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Monday, April 6, 2009
Jackets' Bedford at heart of o-line this spring

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford isn't about to utter one bad word about the Florida Gators -- not when he grew up in Gainesville, where his family attends church and is friends with "the Meyers and the Donovans."

Besides, Bedford, a preferred walk-on, is way too smart -- he's an aerospace engineering major who happens to be getting the most reps at No. 1 this spring. While much attention has been paid to the rebuilding Georgia Tech has to do on its defensive line, the Jackets' problems up front on offense have gone relatively unnoticed. With starters Dan Voss and Nick Claytor out this spring with injuries, lesser-known players like Bedford are getting a chance to make a name for themselves.

"Having guys like Dan Voss and Nick Claytor out right now, that obviously doesn't help our depth," Bedford said. "When you lose two starters like that, obviously you're going to be fighting an uphill battle. We've only got 12 guys practicing, so we're all getting a lot of reps.

"That's not a problem for anybody right now. When it's all said and done, we'll come out alright. A lot of guys who maybe wouldn't have gotten as much exposure are forced into that role right now. So I think we're all getting a good experience out of it."

At the heart of it is Bedford.

His classes currently include aircraft vehicle performance, systems dynamics and controls, aerospace structures, a circuits lab and business law (he's got minor in pre-law). At the end of the day, Bedford said learning Paul Johnson's playbook is much easier than studying for his classes.

"You don't sleep much," he said. "You don't get to go out as much as a lot of students. You have to stay in and do homework and really study a lot more. For me the biggest thing is just staying organized and staying on top of things. When you let things creep up on you, that's when it really gets difficult."

Bedford made the transition from defense last year, and got a lot of reps at the No. 2 spot, so he knows the offense.

"He's a guy that is all in," said Todd Spencer, the Jackets' co-offensive line coach. "He's one of those guys that has a zeal for excellence, he's got a volcanic ambition whatever he's doing, whether it's in the classroom, in the blocking shoots, walk through ... he's just a delight for coach (Mike) Sewak and I to be around."

Ironically, the first school to recruit him was Navy, while Johnson was still there. While Bedford could have gotten in to almost any school he wanted based on his academics, he grew up a Gator fan.

Urban Meyer's daughter, Nicole, plays volleyball with Bedford's sister, and is planning on attending Georgia Tech next year. In his room at home, Bedford has autographed pictures of himself with Meyer and Steve Spurrier. His family has had season tickets there for a while, and he can remember tailgating at the Swamp since he was about 10. This year, he made it back for the Ole Miss game, Florida's lone loss.

Bedford's world, though, is much bigger than college football, and he was ready to leave Gainesville.

"I wouldn't change it for the world," Bedford said of his decision to attend Georgia Tech. "This is exactly where I belong. This is exactly the kind of school I belong at, a smaller, more academically focused school. I wouldn't trade my teammates for anything."