Plenty of questions surrounded Daniel McCullers the JUCO transfer from Georgia Military college coming into fall camp. You hear 6'6 380 lbs and you think 'Okay this kid's going to show up out-of-shape' or 'Is he going to be able to get his pad level low enough to get leverage.' One of these questions was answered as soon as pics of the monstrosity started to surface. He wears his weight well (has 25% body fat), doesn't appear to be out of shape, and most importantly HE'S HUGE. This is a guy whom Alabama, running a very similar defense to the one which we will this year employ, fought tooth and frigging nail for. Tennessee fans are going to be glad we won that battle.
How do you knock a guy McCuller's size off the ball? You don't. And with his height, pushing 3 or 4 yards into the backfield, he is going to disrupt passes over the middle. This guy can be a big factor in our defense.
This is arguably the most important recruit of this past class. Outside of McCullers, we really have no pure nose guard. To run the 3-4 defense it is paramount that the nose takes up space. You aren't going to see double digit sacks out of him, that's not really his job. His job is to take on multiple blockers so that the linebackers can be freed up to make plays. So far this camp, he has been doing just that. He is pushing around an offensive line that has been the highlight of camp and we are talking about seasoned players. The guy is just flat-out bigger and stronger and is on a mission to prove it.
I see McCullers getting early playing time in the opener and probably limiting his reps a bit to see what he's capable of handling then increasing his playing time once you figure it out. One thing is certain, you'll know where he is on the field on every play.
photo courtesy of mod of feelslike98.com