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Four Down Territory

Aug. 10, 2013

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

Former Kansas City Chief running back Christian Okoye was the original “Nigerian Nightmare,” but Georgia Tech has its own version, only on the defensive side of the ball in defensive end Emmanuel Dieke — his parents are of Nigerian descent, although Emmanuel was born in Jackson, Miss., and lived for a time in Boston, Mass., before attending high school at North Clayton, in Riverdale, Ga.

However, Dieke has no plan on adopting Okoye’s nickname as he already has one, borrowed from a different former NFL great.

The 6-6 Dieke goes by the nickname “Too Tall,” the moniker first used by former Dallas Cowboys 6-9 defensive end Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who terrorized offenses for 15 years (1974 through 1989).

Sting Daily recently chatted with Dieke — who actually is the second-tallest Yellow Jacket, one inch behind freshman offensive lineman Shamire Devine and tied with freshman offensive lineman Chris Griffin — about a number of topics, including 2013 camp thus far, and the origin of his nickname.

Dieke Significant Facts:
Games Played: 36
Games Started: 12
First Game: 9/25/10 vs. NC State
First Tackle: 9/1/11 vs. Western Carolina
First Tackle for Loss: 10/3/11 vs. North Carolina
First Sack: 10/3/11 vs. North Carolina
First Fumble Recovery: 12/1/12 vs. Florida State

FIRST DOWN: How would you assess the first week of camp?
Emmanuel Dieke: It’s fun. After this summer and all the work we put in, it’s great to be able to come out here and just fly around, hit people. It’s football so that’s what we do. You’ve got to hit. But after this first week, the third week is always that grind week. After we’ve banged a little bit we’re ready to hit another color.

SECOND DOWN: How have you taken to new defensive coordinator Ted Roof’s system?
DIEKE: I love Coach Roof’s system. It’s a system we’re still learning. We’re putting in new plays every day. Every day is a learning step.

THIRD DOWN: How you got the nickname “Too Tall” is pretty obvious, but where and when did you get it? Who gave it to you?
DIEKE: I’ve had it since my freshman year of high school. Actually my coach, ‘Cap’ Burnett, (brother of former Yellow Jacket and current Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett), was our coach. My first summer, the first day of school, actually, I went to the gym. He was taking down names of everybody who wanted to play football. I’d never played football. My first year playing was ninth grade. I went to the gym, he saw me. He didn’t even ask me my name. He just said, ‘I’m going to call you ‘Too Tall.” I was like 6-4 in ninth grade. The funny part about it was the summer from eighth grade going into the ninth grade, I had like a six-inch growth spurt. In middle school I wasn’t that tall.

FOURTH DOWN: Did you know of former Dallas Cowboy Ed “Too Tall” Jones?
DIEKE: Of course I know of him. I know he had [the nickname] first. I’m just trying to become a great player myself.

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