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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Georgia's Secret Weapon

Kiante Tripp hasn't seen a ton of playing time during his Georgia career, but he has developed a niche over the years of being Georgia's jack-of-all-trades. From defensive line to right tackle, over to the left side, then to tight end, Tripp has become familiar with a multitude of the Bulldogs' positional meeting rooms.

While the constant transition may not have landed him a full-time job in his first two seasons with the Bulldogs, his diverse knowledge of offenses could pay huge dividends at his latest home as Georgia's newest defensive end.

"With me, now that I've been on O line and tight end, I know the calls and everything," Tripp said.

More than just the calls, however, Tripp knows the subtleties. He's still an offensive lineman by trade, and he's planning to take all the information he soaked in during his time on the other side of the ball and use it to his -- and the Bulldogs' -- advantage.

"It's looking at their stances, basically seeing if they're heavy or light," Tripp said. "Me knowing that, I can tell my other guys, look, he's light, he's heavy, he's fixing to do this, he's fixing to do that. Now they're picking up on it so it's going to make it a lot easier on us this year."

While Georgia's defense -- particularly the ends -- struggled to rack up sacks last season, finishing with just 23 on the season, six of which came in its bowl game against Michigan State.

So while Tripp hopes he can be the Bulldogs' secret weapon in the pass rush this year, he's pretty sure all of Georgia's ends are going to sneak up on a lot of people.

"I think we're all going to be secret weapons," he said. "Everybody's underestimating us, so we're just going to show them what we've got."

More with Tripp...

Check out the video of Kiante Tripp discussing Georgia's pass rush and his move to defensive end. If you want an idea of how bad the injury situation has been at D-end the past year, notice how Tripp misunderstands my inquiry as to who he picked for his Final Four in basketball, thinking I was asking who would be the final four defensive ends still healthy enough to play...


andy (athens) said...

wont that act as a crutch that will hurt when he plays against other teams and cant just steal the calls?

ryan said...

andy, no what he is saying is that you can read an o-lineman and tell if hes back on his heels, which would mean pass, or up on his toes which usually means runs. once youve played o-line for a while its fairly easy to see the "tells" that o-lineman give away