|Height: 6-2 | Weight: 263 | College: Cal Poly|
Two seasons ago, Gocong was an unheralded nose guard fighting for playing time. But a shift to defensive end in 2004 saw the emergence of the most dominating pass rusher of his era in the NCAA Division 1-AA ranks. Since the NCAA began keeping defensive records in 2000, no other defensive player can match Gocong's 42 quarterback sacks.
His performance the last two seasons has drawn considerable praise throughout the collegiate ranks.
"Gocong is just so strong and plays so relentless, I can't find anything wrong with his game. He's the Energizer Bunny out there. It doesn't matter if it's snap one or 101; he's always going the same speed. He's one of the most amazing guys I've seen in college football," said Sacramento State coach Steve Mooshagian.
Gocong attended Carpinteria High School, where he was a three-year letter-winner and starting quarterback and linebacker. He was a two-time All-CIF-Southern Section and All-League defensive selection and a Golden State scholar. Gocong recorded 180 tackles as a junior and 150 as a senior. He scored 11 touchdowns and threw four touchdown passes as a senior. He was also a standout in track and field, setting a school record in the discus (183 feet, 3 inches), twice earning All-League honors in the discus and shot put.
Gocong saw limited action in six games during the 2001 season at Cal Poly, managing only six tackles (3 solos). He redshirted in 2002 and then started the 2003 campaign as the team's nose guard. Gocong totaled 37 tackles (20 solos) with a sack and eight stops for losses that year.
Gocong shifted to defensive end in 2004, leading the nation in quarterback sacks (17.5) while ranking second in tackles for losses (22). He delivered 71 hits (48 solos) with two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception. He finished second in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award (nation's top Division 1-AA defensive player) and was a consensus All-America choice.
Gocong was a unanimous All-American and recipient of the Buchanan Award in 2005. He set a Division 1-AA single-season record with 23.5 sacks and led the nation with 31 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He ranked second on the squad with a career-high 98 tackles (46 solos) and registered 14 quarterback pressures. Gocong also caused four fumbles, recovered two others and deflected four passes.
In 41 games with the Mustangs, Gocong started 35 times. He recorded 212 tackles (117 solos) and set an NCAA career record with 42 sacks for minus-284 yards. His 61.5 stops for losses of 330 yards rank fourth in Division 1-AA history. He recovered three fumbles and caused six others. He also intercepted a pass, deflected eight others and blocked a kick.
Positives: Has adequate upper body definition, but generates good power Strong wrap-up tackler who stays low in his pads when striking Shows very good dip and body lean to get an edge on a blocker Active with his hands in attempts to disengage and has the burst to slip past a lethargic offensive tackle Wraps and does not soften when tackling, showing intensity and a desire to strip the ball from the ball carrier Has an explosive initial step coming off the edge, taking good pursuit angles and showing intensity to close Quick to read blocking schemes and has enough hand punch to shed Possesses the lateral range to work down the line and the sustained speed to handle long pursuit Makes good adjustments working down the line, flipping his hips to squeeze through tight areas Does not shut down until the whistle Excels at closing down the cutback lanes and will hit and wrap with authority.
Negatives: Has good upper body strength, but lacks the size and bulk to stack and control when redirecting in-line Can be washed out of the play at the point of attack when he gets high in his stance Has good hand usage to wrap and secure, but needs to improve his placement in attempts to keep blockers off his body Can widen blockers to disengage, but does not have much success splitting double teams.
Gocong has adequate muscle definition, good bubble and defined legs. He shows good foot speed, balance and body control, generating an explosive burst coming off the snap. His initial step allows him to get an edge on the blocker and keep the advantage. He is a good read-and-diagnose type that recognizes blocking schemes and is quick to adjust. He has very good snap anticipation, doing a very good job of reading the cadence.
Gocong is best when on the move. He has functional strength, but because of adequate size and bulk, he does not always hold ground at the point of attack and does not have the ability to consistently split double teams. He gets engulfed by larger offensive tackles when trying to shoot the inside gaps and does wear down late in games from the constant battling he faces inside the box. He is best when using his foot speed to come off the edge or make adjustments working down the line in attempts to close on the ball.
His valid speed allows him to widen blockers, and he demonstrates the hands needed to work and control in one-on-one confrontations. He still needs to improve his rip and club moves to defeat going across the face of the blocker, though. His ability to take good angles in pursuit let him close down cutback lanes, and he has a quick burst to close on the pocket coming off the edge. He stays in control and keeps his feet on the move, and has the second gear to chase down plays from behind.
As a pass rusher, he has the acceleration to close, but is best when given a free lane to the ball. He will get bounced around some trying to take the inside lane to the quarterback and does not have the hand jolt to push the guards back into the pocket. He is more effective accelerating off the edge, where he shows very good dip and body lean. He has the flexibility and burst to consistently go by the offensive tackle to attack the passer.
Gocong reminds me a lot of the Seahawks' Grant Wistrom for his tenacity and relentless motor in pursuit. Sure, he gets bounced around quite a bit by bigger blockers working inside, but he will not give up on the play and has the redirection agility to recover and still try to get back into the action. You look at his work ethic and that of the Steelers' Aaron Smith and the Chiefs' Jared Allen, players like Gocong that were groomed in small college programs that were unearthed as finds on the second day of the draft.
Has been the most dominant pass rusher in the NCAA Division 1-AA ranks the last two years, leading the nation in sacks in both 2004 and '05 Gocong set the Division 1-AA record with 42 sacks for his career and 23.5 sacks in 2005, topping the previous career mark of 33 sacks by Matt Mitchell of Northern Iowa (2000-03) and the old season record of 20 sacks by Robert Mathis of Alabama A&M in 2002. The NCAA began keeping defensive records in 2000 His 61.5 tackles for loss rank fourth all-time in the Division 1-AA ranks behind Sherrod Coates of Western Kentucky (67, 2000-03), Valdamar Brower of Massachusetts (63, 2000-03) and Stephen Baggs of Bethune-Cookman (62, 2002-03) His 31 stops behind the line of scrimmage in 2005 rank second in Division 1-AA history behind Baggs' 36 in 2003 Starting with the 2004 season opener, Gocong registered at least one quarterback sack in 17 consecutive games.
Unanimous All-America first-team choice Recipient of the Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in NCAA Division 1-AA. The award is named for Junious "Buck" Buchanan, the NAIA All-America and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive lineman who played for Grambling State University from 1959 through 1962. Gocong captured 44 of 113 first-place votes and 359 total points to claim the Buchanan trophy. Linebacker John Beck won the award in 2004, making Cal Poly the first school to win back-to-back Buchanan Awards since linebacker Dexter Coakley of Appalachian State (1995-96) earned the award in consecutive seasons All-Great West Conference first-team choice and Defensive Player of the Year The team captain led the nation and set a Division 1-AA season record with 23.5 sacks for minus-170 yards from his weakside defensive end position He ranked second in the nation with an average of 2.35 stops for loss per game and his 31 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for losses of 187 yards rank second on the Division 1-AA single-season list Recorded a career-high 98 tackles (46 solos) Credited with 14 quarterback pressures and four pass deflection Had two fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles.
|2005 Game Analysis|
Troy Opened the season with three tackles and a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage, including a 12-yard sack of QB Carl Meadows Head to Head Competition -- OT Rob Auston.
Sacramento State Added nine hits (5 solos) with 2.5 stops for losses, including 1.5 sacks of QB Chris Hurd for minus-12 yards Head to Head Competition -- OT Chris Samuels.
Montana State Registered 10 tackles (5 solos) with 2.5 sacks for minus-11 yards, three stops for losses of 12 yards and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown Took down tailback Michael Bass for a 2-yard loss at the start of the second quarter, and followed by taking down QB Travis Lulay for a 5-yard loss on a draw play, recovering a fumble on that play in the end zone for a touchdown with 3:07 left in the first half Midway through the third quarter, Gocong sacked Lulay for a 4-yard loss, and on the next play, he teamed with linebacker Jason Relyea to sack Lulay for minus-5 yards Gocong then joined linebacker Dustin Baxley in sacking Lulay for a 4-yard loss in the fourth quarter Head to Head Competition -- OT Peder Jensen.
South Dakota State Delivered eight tackles (7 assists) with a pressure and made two assisted sacks in the fourth quarter, joining defensive tackle Kyle Shotwell in taking down QB Andy Kardoes for a 10-yard loss on a second-and-goal play at the start of the quarter and then assisting defensive end Matt Chachere in sacking Kardoes for minus-10 yards on a third-and-10 play with 9:43 left in the game Head to Head Competition -- OT Mitch Erickson.
Northern Colorado Posted seven tackles (3 solos) and 3.5 sacks for minus-27 yards On the game's opening drive, Gocong sacked QB T.J. Swanson twice for a total of minus-14 yards Also teamed with defensive tackle Chris White to sack Swanson for a 10-yard loss in the fourth quarter Head to Head Competition -- OT Bret Garegnami.
North Dakota State Caused a fumble, deflected a pass, registered nine tackles (4 solos) with 2.5 sacks for minus-13 yards and added a pressure Sacked Steve Walker for a 13-yard loss in the first quarter Caused a fumble when he tackled Kyle Steffes on a 4-yard run in the third quarter. Linebacker Jason Relyea recovered to set up a Cal Poly 37-yard field goal Head to Head Competition -- OT Tim Popowski.
Montana Had five tackles and recovered a fumble after defensive tackle Chris White sacked QB Cole Bergquist for a 10-yard loss on the game's opening drive. The fumble recovery set up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Cal Poly's Anthony Garnett to Ramses Barden This game snapped Gocong's string of 17 consecutive games with at least one quarterback sack.
Cal-Davis Did not record a sack for the second straight week, but managed seven hits (3 solos) with an assisted stop behind the line of scrimmage and a pass breakup Head to Head Competition -- OT Elliot Vallejo.
Eastern Washington Got back on the "sack attack" when he teamed with linebacker Tom Curiel to sack QB Erik Meyer for a 6-yard loss in the third quarter and added a 7-yard sack of Meyer in the fourth quarter Finished with nine tackles (5 solos), 3.5 stops for minus-14 yards and a pressure Head to Head Competition -- OT Zach Wasielewski.
Southern Utah Added four pressures, seven tackles (4 solos) and three sacks for minus-13 yards Sacked QB Wes Nmaershall for minus-4 yards with assistance from linebacker Tom Curiel on a third-and-6 play early in the game, followed by a 1-yard sack of Marshall on a third-and-10 play 0:44 before halftime On a third-and-10 play in the fourth quarter, he again sacked Marshall for minus-5 yards Head to Head Competition -- OT Matt Roan.
Idaho State Collected seven tackles (5 solos) with 2.5 sacks for minus-36 yards, two forced fumbles, two pass deflections and a school-record seven pressures Sacked QB Luke Sniewski for a 8-yard loss on the game's opening drive, causing a fumble that was recovered by defensive tackle Chris White to set up a 12-yard touchdown run by Cal Poly's James Noble Teamed with defensive end Matt Chachere to sack Sniewski for a 5-yard loss in the second quarter Almost ran Sniewski out of the stadium in the third quarter, when he sacked the passer for a 26-yard loss, causing a fumble that was recovered by ISU Head to Head Competition -- OT Shawn Oram.
Montana (NCAA Division 1-AA Playoffs) Was in on six solo tackles with three sacks for minus-20 yards, four stops for losses of 21 yards and a forced fumble Sacked QB Cole Bergquist for an 8-yard loss on a third-and-7 play in the first quarter, causing a fumble that Bergquist recovered Sacked Bergquist again for minus-4 yards on a third-and-1 play, forcing Montana to punt. Later in the second quarter, Gocong again sacked Bergquist for an 8-yard loss on a third-and-7 play that ended the first half Head to Head
Competition -- OT Brad Rhoades.
Texas State (Division 1-AA Playoffs) Closed his career with 11 tackles (2 solos), 1.5 sacks for minus-7 yards and three stops behind the line of scrimmage Sacked QB Barrick Nealy for a 4-yard loss in the first quarter and teamed with defensive end Matt Chachere to sack Nealy for minus-5 yards in the third quarter Made a touchdown-saving tackle when he dragged down tailback Douglas Sherman after a 37-yard run in the fourth quarter Head to Head Competition -- OT Matt Jenkins.
Consensus All-America first-team choice, adding College Sports Report Defensive Lineman of the Year, Football Gazette All-West Region and All-Great West Football Conference first-team honors Finished second in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award Shifted to weak-side defensive end Recorded 71 tackles (48 solos), and led the nation with 17.5 sacks for minus-109 yards Second in Division 1-AA with 21.5 stops for losses of 125 yards Caused two fumbles and recovered another Had two pass deflections and an interception Also blocked a kick Registered at least one quarterback sack in every game.
|2004 Game Analysis|
Humboldt State Opened the season with five tackles (4 solos), an interception, a forced fumble and two sacks for minus-16 yards.
Idaho State Made five solo hits with a 7-yard sack and two stops for losses of 12 yards.
Montana State Added seven tackles (6 solos), a 5-yard sack and two stops behind the line of scrimmage.
South Dakota State Had another seven hits (3 solos) and two sacks for minus-10 yards.
Southern Utah Posted seven tackles (5 solos) and a 6-yard sack.
Texas State Delivered three stops for losses, including 1.5 sacks for minus-9 yards and eight tackles (6 solos).
North Dakota State Blocked a punt, returning the ball 14 yards, and assisted on a 4-yard sack.
Cal-Davis Was in on nine tackles (5 solos) with 2.5 sacks for losses of 11 yards and a forced fumble.
Eastern Washington Made an 11-yard sack and 11 tackles (7 solos).
Northern Colorado Picked up five tackles (3 solos) with two sacks for minus-13 yards.
Sacramento State Recovered a fumble while totaling five tackles (4 solos) and three sacks for losses of 25 yards.
Started all year at nose guard Registered 37 tackles (20 solos) with a 7-yard sack and eight stops for losses of 27 yards Also deflected two passes Had a 7-yard sack and two stops for losses vs. Southern Utah Added two stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Akron Registered a season-high seven tackles vs. Montana.
Appeared in six games as a reserve defensive end Finished with six tackles (3 solos) and a stop for a 1-yard loss.
No injury report available.
Campus: 4.81 in the 40-yard dash 405-pound bench press Bench presses 225 pounds 31 times 550-pound squat 374-pound power clean 36-inch vertical jump 32 -inch arm length 9 -inch hands Right-handed 32/40 Wonderlic score.
Attended Carpinteria (Cal.) High School, playing football for head coach Coley Candaele
Three-year letter-winner and starting quarterback and linebacker Two-time All-CIF-Southern Section and All-League defensive selection and a Golden State scholar Made 180 tackles as a junior and 150 as a senior Scored 11 touchdowns and threw four touchdown passes as a senior Also a standout in track and field, setting a school record in the discus (183 feet, 3 inches), twice earning All-League honors in the discus and shot put.
General Engineering major Brother, Ryan, is a member of the Claremont-McKenna College football team in Los Angeles Son of Julie and Bruce Kennedy Born 11/16/83 in Lancaster, California Resides in Santa Barbara, California.
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