Thursday, August 5, 2010
Opening camp: Georgia Tech
By Heather Dinich
Schedule: Practice starts at 3:30 p.m. All practices are closed to the public.
What’s new: First-year defensive coordinator Al Groh is switching the Jackets from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Groh has constantly been in the film room this offseason helping players understand what he wants from them, as there have been some position changes.
Sidelined: No starters are expected to miss summer camp.
Key battle: Defensive tackle. Because of the scheme change, two players with starting experience at defensive tackle are now battling for one spot. Logan Walls and Ben Anderson, a senior who missed all of spring ball with an injury, are the front-runners, but T.J. Barnes also has a lot of experience and potential.
New on the scene: Georgia Tech welcomes three new assistant coaches: Former Navy assistant Joe Speed/linebackers, Andy McCollum, defensive line/recruiting coordinator, and Lamar Owens, who was promoted from grad assistant to A-backs.
Breaking out: Sophomore wide receiver Stephen Hill. He has the potential to be the Jackets’ next elite receiver, following in the footsteps of Demaryius Thomas. Hill averaged 22.8 yards per catch last year, but had only six receptions. (If you ask the players, they chose freshman linebacker Brandon Watts as the player most likely to surprise people this year.)
Don’t forget about: Roddy Jones. The two players who carry the ball the most are quarterback Joshua Nesbitt and Anthony Allen, but A-backs like Jones will also get their time to shine. There is a lot of depth at the position, though, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.
All eyes on: Nesbitt. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards and passed for more than 1,000 last year. As a senior, he has mastered this offense and is the heart of it. He’s invaluable to the team’s chances of defending the ACC title.
Quotable: “I think Anthony can be a good player. We’ve also got some other guys at that position -- Lucas Cox, Richard Watson, Preston Lyons. I think Anthony is a very good player. I hope our production doesn’t drop off at that position and I don’t think it will.” -- coach Paul Johnson.
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