#2 – Geno Atkins – Defensive Tackle, Pembroke Pines, FL
Admit it: you don’t watch the defensive tackles when the game is on. That’s ok, but if you aren’t watching the reason why there is so little space for the opposition to run is Geno Atkins. Yes, Jeff Owens gets all the attention, but Atkins is the better player, and is the better prospect, too. This list is about the top defenders at Georgia, and it is hard not to put Atkins at number one.
Still, Atkins has been a dependable commodity over the last three years. Witness his performance against Georgia Tech in 2007. He started getting his mail delivered to the Tech backfield because he was living there. Matthew Stafford often marveled at how much trouble the opposition had with Atkins. While his production dropped off in 2008 – no doubt because of the injured Owens suffered – Atkins was still the number one target for the opposition to deal with.
Again, you might not notice Atkins because he’s not sacking the quarterback or making plays on the edge, but defensive tackles have responsibilities, and Atkins fulfils his totally.