For three years at Georgia Tech, Euclid Cummings has been hard at work.
Or in his own words, “grinding” for a chance to start.
The former Centennial stand-out is getting that chance in the Jackets’ fall camp this month, where he finds himself as an early front-runner to start at defensive end.
“As a competitor I definitely want to start, but really that is everyone’s goal. I am just grinding it out and working as hard as I can right now,” said Cummings, now a redshirt junior.
A 2009 Centennial graduate, Cummings was recruited to Georgia Tech as a pass rushing specialist in a 4-3 defense. But after a redshirt year in the fall of 2009, Georgia Tech switched to a 3-4 scheme, throwing a wrench into Euclid’s plans and forcing him to transform his athletic 6-foot-4, 245 pound frame.
“The change was pretty rough on me at first because I had to go from a one-gapper to a two-gapper,” he said, explaining that in the new scheme he had to get bigger and more physical to compete at his position. “But over the last two years I hit the weight room, am up to 280 pounds now, and have really gotten used to the system.”
A year ago Cummings saw his first significant playing time as the primary backup to defensive ends Jason Peters and Izzan Cross in pass rushing situations. Playing in all 13 games, he amassed 22 tackles, two tackles for loss and a pass break-up.
With Peters exhausting his eligibility last season, Cummings is now in competition with fellow junior Emmanuel Dieke and sophomore Anthony Williams to start opposite of Cross this fall.
“I feel good about where I am at, but I am still grinding. I’m studying film, trying to get better at getting off the ball and working on the organization of my moves.”
“It’s going to be a battle [to see who starts], but at the end of the day the best man will win and it’s all about the team anyway.”
Cummings will find out if his grinding pays off Sept. 3 when Georgia Tech opens their season at Virginia Tech.