You may have missed Jordan Domineck’s impressive hustle play

Georgia Tech defensive end Jordan Domineck speaks with media via videoconference Oct. 6, 2020.

Georgia Tech defensive end Jordan Domineck speaks with media via videoconference Oct. 6, 2020.

The most impactful play that Georgia Tech defensive end Jordan Domineck made against Duke on Saturday night was his end-zone strip sack and fumble recovery late in the first half. It gave the Yellow Jackets the lead at 28-23, an advantage that they never relinquished in their 56-33 win over the Blue Devils.

But that might not have been his most impressive play. Domineck showed off superior effort on a tackle earlier in the second quarter, chasing down Duke running back Deon Jackson 37 yards downfield.

On a second-and-2 play from the Tech 43-yard line, a handoff from quarterback Chase Brice to Jackson, Domineck rushed quarterback Chase Brice from right defensive end, getting seven yards upfield before recognizing the run and changing direction to pursue the play.

In chasing down Jackson – who ran to the right sideline, away from Domineck’s side of the field – Domineck never gave up on the play, accelerating and running past teammates (some of whom were impeded, while Domineck had a clear path) before bringing down Jackson with the help of cornerback Tre Swilling (who himself also hustled from the far side of the field) at the Tech 6-yard line. (An illegal-block penalty brought the ball back to the Tech 32-yard line.) At their widest separation, Jackson was seven or eight yards ahead of Domineck. Further, Jackson is listed at 220 pounds, 27 pounds lighter than Domineck’s 247.


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All told, Domineck ran from the 50 at an angle to the Tech 6 to make the play. For the game, Domineck was credited with five tackles, two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and the forced fumble. He was a deserving selection as ACC defensive lineman of the week, the second time he has earned the honor.

But the tackle of Jackson in particular was a play representative of the effort that Domineck plays with, recognized earlier this season by defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker, who said that Domineck plays “ridiculously hard” and that he was running past teammates to try to make plays.

“If we’re talking about our defense being an effort-based defense, there’s multiple times where we all need to play to his effort standard,” Thacker said Oct. 5.

Thacker called it a challenge to the rest of the defense and “the biggest compliment I can pay Jordan.”

In Saturday’s game, Domineck recorded the highest player-load score – a measurement of effort and energy expended determined by the team’s wearable GPS technology – by any Tech player this season, surpassing linebacker David Curry’s player-load score vs. Central Florida. Ryan Horton, the team’s director of applied sports science, said in a tweet it was “the first time a lineman has ever held that honor.”

On the “Packer and Durham” show on the ACC Network Monday morning, coach Geoff Collins said that Domineck set multiple records for the defensive end position in categories recorded by the Catapult system.

Said Collins, “When you can show empirical data that says, ‘This is how you do it: Just play ridiculously hard and good things will happen,’ and that’s what Jordan Domineck did.”

Domineck’s effort – along with his explosiveness – have created a team-high 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, both team highs, and three forced fumbles, tied for the team lead.

Earlier this season, Domineck said that he has played with that type of effort ever since he was a child, when his parents put him on a football team because he was so energetic at home.

“When I was four years old, my dad told me, ‘Go get the ball,’” Domineck said. “And it’s just been that (way) ever since.”

As part of the defensive end rotation, he said, he plays with maximum effort knowing that he has teammates who can take his place and do the same.

“I know they’re going to give 100% effort every play, so why shouldn’t I?” he said.

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