Saturday, November 29, 2008

Senior Spotlight: Rivalry Week


NOVEMBER 29 - 12:00 ON CBS

LB Dannell Ellerbe, Georgia

An excellent athlete, Ellerbe has exceptional speed and a solid frame. He was very productive last season, leading the Georgia Bulldogs in tackles with 93 stops, but has been slowed down by a sprained MCL injury, which has caused him to miss three full games this season and parts of others. When healthy, this Dawg excels at penetrating the line of scrimmage – a force against both the run and the pass, while possessing the ability to drop into coverage as well. Ellerbe has that special closing speed when he can smell a tackle. He is also versatile, having started at the MIKE, WILL and SAM linebacker positions for the Bulldogs. Ellerbe is a bit undersized and at times has trouble when asked to take on offensive linemen. When his defensive tackles protect him, Ellerbe is able to roam free, using his speed and athleticism. He has served as a good teammate encouraging Darryl Gamble, who stepped into the starting lineup. Expect Ellerbe to try and close out his career with a big showing, coming off a four-tackle performance at Auburn.
2008: 22 Tackles, Four Tackles For a Loss, One Sack

DE Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech

Johnson is a pass rushing specialist with all the tools—size, speed, acceleration and agility—to be a dominant player. Johnson is a player whose potential has drawn comparisons to former ACC studs Julius Peppers and Mario Williams. Johnson has not been as productive as many have expected (6.5 sacks), but may be developing into a better every-down lineman than originally thought of (13 tackles for a loss). His athleticism, particularly for a man of his length, is what sets him apart from other top defensive linemen. His long arms allow him to keep offensive linemen from getting into his body and overpowering him. When he doesn’t get to the quarterback, the senior uses his length to knock down passes (seven passes defended). Johnson can also be a difference-maker on special teams using his wingspan as a kick-blocking specialist (one this season). Last week, he put it all on display when he snagged a Miami pass and returned it for a touchdown. Johnson has taken time to develop, but his talent is hard to ignore. He is a disruptive force, as he is not only able to rush the quarterback, but create turnovers (five forced fumbles as a junior and a senior).
2008: 36 Tackles, 13 Tackles For a Loss, Six Sacks

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media