Aug. 6, 2013
By Jon Cooper
It took some time for Euclid Cummings to make his first start.
Close to three seasons and four years, to be exact — he redshirted in 2009.
But his patience, his persistence and his productivity when he got the chance to play (45 tackles, six of those for loss, with three sacks in his first 28 games), paid off. He got his chance to start in two of the biggest games of 2012 season — the ACC Championship Game against Florida State and then the El Paso Sun Bowl against USC (he had two tackles, one solo against the Seminoles, he did not have one against the Trojans).
The 6-4, 275-pound Atlanta native and former Centennial High School star has proved that it’s not where, or if, you start, but where you finish. He had plenty of opportunities to end up around the ball carrier, and frequently behind the line of scrimmage, as last season his 3.0 sacks were second on the team, behind only Jeremiah Attaochu, while his 4.5 tackles for loss ranked seventh on the team.
The numbers in both categories should go up in 2013, as he is expected to start at defensive tackle, next to Attaochu, in defensive coordinator Ted Roof’s 4-3.
Cummings took a few minutes prior to Saturday’s Fan Day to talk with Sting Daily about his expectations for the defense in 2013, his goals for himself and his plans following December graduation.
STING DAILY: What are the expectations for the upcoming season?
Euclid Cummings: Our expectations are big as a team. Obviously, we want to go to the ACC Championship and win that and do bigger things. Goals for myself, I want to have double-digit sacks, I want us to get better as a whole defense. Just do better than we did last year and I want everybody to improve. So whatever they had last year just improve on that.
STING: Have you noticed a new, hungrier attitude this year than in years past?
CUMMINGS: Definitely, I have, in terms of off-season work. We would have off-days and guys are still out there grinding. Things like that. Even out there [Saturday morning], guys were just running to the ball, guys were flying around. I like what I see.
STING: Do you like being in a 4-3 and what you’ve seen from Coach Roof?
CUMMINGS: Oh yeah. The 4-3 is something that I’m very comfortable with. I feel like that’s what I was born to play, in a 4-3-type defense. I’m excited. It’s a different scheme but I like it. I’m able to attack now. It’s different.
STING: You practice every day against the offensive line. What is your impression of them thus far?
CUMMINGS: Our offensive line is always good. We have guys like Shaq Mason, Bryan Chamberlain, [Ray] Beno, who’s a leader over there, and Will Jackson. I feel confident in those guys because a lot of those guys are seniors as well. They have great leadership over there.
STING: You’re in your senior year. What’s your status for graduation?
CUMMINGS: I graduate in December. I have seven hours left, so that’s two classes. I’m pretty excited. It’s very exciting. I think my mom is happier than I am. So that’s good.
STING: Does graduation mean as more to you or your folks?
CUMMINGS: It means a lot to me and it means a lot to them. I had a brother before me that graduated so it’s nothing new in the expectation but they’re very excited that I’m graduating from Georgia Tech. He went to Georgia State and then he graduated from Emory as well. He got his MBA at Emory. I had a high bar. They’re like, ‘You have to graduate.’
STING: Will you be expected to match your brother and get a Master’s?
CUMMINGS: My parents want a PhD but I don’t know if I’m going that high (laughs).
STING: What’s your ideal goal for after school?
CUMMINGS: I would like to get into some marketing-type job. That’s my concentration now — marketing — so I would like to do stuff like that.
STING: How much fun is Fan Day for you?
CUMMINGS: Fan Day is cool. Pretty much you see kids that you’ve seen over the years grow up and be a little bit more animated. A lot of die-hard fans are out there. So Fan Day is always a good day. You always get some nice laughs.
STING: Is there a question you remember from previous Fan Days?
CUMMINGS: Not that I recall, but today could be the day. I’ll let you know (laughs).
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