Tech moves No. 1 quarterback to running back

Updated: August 8, 2003, 11:17 PM ET

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech moved first-string quarterback Damarius Bilbo to running back Friday, which increased the possibility the Yellow Jackets will have a freshman taking snaps this season.

While coach Chan Gailey has yet to name a starter, freshman Reggie Ball worked with the first team as Bilbo worked with the running backs.

"It just didn't work out for Damarius at quarterback, and we're trying to find him a spot," Gailey said. "He's hurting. Nobody likes to feel like they're being moved."

A week ago, the Yellow Jackets opened workouts without a clear-cut starter, but giving Bilbo the first chance to win the job. He was taking most of the snaps with the first team based on his performance in the spring.

Less than a week into practice, Gailey decided to make a change.

"We felt like if we were going to do right by Damarius and do right by our football team, now was the time to make the decision," Gailey said.

Senior A.J. Suggs, who started all 13 games last year, is still in the running to keep his job, but Gailey was clearly unhappy with the veteran after his inconsistent performance last season.

Ball, a 5-foot-11, 192-pound signee from suburban Stephenson High School, will get first shot at the job.

"He shows confidence, in the huddle and after the ball is snapped," Gailey said.

But the coach isn't ready to name a starter. The Yellow Jackets also are looking at another freshman, Patrick Carter from St. Petersburg, Fla.

Bilbo, a sophomore from Moss Point, Miss., played in eight games as Suggs' backup in 2002. He completed 29 of 67 passes for 487 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed 43 times for 118 yards and two scores.

Bilbo declined comment after practice.

No Tech true freshman has started at quarterback since Stu Rogers in 1980, and Rogers didn't start the first game. The Yellow Jackets open at BYU on Aug. 28.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index