Paul WesterDawg had a good thread going yesterday (which built off a similar post by David Ching) related to what the Dawgs need this fall. Paul posits that we need offensive playmakers. Several commentators note that we need steady offensive line play.
All that is true in my opinion. But one longterm need that never goes out of style is the demand for truly talented defensive tackles. No matter how full the recruiting class, there's always room for the Richard Seymours of the world. Why? Ask Willie Martinez. He'll tell you that when you don't have two big uglies up front to put pressure in the quarterback's face and clog up the run game, things can get ugly.
That's why I'm incredibly pleased to bring to your attention the video compiled by Rivals on 2008 UGA commitment DeAngelo Tyson of Statesboro. Tabbed as the best player in the state of Georgia this year, Tyson is roughly 6'2 and 290 pounds as a rising senior. I'll call your attention to the "Tyson is Top Dawg" video, where you can see Tyson running through some individual drills (at the Athens Nike camp, I believe). The guy is surprisingly thin for 290. He looks like he could eventually carry 315 pounds well. And he moves better than anybody ever should at 290 pounds. Tyson also has high hips and long arms, both of which are critical for a good defensive tackle.
The other two highlight clips, which showcase junior gamefilm, are even more enlightening. Tyson plays behind his pads and uses his hands well to shed blockers. I particularly like his first step, which is among the quickest I've seen from a true defensive tackle. Tyson is athletic enough that on at least one play he's actually manning the middle linebacker slot. He also squares up well on tackles, usually making quality contact with the ball carrier rather than just wrestling them down.
Some recruiting analysts have said that Tyson is good enough to play as a true freshman. I'm not entirely certain. Not because of Tyson's talent. He's plenty good enough to play. But I'm hoping that the guys in front of him on the depth chart will hang around (Jeff Owens, Kade Weston) and develop (Geno Atkins, Demarcus Dobbs, Brandon Wood and Ricardo Crawford) so that he has a year to develop. If however one or two of these guys don't progress or gets injured, I wouldn't be surprised to see Tyson in the rotation in 2008.