Key Players for 2012: Dominic Appiah
This is a series on the key players for the 2012 season. Big things are expected for some, while others will need to improve over their previous performances. If 2012 is a good year, it will be in part due to the key players overachieving.
Sophomore Defensive Tackle, Dominic Appiah
What he's been: Appiah surprised many last year. Playing for the first time after redshirting his freshman year, Appiah ended up starting most of the games. He made his presence known quickly with the ability to get an inside push and make plays in the backfield. Appiah was new to the inside but he showed natural ability and moved very well considering he played nearly 30 pounds lighter in high school.
What he needs to be: We need Appiah to be like B.J. Raji or Ron Brace. We don't have as many difference makers in other areas of the defense. If Appiah and Ramsey partner to become a dominant force -- like Brace and Raji -- it will create all sorts of opportunities for the rest of the defense. If the two of them can control the line of scrimmage we can become one of the elite DLines in the ACC.
Why I like his chances to shine: It feels like I am head of the Appiah fan club. Spaz doesn't even have him at the top of the preseason depth chart. Of all the guys I have profiled, he would probably be viewed as the least likely to make an impact. He's still young. He's still learning the position and he's still getting used to moving with his added bulk. But I saw enough moments that I believe Appiah can be a great DT. He has the push, the leverage and surprising speed for big guy. Other teams had trouble handling him last year. If Appiah remains focused and works hard, he is going to dominate every interior lineman in the conference. And if Ramsey and Appiah both play well, BC will be a bowl team again.