There was a good bit of leftover material from my reporting of the draft story on former Georgia Tech defensive tackle Adam Gotsis , mostly from Gotsis himself, that’s worth sharing.
The two quotes from defensive line coach Mike Pelton, are a little dated. They’re from an interview I did with him in October. I was collecting material for a story on him that I planned to run close to the end of the season. Then he tore his ACL, and I had to put it on the shelf.
On the ACL tear:
“It sucked. It sucked when it happened just because I wanted to finish out my senior season with the team. That was my biggest thing, was we were in a position where we needed to win three out of the last four to go to a bowl game. I didn’t want to be part of the team that didn’t go to a bowl game, especially being a captain. That was the part that hurt, that I couldn’t be out there leading the team anymore.”
On coming to the U.S.:
“My whole mindset was coming over here to play college football with the opportunity to go to the NFL. That was always in my mind. I wasn’t going to do this just to play college ball. My mindset was I wanted to get to the NFL. I wanted to get a good degree on the way. When I came in, it was, Yeah, school’s important, but so is football. That was just as equally important.”
On when he knew he had a chance at the NFL:
"I mean, it was just a natural thing. I don’t think it ever came like, one day I just woke up and it was there. I don’t think that happened. I think it was just a gradual process where eventually I was in a position of leadership. Once I got voted captain, that might have been the moment, if I had to put it on that. Because it was, like, I’m a captain of a D-I college football team. That means I’m doing something right. … (Coaches) said I’ve got the potential, I’ve got the right attitude and things like that. It’s not going to be given to you. That was one thing that I remember coach (Ted) Roof always telling me, It’s just not going to be given to you. Same with coach Pelton. It was, You’re going to have to come in, you’re going to have to work every day, and that’s what I did. I’m thankful for them being the coaches that they were and pushing me every day.”
On the influence of Tech All-American Jeremiah Attaochu:
“I’ve talked to Jerry a little bit. He’s always kind of been in my ear since he left. When I played with him, me and him, we got along really well and he was kind of like the guy I looked up to in the d-line room. But just over the years when he’s come back and visited, we’ve always caught up and had a chat and stuff like that. It’s just been good to have that confidence of him telling me I’m going to make it and stuff.”
On his chances in the NFL:
“I definitely feel like I can make it. I’m a guy that can come in and have an impact. Once I’m 100 percent healthy, I’m a guy that can have an impact. I think my film from last year showed that. I felt like I was probably one of the more dominant d tackles in college football, not just the ACC. I only played five games, five full games, and I had pretty big impact.”
“For me, it’s not about the money. I wouldn’t do this if it was just for the money. Obviously, the money’s a nice thing to have. It’s a lot of hard work that you’ve put in; you deserve to be compensated for it. But at the end of the day, it’s got to be more than money driving you.”
On his NFL goals:
“I want to play for years. I want to be a veteran. I want to be in there for 10, 15 years. I want to win championships. I want to be all-pro, go to the Pro bowl and be a guy that, at the end of the day, when guys look back on their career and they say, ‘Who’s that one player you loved having on your team?’ it’s Adam Gotsis. That’s kind of what I want.”
Pelton on Gotsis:
"You saw a guy that didn’t really know much about football and you saw a guy that was hungry and had to grow into American football. But now you see a guy that’s grown into a leader. He’s grown into just a starving football player that really wants to just learn the game and learn everything about it. Like I tell everybody, I don’t have a graduate assistant. (But) he’s like the assistant d-line coach. He knows it well. He knows it all, he coaches the young guys. He just does a good job for us. And it’s not something that I’m forcing on him. It’s just stuff that he does. He’s out there today coaching guys telling them where to go. He’s just been around. He’s just been around the defense and been around me so long I can hardly fool him with anything."
"When he gets through playing football, he’ll be a (heck) of a coach just because he understands the game now. He understands it. He understands the things that come with it. He’s just a passionate guy about playing."