As the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets continue to prepare for the 2014 season, Paul Johnson is facing a serious problem this summer. Two-year starter Jabari Hunt-Days has been ruled ineligible for the 2014 season because he apparently does not meet NCAA eligibility requirements. The loss of Hunt-Days is a major blow to the Yellow Jackets’ defense next fall and will create some headaches as the team tries to overcome his loss.
For the last two seasons, Hunt-Days has been a starting outside linebacker for Georgia Tech, starting in 27 games and racking up 129 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and a pair of interceptions. His 45 tackles in 2013 ranked No. 7 on the team and he was being bumped down to defensive end this spring to help bolster the team’s defensive front next season.
As a unit, the GT defense was pretty strong in 2013, ranking No. 4 in the ACC in total defense. This offseason, however, the team was looking for ways to replace three of their top five tackles from last season, including defensive end standout Jeremiah Attaochu. Moving Hunt-Days down to the defensive line from his linebacker position was thought to be a way to help solidify the defensive front next fall but that plan has been derailed by the junior’s surprise ineligibility.
Georgia Tech now will have to replace five of its top 10 tackles from the 2013 season with Hunt-Days unavailable for the 2014 season. With questions already on the offensive side of the ball, the Yellow Jackets could have used a bit of stability on the defense to help the team get off to a strong start next season. Can Johnson right the ship before kickoff in the fall?