NCF Nation: Jahi Word-Daniels

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

First, let's get one thing clear: I have no opinion on the rape charges that were dropped against Georgia Tech defensive back Jerrard Tarrant. If you want the background, here it is. This isn't a courtroom, it's a college football blog, so I'm going to stick to how this affects Georgia Tech's football team.

Tarrant's return will have a positive effect.

Had he not been suspended, Tarrant very well could have been the starting cornerback in 2008 instead of Jahi Word-Daniels. Now that Tarrant is back, he is a strong candidate to replace Daniels. It's not a given, though. Tarrant will have to compete with Mario Butler and Rashaad Reid, who played well last year when Word-Daniels was hurt.

Tarrant is going to be rusty -- he hasn't even put his uniform on since last spring -- but he could definitely have an immediate impact on the Jackets' defense. He's probably not an all-conference player just yet, but by the time his final three years of eligiblity are up, he could be.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Talk about a bummer for a senior on senior night. It looks like defensive tackle Vance Walker's nagging ankle injury will keep him from starting on senior night, breaking a streak of 23 consecutive starts. Walker is dressed, but if he plays, it will only be because he guts it out. Senior Elris Anyaibe will make his first career start.

Between his ankle and quarterback Josh Nesbitt's, things do not look good for the Yellow Jackets, and the game hasn't even started yet. Here are a few other quick notes before kickoff:

  • Either senior Jahi Word-Daniels or true freshman Rashaad Reid will start at cornerback. That's a game-time decision.
  • Senior Andrew Smith will make his first career start at wide receiver in place of Correy Earls. He will also handle punt return duties.
  • Late arriving crowds aren't uncommon here, but a six-car accident on I-85 might have something to do with this one.
  • The temperature isn't unbearable. It's 48 degrees. I'm ok in my sweater, since I know you were all concerned.
  • Miami's Laron Byrd will start in place of Travis Benjamin at wide receiver. Benjamin will play, only in certain situations, and he won't return kicks. Thearon Collier will handle that.

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