Next in our series detailing our Aussies playing gridiron at the college level we take a look at Georgia Tech's Adam Gotsis.
Adam Gotsis - Defensive Lineman - Georgia Tech
Weight: 200 lbs
Hometown: Abbortsford, Victoria
Sophomore defensive lineman Adam Gotsis is preparing for this first year as a potential starter on the defensive line for Georgia Tech in 2013.
A former standout on the Australian Outback squad as an offensive lineman, Gotsis made the switch to the defensive side of the ball when joining Georgia Tech.
Growing up in Melbourne, he came to the sport when he was 14, and found it suited him perfectly.
"I was a big, fast, tall, strong kid for 14, so I was able to go up against guys who were 17 and 18 and that increased my confidence," he said in a recent ESPN interview.
After excelling at the club level (two-time team MVP with the Monash Warriors) he represented Australia in the IFAF World Cup and was part of the World Team that took on the USA in the International Bowl in February 2012.
After being recommended by coach Paul Manera, as well as some film study and tests, he was offered a scholarship and committed to Georgia Tech in January 2012.
Despite only making one start in 12 games with Georgia Tech last season, Gotsis impressed and managed five tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and one sack. In the one game he started (against Duke in mid-November) he earned three of those tackles and his single sack.
Great effort for somebody who had been on the other side of the line his entire playing career.
This year, it looks like he should see even more action, potentially as a starter. And he's ready to step up, telling ESPN: "I want to step up and be the guy in the middle to make the big plays when they need to be made, to make a big tackle or set the tone for the defense. Toughness is what it takes to play inside, and hopefully I can show that to my teammates, and they can show their trust in me to hold up my end in the middle."
Exactly the kind of attitude coaches love to see from their defenders in the trenches.
Things are certainly on the up for the young lineman, his defensive coordinator, Ted Rood, had some positive words for his performance during a scrimmage in April.
“He’s a grinder," he said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He’s just one of those guys that’s going to keep grinding it out and just improve fundamentally and all the little things and get the techniques of playing that position.”
Pay close attention to Adam as the season progresses, we have no doubt he'll make some plays and earn his place as a starter on the defensive line.
You can check out a terrific interview with him below via RamblinWreck.com: