New in '15: Saint-Amour bears similarities with Freeman

Credit: Ken Sugiura

Credit: Ken Sugiura

Georgia Tech freshman defensive end Anree Saint-Amour may have been the most sought-after member of the Yellow Jackets’ 2015 signing class. He turned down powerhouses Ohio State, Stanford and Michigan State to sign with Tech.

Saint-Amour, from North Gwinnett High, arrived ready to make good on his reputation.

“I’m excited,” Saint-Amour said prior to reporting to Tech in mid-June. “Just ready to get to work. It’s a different stage and everything. College ball, it’s probably going to come at me fast. I’m just ready to get to work.”

Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof, who recruited Saint-Amour, said on signing day that he is cut from the same cloth as sophomore defensive end KeShun Freeman, no small compliment. Freeman started as a first-year freshman and was named a freshman All-American after leading Tech with 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Both are athletic players with speed, and if Saint-Amour can play with the same motor that powered Freeman last season, Tech figures to be in pretty good shape from a pass-rush standpoint for the next few years.

Said Saint-Amour of Freeman, “I think he’s pretty good.”

Both also are solid students. Freeman is on a pre-med track and Saint-Amour said he was interested in studying mechanical engineering. (Freeman also had an offer from Stanford, among other schools.)

This summer, during workouts, Tech defensive linemen have evidently noticed similarities, too.

“It’s funny, all the defensive linemen, they always say, ‘Oh, that’s your little brother,’” Freeman said last week (part of an interview I’ll post next week; I’m kind of on vacation this week). “’You guys look just alike.’”

Saint-Amour’s position would seem open to freshmen playing in their first season. Freeman played last year after enrolling early and going through spring practice. His backup, Antonio Simmons, also played last season in his first year on campus, mostly in a special-teams role.

“Coaches are going to play the best players,” Saint-Amour said. “You’ve got to go out and work hard.”

Roof raved about him on signing day, calling him a “great fit at Georgia Tech.” He is one of three Class of 2015 defensive freshmen (linebackers Tyler Cooksey and David Curry are the others) that he helped secure out of Gwinnett County, where Roof grew up and now recruits. Roof was instrumental in Saint-Amour’s recruitment, pitching him on the benefits of playing close to home and having the chance to become “a local hero,” as Saint-Amour put it.

Roof can see it happening.

“I know he’s just going to get better and better and better,” he said.

About Saint-Amour

1. B-back C.J. Leggett, also a North Gwinnett graduate, was also in Saint-Amour's ear about Tech. "He always told me good things about Tech," Saint-Amour said. "He wasn't too pushy about it. He was always encouraging me to come over."

2. Saint-Amour was assigned No. 94, last worn by walk-on defensive lineman Adrian Gardner.

3. Saint-Amour's older brother Manrey was a four-year starter on the offensive line for Georgia Southern.

4. Saint-Amour had 59 tackles as a senior, 24 for loss.

5. Saint-Amour's father is a pastor at Haitian Alliance Church in Lithonia. Said Saint-Amour of growing up the child of a pastor, "Sometimes at first, it can be annoying, but it gets me stronger in the faith."

New in ’15

1. Christian Campbell aims to succeed Justin Thomas

2. Nathan Cottrell brings threatening speed to A-back

3. Cooksey ready to make own legacy

4. Wigley vows his best

7. TaQuon Marshall joins A-back charge

9. Sellers follows Sandy Creek procession

10. Dotson harbors NFL hopes

11. Jarrett ready for A-back competition

12. Mitchell fulfilling dream at Tech

14. Philpott's high-end speed could get him on field soon