Terrence Cody

Terrance Cody Nose Tackle

Senior

6’ 5” 365 lbs.

University of Alabama

Strengths: Unmatched size, strength, athletic for his size

Weaknesses:  Slow, past academic and weight problems, 2 down player

By John L. Clarke and Scot Acocks

Mount Rushmore, Mount Vesuvius, and Mount St. Helen’s are all HUGE natural structures (although Rushmore has been altered by man) that are known for their massive, imposing size and once for their volatility.  Mount Cody is similar massive, imposing and STILL volatile structure. 

There will be plenty of good defensive tackles in the 2010 NFL Draft, but Cody looks like a true nose tackle. NFL teams that play a 34 defense will be drooling to get this prospect on their rosters.

Terrence Cody, the former 400 lbs. junior college nose tackle and current Crimson Tide standout, is probably going to be the top defensemen going in the 2010.  Guys of his size and athleticism just don’t come around that often and with the 3-4 defense being the new trend, a good nose tackle of his caliber is an important cog.

Cody is scary, but not in the, “please don’t hit or land on me” vibe, but the will he regress to the academically challenged, overweight kid that he was in the past.  Although, to be fair, him hitting or falling on someone would be just as scary.  With a man of his size, the fear for making him a high draft pick is if he is worth the money.  Not in terms of ability, but sustainability.  Guys like Ted Washington and Gilbert Brown are rare run stoppers that linebackers love and offensive linemen hate, but they are also rare in passing situations. 

Cody has been steadily losing weight and does seem really committed to taking care of his body to be able to stay in on those all important passing downs.  Staying in school was another important decision, as he will give scouts more tape on his abilities, much to the chagrin of all other teams in the SEC.  It also helps to have Nick Saban, a staunch disciplinarian, as a coach.  Saban is a student of the game and expects nothing less from his scholarship athletes. 

When sizing up Terrence Cody’s prospective abilities as a professional football player it is easy to see what comprises his positive aspects. With 365 lbs hanging onto his 6’5” frame the guy is simply a behemoth who takes up a lot of space no matter where he may be at any time. The problem is that his strengths may end being his Achilles heel.

As a freshman at Riverdale High School in Ft. Myers, FL, Cody already was weighing in at 275 lbs. and stood 6’2”. He missed his sophomore and junior years of playing due to academic ineligibility but was able to get it together for his senior year. That year he made enough of an impact on the field to garner attention from several Division I schools.

However, his grades again kept him from entering a top program and Cody opted for playing at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for a couple years. In his second season there he helped the team go 12-0 and was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s All-American team.

He then made an immediate impact at the Division I level after signing with the University of Alabama in 2008. In 2007, the year before Cody signed with Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide, their defense allowed 128.4 rushing yards per game. After Cody was implemented into the scheme as the team’s starting nose tackle, they only allowed 78.8 yards per game. That is a very substantial difference.

During his senior year at Alabama Cody started all 13 games, including the Southeastern Conference Championship game, and again led a strong rush defense that ranked 2nd nationally, allowing 77.9 yards per game on the ground. He also got some playing time on offense as a fullback in goal line and short yardage situations and blocked two field goals on special teams. The Crimson Tide will face the Texas Longhorns on January 7th for the National Championship and Cody will be playing a big role.

What surprises many scouts about this guy, whose teammates at Alabama have dubbed “Mount Cody”, is his raw athleticism. Although he is not an elite athlete of Ndamukong Suh like proportions, Cody has a low center of gravity and can move very well for a man of his stature. He has shown the ability to either collapse the pocket or move laterally while tracking down ball carriers. Two traits that pro scouts will want to put to the test in pre-draft workouts.

For as big as Cody is, however, he may not be as strong as his size might suggest. He is strong enough at the moment to compete in the NFL though and should get stronger. He also is not a three down player at this point due to his conditioning. He will need to work hard in the weight room, drop some body fat, and get into better shape to get high marks at the combine. Hopefully he won’t blow it like Andre Smith did last year when he showed up over-weight, out of shape, and bolted out of Indy before the drills even began.

Overall, Terrence Cody is as good as any other nose tackle prospect to come out of college in recent memory. He has consistently drawn double teams from opposing running games at every other level of football and is a beloved teammate. He gets plenty of praise from other players on the football field and in the locker room. His character questions have been put to rest over the last four years as he has worked hard in the classroom to keep himself eligible and overcome problems that plagued him as a youth. He may not be an every down player but his ability to obstruct blocking schemes and allow for other players to go unblocked and make plays can be priceless for a defense.

He should be an early pick in the 2010 draft, possibly going in the top 15. At the very least he should be a late first rounder and would be an absolute steal in the second. With a lot of NFL clubs employing more 3-4 defensive schemes a high priority is being placed on players of Cody’s unique abilities. I would be amazed to see him slip. It would take a combine performance of Hindenburg-like proportions for his stock to drop too much as most scouts pretty much know what to expect of him.

Career Totals at Alabama: