare to winning a BCS bowl.
By the way, Gathers’ former linemate, Rogers, who’s also a bit undersized but was nonetheless a productive player at Tech, was a sixth round pick by Minnesota this past spring.
(profile written by Ric Sweeney
Greg Gathers’ 2001 Stats G TCK TFL SKS FF FR INT 12 54 18 10 3 1 0
Greg Gathers Return to The War Room
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