Near career’s end, Georgia Tech’s Brentavious Glanton reflects

He was on the sidelines for the Miracle on Techwood Drive. He was a part of Georgia Tech’s game in Ireland and the Yellow Jackets’ win over Georgia in 2016. As a senior, he has emerged to become a dependable part of the defensive tackle rotation.

And Brentavious Glanton can complete his career with at least one other claim that perhaps no other Jackets player in school history can make. He knocked over Buzz during the team’s run out of the tunnel at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

It happened Saturday before the Jackets’ loss to Virginia Tech. As Glanton and teammates made the customary entrance from the northeast tunnel to the west sideline, he got tangled up with Buzz, who was running toward the north end zone, causing both man and bee to tumble to the Grant Field turf.

“It was kind of funny, actually,” Glanton said. “I thought it was funny afterwards. I was kind of in the zone, ready to play, and it took me for a wrong turn, but I was kind of like, OK. It was just kind of weird. He just probably went the wrong way or whatnot. but it was fun. It was all right. I hope he’s doing OK.”

Glanton stumbled forward and got back up on his feet. In his confusion, he left behind the U.S. flag that he had carried onto the field. A teammate running behind picked it up and brought it the rest of the way.

A senior from Monroe Comprehensive High in Albany, Glanton has played in 34 games and started 15, including six games this season. He has 14 tackles. He earned the praise of coach Geoff Collins earlier this season for becoming a “consummate teammate in the program.”

He twice was named a captain and for the Pittsburgh game, he was accorded the honor of wearing the No. 90 in memory of Brandon Adams. The two were close. Glanton recalled a lighter memory of Adams, of tapping him during a meeting to keep him awake not long before his death. He said wearing No. 90 meant a great deal to him.

“It was just a blessing and an opportunity to be able to go out there and play for ‘Big B,’” he said.

Glanton is not sure of the path he will take after Tech’s season ends. He said this week that he has a job offer from Amazon. He is on track to graduate in December with a degree in business administration.

“So I’ve been thinking about that, whether I want to accept the job offer or not,” Glanton said. “Right now, I’m just really focused on being around my teammates and enjoying those guys and their presence and just being able to help them develop for the next two weeks while I’m still here.”

His others-focused thinking reflects a change that Glanton said he has seen in himself in the past 12 months. Glanton said that, at the time of Collins’ hire, he was thinking about how he could put himself in the best position to be successful.

Glanton said that Collins changed his thinking, and he had a realization shortly after his final preseason began.

“I was like, you know, it’s not really even about me,” he said. “I want to make sure these other guys are doing a good job, making sure they’re doing a good job, making plays, having fun and then it’ll just come to me and I’ll be able to do the same thing, as well.”

He said he was able to better listen to teammates and offer and accept criticism. Glanton has had plenty of leadership opportunities, given the youth of the defensive line. Glanton came into the season with by far the most experience on the line.

Freshman defensive tackle Mike Lockhart, for instance, came to Tech having played only one season of high-school football. Glanton recalled Lockhart being overwhelmed by the heat and work at the start of presason practice.

“He comes in after the first day, he said, ‘I’m tired,’” Glanton said. “I said, ‘You’re tired?’ I’m like, man, we’re not even in full pads yet.”

Glanton’s final season has undoubtedly not been what he envisioned. He is playing for his second head coach and his third defensive coordinator and position coach in as many years. Tech will not be going to a bowl game, and the Jackets have been on the receiving end of some humbling defeats.

Still, witnessing and affecting the development of players such as Lockhart (“I think he’ll be a great player in the near future here as well,” Glanton said) and helping set a foundation for the future has been a different kind of reward. Glanton said that his last season has been bittersweet, but he is trying to enjoy it.

“Sometimes, I find myself getting emotional just because I love them so much, care about them so much,” he said of his teammates. “But I just want to see them have a good time and play and make plays.”