ACC: A.J. Smith

Georgia Tech's Christmas wish list

December, 22, 2008
12/22/08
1:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Georgia Tech's sports information office got creative and asked a few of the players where they were spending the holiday and what they hope to find under the tree. Some of them are funny, so I thought I'd share it:

Georgia Tech Wish List
PlayerWhere They're GoingGift They Hope to Get
Roddy Jones Birmingham, Ala. Playstation 3
Nick Claytor Toledo, Ohio A car
A.J. Smith Tampa, Fla. A job
Cord Howard Phenix City, Ala. Hunting equipment
Josh Nesbitt College Park, Ga. Some new all-black clothes
Morgan Burnett Wrightsville, Ga. The complete Ninja Turtles set
Jonathan Dwyer Maple Hill, N.C. Boosters (Very large inner quad
muscles like Brad Jefferson has)
Anthony Egbuniwe Greenville, S.C. Some new 23-inch rims for my car
Brad Jefferson Green County, Ga. The Gladiator action figure and a Gameboy Color
Richard Watson Tallahassee, Fla. A real vacation
Kyle Jackson McDonough, Ga. A 32-gig iPod touch
Darryl Richard Destrehan, La. Sleep

Georgia Tech injury report

October, 2, 2008
10/02/08
5:34
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Out

  • CB Martin Frierson, CB (knee)
  • LB Brad Jefferson (dislocated wrist)
  • OL A.J. Smith (elbow)
  • WR Andrew Smith (shoulder)

Questionable

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said Mississippi State's defense, which is holding opponents to 96 rushing yards and 11.7 points per game, will be the best they have faced this season. It should be an interesting matchup, considering the Yellow Jackets rank ninth nationally in rushing offense with 263 yards per game.

"They are very good on defense," he said at Tuesday's press conference. "I think sometimes their offense gets overlooked a little bit, because they do have good skill guys -- they have good personnel. They just haven't put it together yet, and hopefully they will wait a week."

Johnson is hoping the opposite for his team, which has had a little trouble holding onto the ball the past few weeks. The Yellow Jackets have fumbled the ball 11 times this year and lost it seven.

Johnson said after watching film of the Virginia Tech game, one fumble was caused because a defender knocked the ball out with his helmet. Another was a timing issue on the option mesh. (That's when quarterback Josh Nesbitt pivots right after the snap and puts the ball in Jonathan Dwyers gut).

"We have to try to do a lot of things better to keep that from happening," Johnson said. "We have to protect better, use better judgment and all of those things. You just keep working on it. You can't get the ball ripped out of your hands, which is what happened to Boston College a couple times. It is just the stuff you work on everyday.

"Clearly if you lose the turnover battle three to nothing you are not going to win any games. We have to do a much better job taking care of it. We had done a good job of getting some up until the last game, but those things usually come in cycles."

The problem is, Mississipi State ranks sixth nationally with five recovered fumbles this season. Auburn fumbled three times in last week's 3-2 win over the Bulldogs and lost all of them.

Georgia Tech injury report:

Three sophomores who started the season opener -- LBs Brad Jefferson (arm/wrist) and Anthony Barnes (shoulder), and WR Demaryius Thomas (mild concussion) -- did not play last
week at Virginia Tech.

Also out of action last week were CB Martin Frierson (knee), senior OL A.J. Smith (elbow) and sophomore WR Correy Earls (hamstring).

Barnes practiced Monday.

Jefferson, Frierson and Smith have been ruled out for the Mississippi State game.

Georgia Tech position battles

July, 14, 2008
7/14/08
4:29
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich 

Last week I started going school-by-school to see what position battles remain heading into fall camp. Georgia Tech is next on the alphabetical list. Here are the spots to keep an eye on next month:

Offensive line -- Senior A.J. Smith and junior Cord Howard, the two most-experienced linemen besides Andrew Gardner, missed all of spring practice with injuries. Senior tackle David Brown and redshirt freshman guard Joseph Gilbert started on the right side of the line in the spring. The most intriguing line battle, however, is Omoregie Uzzi, Tech's most highly-touted recruit. Can he start on the offensive line as a true freshman?

Outside linebacker -- Junior Shane Bowen is the only returning starting linebacker, but he sat out all of spring after shoulder surgery. Redshirt freshman Kyle Jackson had an impressive spring while Bowen was out, but Bowen returns in the fall.

Free safety -- Sophomore Dominique Reese, junior Jake Blackwood and possibly even converted receiver Willie White (r-Fr.) are competing for the starting job.

Kicker/Punter -- Sophomore Scott Blair is the best at both, but in a perfect world the coaching staff would prefer that one person not do both duties. A true freshman walk-on, Andy Elakman, could compete with junior Mohamed Yahiaoui for the kicker job if Blair is the punter.

Check back tomorrow for Maryland.

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