Friday, June 28, 2013
Weak and strong: Georgia Tech
By Andrea Adelson
We move on in our series looking at the weakest and strongest positions on each team in the ACC with Georgia Tech.
Strongest position: Linebacker
Georgia Tech returns three starting linebackers as it transitions full-time into the 4-3 -- Quayshawn Nealy, Jabari Hunt-Days and Brandon Watts. Jeremiah Attaochu, who started last season as a linebacker, moves down to defensive end but has the ability to drop back in coverage as well. This group has the potential to be the best unit in the entire league. Nealy (84), Hunt-Days (79) and Watts (77) finished Nos. 3, 4 and 5 in tackles last season, but their sack numbers and tackles for loss numbers could rise in the new, more aggressive scheme Ted Roof has brought in. Let's also remember that Watts is the only senior in this trio, and the ceiling remains extremely high for Nealy (junior) and Hunt-Days (sophomore) after big-time seasons a year ago.
Weakest position: Receiver
Coach Paul Johnson's concerns about this position have been well documented. The Jackets went into spring practice facing the prospect of relying on true freshmen this fall. That thought was cemented when projected starter Anthony Autry re-injured his knee and could be out for the season. Jeff Greene's decision to transfer at the end of last season leaves Darren Waller as the only receiver on the roster who has made a collegiate reception. Yikes. Now, while it is true the Jackets are primarily a running team, they do need a passing game in order to try to keep defenses honest. And Johnson has spoken repeatedly about the need to improve the passing game. So there is no question this is an area the Jackets are going to have to focus on when their full roster of players starts up practice in the fall.
More on this series, click here.