- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Georgia Tech B-back Zach Laskey has made a huge impact since entering the starting lineup two weeks ago against Presbyterian. In his two starts, Laskey has 159 yards rushing and a touchdown, and also had his first career reception -- a 70-yard touchdown to open the game last week against Virginia.
I had a chance to catch up with Laskey this week as the Yellow Jackets prepared to play Miami. Here is what he had to say.
How have you been able to be productive right off the bat in your first starting opportunity?
Zach Laskey: I’m just really blessed to go out there and just get a chance. I’ve made the most of it both times so far. But you can’t get complacent, that’s the big theme for the team. We just have to keep getting better each week,
What has worked well for you so far?
ZL: Just everything, pretty much, from passing to running, blocking. As a team, as a unit, we’re playing really well right now.
How did it feel to open the game last week with that 70-yard touchdown catch?
ZL: We talked about it early on in the week. We put it in and Coach told me there was a possibility we were going to run in it early on it in the game. When we lined up, we got the matchup we wanted with the outside linebacker. That helps when you can come out and hit a big play like that and maybe take a little wind from their sails.
What do you think you have shown the coaching staff?
ZL: I think I’ve shown that I can do it. I can do all phases of the game for this position and I think they trust me a lot, and that’s always nice.
ZL: The offseason was pretty big for me. I take football as a year-round sport, no time off, no breaks. I’ll go home on the weekends and try to get in a little extra workouts to see if I can get ahead because in this day and age, if you’re not working someone else is and they’re going to get better than you.
What did you work on?
ZL: I wanted to make sure I was in good shape. I did a good amount of running, worked on my explosiveness, did lifting, power squats and stuff like that. I also worked on my footwork and pad level. Those were big things for me.
What has the move to B-back been like for you?
ZL: Coach told me after last season to get ready for B-back and I got on a weight gaining program. I got up to 213 but I’m about 208 right now. Last year, I was about 200, so I picked up about eight pounds.
What’s the hardest part of playing the position?
ZL: The biggest thing for me has been blocking and making sure I line up in the right area when I’m blocking. You can have big meltdowns when you’re not there. I definitely think from the beginning of the season to where I’m at right now, it’s gotten better. It’s not where it needs to be but it’s improved.
Miami has beaten you guys three straight, is that all the motivation you need going into this game?
ZL: I think it helps with motivation. We know they’re a very good team so right now we’re just trying to stay focused and make sure we don’t get complacent. We’re trying to get better each day with what we do.
You have mentioned the complacency issue. Is that something that coaches mention a lot?
ZL: Yeah, that’s been a big trouble point since I arrived at Tech. Last year, we started out 6-0 and the whole thing was don’t get complacent. This year, we’re working hard to make sure each week we take a step forward and don’t take any step backward. That’s something they’ve emphasized.
1dMatt Fortuna and Andrea Adelson