As ACC teams begin to start practicing again, Andrea Adelson and I will have a quick preview of each team to get you caught up on the basics. Next up to open camp …
School: Georgia Tech
Start date: Friday
Predicted finish at media days: Second in the Coastal Division
Biggest storyline: Year 3 under Al Groh. Could this finally be the year the defense gets off the field? Georgia Tech was No. 83 in the country last year in third-down defense and No. 60 in scoring defense. The Jackets should see some significant progress, considering it is the third year in Groh’s 3-4 scheme and the players are familiar with the playbook and what Groh expects of them. Georgia Tech will be missing its leading tackler in Julian Burnett, but Jeremiah Attaochu is one of the better linebackers in the ACC. The secondary is also an experienced group, but Georgia Tech has to replace two of three starters up front. The defense has some questions on its depth chart, but expectations are still higher for Groh’s group.
Biggest position battle: Defensive end. Izaan Cross is a three-year starter, but that’s about all that is certain right now. Emmanuel Dieke and Euclid Cummings were both dead-even on the depth chart following spring practices. Cummings had a good spring, and Dieke is a good pass-rusher at 6-foot-6, 270 pounds. Both will likely end up playing a lot. A fourth player, Chris Crenshaw, will also be pushing for playing time.
Who needs to step up: The receivers. None of them have ever caught a pass in a game, and Georgia Tech needs to improve its passing efficiency this fall. Jeff Greene and Darren Waller are two sophomores who played sparingly last year and should have increased roles. Chris Jackson, a former transfer from Alabama, will also see his first playing time. Jeremy Moore, who has battled injuries throughout his career, should also get more meaningful snaps this year.