Q&A: Georgia Tech defensive tackle Euclid Cummings

Georgia Tech defensive tackle Euclid Cummings started his senior season properly, with four tackles and a half-tackle for loss in the team’s 70-0 win over Elon on Saturday. With an open date this week, Cummings and teammates are trying to clean up mistakes in advance of Tech’s ACC opener Sept. 14 against Duke.

On Thursday after practice, Cummings spoke about that and plenty of other matters, including his unusual first name, with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Q: What did you think of the defensive line’s performance against Elon?

A: I thought the D-line's performance was OK. We definitely have a lot of room for improvement. It's a lot of technical stuff, but I feel like once we get that improved, we'll be a lot better.

Q: It looked like it was hard to get to the passer because Elon called a lot of quick passes, but were you OK with the pass rush?

A: I felt like at points, we had success rushing the passer, but they obviously did game plan with quick throws and screens and things like that. We're looking forward to next week. They hold the ball a little longer, so we can get after them.

Q: What do you want to get better at this week and next week?

A: This week, I just want to get better at maintaining the same intensity from the first snap to the last snap, just playing the whole game like it's the first snap.

Q: Did you feel like you were able to do that? I know it was pretty hot.

A: It was pretty hot out there. Once the quarters started to run, I was a little tired, but it's the first game, so just get that out of the way.

Q: What trait do you most value in a coach?

A: I value honesty. That's pretty much the thing I most honor because when a coach is honest with not just you, but the whole D-line, it just makes a lot more room for improvement.

Q: I’m guessing (defensive line coach) Mike Pelton is pretty straightforward.

A: He's honest in front of the whole D-line. If someone makes a mistake, we're all there to see it and he kind of points it out and just has the seniors take accountability for it.

Q: Game’s on the line, third-and-long. What pass-rush move are you going to use?

A: You want me to give away my bread and butter? I can't give away my bread and butter.

Q: OK. Do you know what it would be?

A: I already know what it is. I mean, I have an idea. It kind of varies. You've got to watch film to see how different people (pass) set or just what's been working throughout the game. So you kind of really don't know.

Q: What’s a funny recruiting story you have?

A: Lane Kiffin, when he was at Tennessee, after (coach Phil) Fulmer got fired, he came to my school and wanted to talk to me. (He) just promised me how he would be there (at Tennessee), but obviously, next year he was gone.

Q: Did you believe him?

A: I kind of already knew I was coming to Tech then, so I really wasn't interested, but just looking back on it, it's like, Wow, if I would have went there …

Q: What player on offense would make a good defensive player?

A: (Guard) Shaq Mason. I heard he got (scholarship) offers as a D-lineman.

Q: What would he be?

A: I think a nose guard, something like that. He would definitely be good.

Q: So, what’s the story with your first name?

A: Basically, that's my dad's first name, but he doesn't really go by it. He goes by Peter. But my grandmother named him after the mathematician because she was into academics and things like that, so my dad just carried it on.

Q: Did your dad choose to go by Peter?

A: Yeah, but I just chose Euclid. I stuck with it. I always liked my name. Unique.

Q: Have you heard of anything funny or original with someone making a pun or a joke with your name?

A: Yeah, but it's pretty inappropriate. I used to be made fun of a lot.

Q: Like, did it rhyme?

A: Yeah. I can't say it. It's inappropriate. It's very inappropriate. I promise you.