Gainesville class of 2022 defensive linemen Khaliq Maddox has been a standout the last few years for the Red Elephants. Mostly playing off the edge, the powerful defender is in constant motion on the field once the ball is snapped.
Maddox plays with unmatched energy and just pure determination to get after the football. That desire to dominate was never more evident than last Friday night against Hillgrove.
It was 3rd and short on the 41-yard line. The entire Gainesville defensive line was pinched in tight to stop the immanent run up the middle. Right at the snap the play turned into a scrum with the QB attempting to sneak up the middle, but this is the sort of environment that junkyard dogs like Maddox thrive in. The junior came out of the pile of humanity with the football, and while both teams continued to loiter at the 40 yard line, Maddox was streaking down field into the endzone with a single teammate by his side.
Ultimately, Gainesville lost a tough one 28-27 against Hillgrove, but plays like the one Maddox made helped the Red Elephants stay toe to toe with the perennial Cobb County power. A few days later Maddox made the top plays of the week in Georgia, and ended up finishing 2nd in the community vote.
Going from his sophomore to junior year we do see an improvement in the tough-hardnosed defender. Personally, Maddox talked about where he has improved the most.
“During the offseason I spent an hour or two trying to perfect my craft at least 4 to 5 days out the week and it’s helped be more explosive off the ball, but not only that, I also work a lot of shooting my hands and working my hands to try and get a pass rush,” he said.
We are impressed with the motor of Maddox, it has been a consistent theme in film the last few years. He will hustle his tail off anywhere on the field to make a tackle. Plus, he is quick off the line, plays well with his hands and consistently beats good offensive linemen on film.
“Something that separates me from others that play my position would be I can play all over the defense of line and play at a high level.”
We definitely agree, and we are especially encouraged by solid weight gain over the last year now to 250 lbs. Maddox shows some encouraging versatility, and we think he can continue to grow into his 5’10” frame to be around 270-280 lbs.
The junior only has one goal in mind for the remainder of the season.
“My main goal for the rest of the season will be trying to create problems in the back field.”
That shouldn’t be a problem. Maddox has already shown a real knack at getting into the backfield and creating havoc. For an athlete that is stoutly built, he moves really well, and shows very good lateral quickness making quick changes of direction in the tackle box.
The junior is a disruptor with a legit motor, honestly one of the best we have seen among defensive linemen in the class of 2022, so be sure to stay tuned to @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to hear the latest on Maddox and the rest of the players around the state of Georgia.