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6-324 White Plains, Maryland Hargrave Military Academy Eleanor Roosevelt High School OVERVIEW Despite starting just seventeen games during his collegiate career, National Football League teams are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Gaither into the pro ranks. A Freshman All-American selection while filling in for an injured Stephon Heyer at the demanding left tackle position in 2005, Gaither struggled with academic issues and a neck injury after moving to right tackle as a sophomore. Gaither has that explosive initial quickness, large body mass, long wing span and nimble feet that has professional scouts likening him to Baltimore Ravens’ standout, Jonathan Ogden. While more comfortable lining up at left tackle, where he excelled at protecting the quarterback’s blind side, he is a player many feel that has yet to reach his physical potential. Prior to the 2006 season, he showed off his impressive athletic ability, as he set the school record for an offensive lineman with a 36-inch vertical jump. Gaither has yet to tap into that potential and is relatively still a youngster when it comes to playing the game of football. Known more for his basketball exploits at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, he only played one season of football during his prep days. He lettered four times on the basketball court, earning All-State, All-County and All-Area honors. He originally verbally committed to play basketball at South Carolina as a junior, but decided to play college football instead. On the gridiron, Gaither was a defensive tackle and tight end during his senior year. He recorded 89 tackles, nine sacks, and one forced fumble while batting down four passes at the line of scrimmage. He was used primarily as a blocking tight end, but finished the season with three receptions for 93 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Gaither ranked as the 36th-best defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com and was an honorable mention All-Metro selection by The Washington Post. The Super Prep AllAmerican and Mid-Atlantic All-Region pick was selected to play for Maryland in the Super 44 All-Star game. He added first-team All-League and All-County honors, as he helped his team post a 12-1 record in 2003, losing its only game of the season in the Class 4A state semifinals. Academic issues forced Gaither to enroll at Hargrave Military Academy for the 2004 season. He started every game at right tackle that year and received a four-star recruit rating and was ranked as the third-best prep school prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. While at Hargrave, Gaither was heavily recruited by Penn State and Virginia Tech. He was also offered football scholarships from Florida, Georgia, Pittsburgh and Clemson, but decided to enroll at Maryland in 2005. He saw action in eleven games for the Terps, starting the final eight contests at left tackle. He graded 84.4% for blocking consistency and made 40 key blocks with eight touchdown-resulting blocks, while giving up just an assisted sack and five quarterback pressures. Prior to 2006 fall camp, Gaither was suspended from the team for two weeks due to disciplinary issues (reportedly sulked after he was told he was being moved to right tackle, with Stephon Heyer returning at left tackle) and academic problems. The coaching staff held him out of the season opener while serving a suspension. He returned to the starting lineup the following week, but shifted to right tackle. He finished with nine starting
assignments, but a late season pinched nerve in his neck forced the staff to replace him in the starting lineup vs. Boston College and Purdue (Champs Sports Bowl). He graded 82.6% for blocking consistency, as he had seven touchdown-resulting blocks. He allowed one quarterback sack and a pair of pressures. In 2007 spring drills, Gaither again was forced to the sidelines by academic problems. After the school declared him ineligible for the 2007 season, Gaither applied for the 2007 NFL Supplemental Draft. "This was a decision I came to after sitting down with my family and reviewing my academic situation," Gaither said in a press release. "I felt my best option now was to enter the supplemental draft, though I would like to come back and get my degree." Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen supported Gaither' decision to go pro. "It' a s s decision he' put a lot of thought into," Friedgen said. "He' expressed a desire to get his s s degree, but I think the opportunity to make a living and the chance to be successful at the next level was the deciding factor. We wish him the best of luck and hope he achieves success in the NFL and in life." In 24 games at Maryland, he started 17 contests (eight at left tackle, nine at right tackle). He registered 76 key blocks, including 40 knockdowns and 15 touchdown-resulting blocks while allowing 1.5 sacks and seven pressures. SCOUTING REPORT Positives…Has a large, thick frame with good shoulder and chest width, long wingspan, big bubble, wide waist and hips, solid calves and thighs…Shows excellent leaping ability and very good initial explosiveness off the snap…Unlike most blockers with his girth, he has no problems getting down in his stance and firing off the ball, showing the lateral agility needed to execute pulls and traps…Shows the hip snap and change of direction agility to get to the edge and maintain position vs. the speedier pass rushers…Has the ability to stay low in his stance, demonstrating the nimble feet to slide back smoothly in pass protection…Natural knee bender who has a strong anchor, using his massive frame effectively to lean and push the defender off the line of scrimmage…One of the strongest players on the team (bench pressed 225 pounds 30 times), he set a school record for offensive linemen with a 36-inch vertical jump…Generates excellent power at the point of attack and is perfectly capable of handling multiple defenders, as he keeps his strong hands active and delivers a powerful thud with his hand punch to shock and jolt the opponent…Has a keen understanding for hand placement, doing a nice job of latching on or getting under his opponent’s jersey without being caught by the refs (has been penalized just twice –one holding and one false start call – in 24 games)…Shows very good footwork and a good concept for taking angles when asked to pull for the ground game into the second level…Has the foot balance and strength to widen and maintain the rushing lanes…Plays with good quickness to slide and re-adjust to plays…Demonstrates decent body control and balance working in space, as he has the lower body flexibility to recover his anchor…Struggles in the classroom, but plays with good awareness, especially in pass protection, as he easily picks up stunts and blitzes...His quick first step allows him to consistently gain position when working in-line and his overall speed is evident by his ability to consistently get into the second level to attack and neutralize the linebackers…Quick out of his stance and keeps his hands active to combat counter moves…Explosive hip roller who gets good movement off the ball…Uses his reach well to wall off and sustain…When he fires low off the snap, he is consistent at driving the defender back and creating huge rush lanes for the ball carrier…Quick enough to pick up blocks in space and has the balance to sit well and keep his weight over his feet…The thing you see on film when blocking up field is his ability to adjust and locate secondary targets on the move (has the lateral agility to adjust and the long arms to separate and sustain)…Throws his hands around with good force, as his punch will generally stop the defender’s charge…Generally plays at a low pad level…Does a nice job of setting his feet and using his power to lock out in pass protection…Surprises the edge rushers with his
ability to slide wide and cut them off on the back side…Has no problems adjusting to the defender’s secondary moves. Negatives…During his entire career on the football field, he has only four seasons of experience…Might be a better fit at left tackle, where his quickness and ability to kick slide and neutralize the edge rushers will benefit protecting the quarterback’s blind side (seemed to get a bit lazy letting his guard and tight end assist him in blocking schemes when playing on the right side)…Has a long history of academic issues (more from not attending rather than a lack of intelligence) and might struggle digesting a complicated playbook…Needs to mature mentally, as he tends to get too frustrated when his initial move fails and takes long stretches off when this happens (can easily be taken off his game)…Must show better dedication to his craft (will throttle down late in games-see 2006 Florida International, Virginia, Miami and Purdue games)…Has good knee bend, but when he gets tired late in games, he prefers to over-extend or just lean into his man rather than maintain pad level and hand position. Compares To…MARCUS McNEILL-San Diego…Much like McNeil during his final collegiate season, Gaither struggled with injuries in 2006. Along with a suspension for disciplinary issues and inconsistent play, he was eventually replaced in the lineup. But, from a purely athletic standpoint, he could have been one of the first players taken in the 2008 NFL Draft, if he had returned to school in 2007 and back to his playing form of 2005. He is a massive pass protector with great explosion off the snap, but is prone to over-extending at times, especially later in games, when stamina issues come into play. Still, he has great upside, but will need some patient coaching, as he has only four years of football experience (high school, prep school, college), making him still a work in progress. If he develops as a left tackle, some team will have their quarterback’s blind-side protected for the next decade. Look for Jacksonville, Atlanta, Oakland, New York Jets, New England and New York Giants to give him serious consideration during the supplemental draft. He has the physical skills to go down as one of the better finds in this phase of the draft’s history. CAREER NOTES In 1,101 plays, Gaither allowed only 1.5 quarterback sacks…Made at least one touchdownresulting block in 12 of the 17 games he started for Maryland. 2007 SEASON Declared academically ineligible prior to spring drills, Gaither decided to bypass his final two years of eligibility and applied for the 2007 NFL Supplemental Draft. 2006 SEASON All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention by The NFL Draft Report…Listed on the Outland Trophy preseason list…Was suspended for two weeks (disciplinary) during fall drills and sat out the season opener vs. William & Mary due to that suspension…Returned to start nine games at right offensive tackle…Was replaced in the starting lineup vs. Boston College and Purdue (Camps Sports Bowl) while nursing a pinched nerve in his neck…Also did not start vs. West Virginia earlier in the year, but saw action in 74 plays during that contest…Finished with an 82.6% grade for blocking consistency, seven touchdown-resulting blocks, 19 knockdowns, ten downfield blocks and 36 total key blocks…He was penalized twice and allowed one sack with 6.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and a pair of quarterback pressures…The offense struggled all season, averaging just 313.8 yards per game compared to 383.9 yards per game the previous season.
2006 GAME ANALYSIS William & Mary…Did not play (disciplinary suspension). Middle Tennessee…In his first action for 2006, Gaither participated in 50 plays, coming up with two knockdowns as the team managed only 274 yards…Early in the first quarter, he
cleared a rush lane used by tailback Lance Ball for a 12-yard scoring scamper…Head to Head Competition-DE#19-Tavares Jones-Two tackles, one assisted stop for a 2-yard loss. West Virginia…Came off the bench to post a pair of knockdowns on a season-high 74 plays, as the Terps gained 333 yards…Ran over defensive tackle Craig Wilson to spring tailback Lance Ball for an 11-yard scoring scamper early in the third quarter…Head to Head Competition-DE#95-James Ingram-Two solo tackles. Florida International…Back in the starting lineup, Gaither had two knockdowns on 64 plays and also recorded a tackle, but the offense gained only 275 yards…In the second quarter, Gaither took down Lionel Singleton after the defensive back gained 13 yards with an interception of a Sam Hollenbach pass in the end zone…Later in that quarter, Gaither held off linebacker Alexander Bostic long enough for Hollenbach to fire a 5-yard scoring pass to Isaiah Williams on a third-&-goal play…However, missed blocks in the first quarter saw defensive end Antwan Barnes take down Lance Ball for a 1-yard loss on a rushing attempt and then tackle Ball for a 2-yard loss at the start of the second half…In the fourth quarter, Barnes slipped past Gaither to pressure Hollenbach into throwing an incomplete pass on third down, forcing the Terps to punt…Head to Head Competition-DE#42-Antwan BarnesFour tackles (2 solos), 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, one pressure. Georgia Tech…Participated in 55 plays, grading 85% for blocking consistency, but the team totaled just 277 yards…Shoved defensive tackle Joe Anoai to the ground on a 3-yard scoring lob from QB Sam Hollenbach to Joey Haynos early in the second quarter…Head to Head Competition-DE#90-Darrell Robertson-Three tackles (2 assists). Virginia…Gave up the first full quarterback sack of his career while appearing in 58 plays… Midway through the first quarter, Gaither was called for a false start at the UM 44… Let defensive end Chris Long into the backfield, where the Cavalier pressured QB Sam Hollenbach to throw an incomplete pass on third-&-7 with 3:21 left in the first half, forcing the Terps to punt…With 12:08 left on the clock, Long again got by Gaither to sack Hollenbach for a 7-yard loss…Head to Head Competition-DE#91-Chris Long-Six tackles (5 solos), a 6-yard sack, 1.5 stops for minus 9 yards, one pressure. North Carolina State…Gaither was on the field for 50 snaps, collecting a pair of knockdowns as the team generated 280 yards…He widened a rush lane, leveling defensive tackle Tank Tyler in the process on a 2-yard touchdown run by Lance Ball in the third quarter, making up for allowing defensive end Raymond Brooks into the backfield to tackle Ball for a 2-yard loss on the game’s first series from scrimmage…Was called for holding on a third&-16 play with 4:06 left in the third quarter, forcing the Terps to settle for a 40-yard field goal…Head to Head Competition-DE#33-Raymond Brooks-Three tackles (2 solos), one stop for a 2-yard loss. Florida State…Graded a season-high 93% and delivered five knockdowns, including two down field…Picked up a stunt by Andre Fluellen, taking down the nose guard as QB Sam Hollenbach flipped a second quarter 5-yard touchdown to Darrius Heyward-Bey…Head to Head Competition-DE#59-Neefy Moffett-One solo tackle. Clemson…Added three knockdowns on 56 plays as the Terps threw for 247 yards…Linebacker Nick Watkins was leveled by Gaither on Sam Hollenbach’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Danny Oquendo that ended a 14-play, 66-yard drive at the start of the second quarter… Head to Head Competition-DE#94-Phillip Merling-Four tackles (2 solos). Miami…Had just one knockdown on 32 plays before being replaced during the second half due to a pinched nerve in his neck…Head to Head Competition-DE#98-Baraka Atkins-Five tackles (4 solos). Boston College…Came off the bench for ten plays.
Wake Forest…Was back in the starting lineup, appearing in 38 plays, as he made three knockdowns for an offense that totaled 376 yards…Head to Head Competition-DE#55-Jyles Tucker-Three assisted tackles. Purdue (Champs Sports Bowl)…Was replaced in the lineup by Dane Randolph. 2005 SEASON Freshman All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, earning third-team accolades from College Football News and honorable mention from The Sporting News… Graded 84.4% for blocking consistency on 538 plays, as he registered 21 knockdowns, eight touchdown-resulting blocks, eleven blocks down field and made a total of 40 key blocks…Allowed 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, five pressures and was called for penalties twice…Played a big part in helping the offense average 383.9 yards per game… Even though the offensive line allowed 31 quarterback sacks, none were charged to Gaither (credited with allowing one assisted sack only)…Started the team’s final eight games at left offensive tackle for an injured Stephon Heyer. 2005 GAME HIGHLIGHTS Navy, Clemson and West Virginia…Saw action behind Stephon Heyer at left tackle during the team’s first three games. Wake Forest…Made his first career touchdown-resulting block in his first start for the Terps, leveling linebacker Jon Abbate on a fourth quarter 3-yard touchdown run by tailback Keon Lattimore that capped a 77-yard, 6-play drive…Head to Head CompetitionDE#98-Jeremy Thompson-Three tackles (2 solos). Virginia…Participated in 80 plays, grading a career-high 97% as Gaither had a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks for an offense that generated 570 yards, including 250 yards and four scores on the ground…Took down linebacker Kai Parham on Sam Hollenbach’s 24-yard scoring strike to tight end Vernon Davis that ended a 9-lay, 88-yard drive with 4:34 left in the first half…At the start of the fourth quarter, Gaither upended defensive end Chris Long to spring Lance Ball for a 14-yard touchdown jaunt that capped an 80-yard, 6-play drive…Head to Head Competition-DE#91-Chris Long-One assisted tackle. Temple…Registered four knockdowns, including one that upended defensive tackle Adam Fichter on a 6-yard scoring burst by tailback Mario Merrills that finished a 7-play, 66-yard second quarter series…Head to Head Competition-DE#8-Christian Dunbar-Six tackles (5 assists), 0.5 stops for minus 2 yards. Virginia Tech…Was on the field for 80 plays, bringing the crowd to its feet after he drove linebacker Xavier Adibi two yards out of bounds to open a hole for Lance Ball on a 12-yard pickup…Head to Head Competition-DE#55-Darryl Tapp-Five tackles (4 assists). Florida State…Competed in 65 plays, grading 87% for blocking consistency as the team gained 332 yards…Held off defensive end Kamerion Wimbley on QB Joel Stratham’s 29yard scoring pass to Derrick Fenner with 2:24 remaining in the first half…Head to Head Competition-DE#95-Kamerion Wimbley-Three assisted tackles, two pass deflections. North Carolina…Graded 91% with four knockdowns and two touchdown-resulting blocks while helping the Terps amass 524 yards, including 374 yards and three scores passing… Ran over defensive end Tommy Davis to spring Lance Ball for a first quarter 1-yard scoring run that ended an 80-yard, 11-play series…Smashed linebacker Larry Wdwards to the ground as QB Sam Hollenbach rolled left to find J.J. Walker with a 67-yard touchdown bomb with 7:26 left on the clock…Head to Head Competition-DE#90-Kentwan Balmer-No tackles. North Carolina State…Even though the Terps allowed six quarterback sacks, none were charged vs. Gaither, but he did allow two QB pressures, including one by rush end Manny
Lawson on third-&-5 at the start of the fourth quarter that saw Sam Hollenbach throw an incomplete pass, forcing the Terps to punt…Lawson would again pressure Hollenbach on third-&-6 at midfield with 6:44 remaining in the game and the Terps QB was then chased down by State for a 10-yard loss…Head to Head Competition-DE#91-Manny Lawson-Two tackles (1 solo), two pressures. INJURY REPORT 2006-Bothered late in the year by a pinched nerve in his neck that limited him to ten plays off the bench in the Boston College clash. 2007-Limited in weight room drills during a July workout for pro teams due to a shoulder strain. CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS 4.98/5.14 range in the 40-yard dash…Bench pressed 225 pounds 30 times on campus in April, 2006 (had 15 reps in July 2007 due to shoulder strain…Set a team position record in August 2006 with a 36-inch vertical jump (had a 31.5-inch leap in July 2007)…9’3” broad jump…4.49/4.53 range in the 20-yard shuttle…7.12/7.25 range in the three-cone drill. PREP SCHOOL Gaither attended Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) in 2004, starting every game at right tackle for head coach Robert Prunty…He received a four-star recruit rating and ranked as the third-best prep school prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. HIGH SCHOOL Attended Eleanor Roosevelt (White Plains, Md.) High School, playing just one year of football as a senior for head coach Rich Houchens…Lettered four times on the basketball court, earning All-State, All-County and All-Area honors…Originally verbally committed to play basketball at South Carolina as a junior, but decided to play college football instead… On the gridiron, Gaither was a defensive tackle and tight end during his senior year, as he recorded 89 tackles, nine sacks, and one forced fumble while batting down four passes at the line of scrimmage…Used primarily as a blocking tight end, but finished the season with three receptions for 93 yards and a pair of touchdowns…Ranked as the 36th-best defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com and was an honorable mention All-Metro selection by The Washington Post…The Super Prep All-American and Mid-Atlantic AllRegion pick was selected to play for Maryland in the Super 44 All-Star game…Added firstteam All-League and All-County honors, as he helped his team post a 12-1 record in 2003, losing its only game of the season in the Class 4A state semifinals. PERSONAL General Studies major, enrolled in the College of Letters and Sciences…Son of Joyce Gaither and David Suggs…Born 3/18/86…Resides in White Plains, Maryland.
PLAYER STATISTICS BLOCKING STATISTICS...Based on review of game film by our scouting department...SGPseason grade percentage...GM-games played...PLAY-amount of snaps played in...KB-key blocks (pancake/ knockdowns)...TDB-touchdown resulting blocks... DWF-downfield blocks... PRS-pressures allowed...SKA-sacks allowed...High Grade Game-best graded game for the season. STATS G SGP PLAYS KB TDB DWF PRS SKA High Grade Game M 2005 11 84.4 538 40 8 11 5.0 0.5 97% vs. Virginia 2006 12 82.8 583 36 7 10 2.0 1.0 93% vs. Florida State TOTAL 23 83.6 1121 76 15 21 7.0 1.5 97% vs. Virginia
PLAYER PERFORMANCE CHART
OPPONENT Middle Tennessee West Virginia Fla. International Georgia Tech Virginia N. Carolina State Florida State Clemson Miami Wake Forest Total PLAYER (DE) #19-Tavares Jones #95-James Ingram #42-Antwan Barnes #90-Darrell Robertson #91-Chris Long #33-Raymond Brooks #59-Neefy Moffett #94-Phillip Merling ##98-Baraka Atkins #55-Jyles Tucker SO 1 2 2 1 5 2 1 2 1 0 17 AS 1 0 2 2 1 1 0 2 4 3 16
TK 2 2 4 3 6 3 1 4 5 3 33
TFL 0.5-2 0.0-0 2.5-4 0.0-0 1.5-9 1.0-2 0.0-0 0.0-0 0.0-0 0.0-0 6.5-17
SACK 0.0-0 0.0-0 0.0-0 0.0-0 1.0-6 0.0-0 0.0-0 0.0-0 0.0-0 0.0-0 1.0-6
PRS 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
KB 4 4 3 3 1 4 8 5 1 3 36
TD B 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 7
DW F 1 1 0 1 2 1 2 1 0 1 10
PEN 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
GRD 84 86 79 85 73 82 93 85 77 84 82.8
NOTE-SO indicates solo tackles by defensive opponent…AS indicates assisted tackles...TK indicates total tackles…TFL indicates total tackles behind the line of scrimmage/lost yardage… SACK indicates sacks/yards lost…PRS indicates QB pressures allowed…KB indicates key blocks/ knockdowns by the offensive lineman… TDB indicates touchdown resulting blocks...DWF indicates downfield blocks registered...PEN indicates penalties given up…GRD indicates blocking consistency grade.