Archive for January, 2010

Thomas has a fan in one draft analyst

Charles Davis said he was talking to Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson when he first saw Demaryius Thomas.

“Coach Johnson could have been giving me secret codes,” said Davis, a draft analyst for the NFL Network. “I could hear Paul talking, but it was all in a cloud.”

Davis said this was running through his head:

“Oh that’s him. That’s Demaryius Thomas. Now I get it.”

Thomas, a 6-3, 230-pound wide receiver who caught 46 passes for 1,154 yards and eight touchdowns this season, is holding a press conference today at Tech to announce if he’s leaving school early for the NFL.  He led the ACC in receiving yards as well as yards per catch (25.1).

Davis said the key to Thomas’ future lies with two things: his time in the 40, and his ability to run routes against cornerbacks who are expecting him to run routes.

Davis said Thomas seems fast enough, saying he’s not at all like former USC receiver Mike Williams, who was also a big receiver who turned into a bust in the NFL because he was …

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Thomas ready to announce decision

Demaryius Thomas will announce whether he’s staying at Georgia Tech or going to the NFL on Friday.

A press conference is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. at the Institute.

Thomas caught 46 passes for 1,154 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He led the ACC in receiving yards as well as yards per catch (25.1).

A 6-3, 230-pound native of Montrose, Thomas’ combination of tight-end size and wide-receiver speed gave Tech’s offense a dimension of physicality that few others could match. A powerful blocker on the edge, Thomas was also fast enough to outrun cornerbacks and safeties or strong enough to knock them over after the catch.

He was third-team All-American this season, first-team All-ACC, and a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s best wide receiver.

His streak of catching a pass in 29 consecutive games ended with Tech’s 24-14 loss to Iowa in the Orange Bowl. However, he is fourth on Tech’s career receiving yards list (2,339), seventh in career receptions …

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Looking ahead to Duke, and back with Price

    It’s late Thursday afternoon, and I’m blogging while staring outside my window. We got to see a little bit of snow today, eh? Lovely, but so far, anyway, mostly a tease. Here’s hoping, for you Tech fans’ sake, that’s not a good comparison with the Georgia Tech basketball team this year.

   Tuesday’s loss to Georgia hurt, and to have it the same day as the Orange Bowl loss, might have some of you scampering away from anything resembling a Tech blog these days. But is it a symptom of something bigger? Issues that could make the next five games really tough, including four opponents ranked in the Top 25?

   The wave starts Saturday with Duke, which comes in with a No. 5 ranking, a seven-game winning streak, and not a ton of weaknesses.

   I know a few things about Duke, and I’m not sure I want to admit in this space exactly why, but let me say this: the Blue Devils are a different team than they’ve been in years past. They are deeper inside, for one thing. (It should tell you …

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A day later

I apologize that I haven’t blogged until now. Travelling this morning. Writing this afternoon. Hanging with the family until now.

The main story in tomorrow’s paper is about how Tech’s coaches and players say the loss hurts, but it shouldn’t overshadow everything they did this season.

And, they are right.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “now” because that’s what we do in America and that’s what I try to avoid doing as a reporter, but still get caught up in it.

But, Paul Johnson, Jonathan Dwyer and Derrick Morgan, who actually lived the season and didn’t just observe it like I did, are of course correct.

The team accomplished several firsts this season. And it did it despite issues on defense, special teams and occasionally offense.

I’m trying to think off the top of my head the number of coaches who won their conference (BCS level only, please)  in their second year. Urban Meyer did it. Mack Brown did it. Pete Carroll did it. Bob Stoops did it. Mark Richt did it. Just to …

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Countdown to tipoff of Tech-Georgia, for those who are paying attention

    ATHENS – This is a great night to be on the couch with a giant TV and a little picture-in-a-picture action for you (mostly) Tech faithful. Me? I’ll be sitting courtside at the Tech-Georgia game, which promises to be good, because isn’t it always?

   I’ll be a little clueless about what’s happening in the Orange Bowl, but maybe some of you guys will jump on and update us tonight – if you have a laptop near your couch and two TVs.

   The scheduling gods have not been kind to Tech’s basketball team this season. The Yellow Jackets played Southern Cal a couple of hours before the football team was playing in the ACC Championship game. That was a bit more predictable for those in charge than the Orange Bowl, but still, it definitely takes some of the luster off this matchup for them.

   But hey, maybe it’s just fitting. Stegeman Coliseum. A Georgia crowd. Maybe more Georgia fans tuned in to watch on TV and the radio. (Maybe.) Load up all the odds and throw in there that Tech …

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Tech will wear new uniforms tonight

Georgia Tech will wear new jerseys for tonight’s Orange Bowl.

The jerseys, which are white with blue numbers, are designed to be form-fitting and have three stripes on each sleeve, in a nod to the triple-option aspect of Tech’s spread-option offense.

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Special guest blog from Nick Claytor

We have a special guest blog from Tech offensive lineman Nick Claytor. We’ve been trying to set this up for a few days, but had some technical issues. This blog also ran in a Tech newsletter, if it seems familiar to a few of you.

It’s a running commentary of the team’s experiences in Florida as they prepared for tonight’s Orange Bowl.

So, thanks to Nick for doing this and off we go:

Today marked the last day of padded practice for us Yellow Jackets. It was an eye opening experience as it was the last for the senior class. The preparation for this BCS game has been strong. A team goal all year has been win the bowl game. Coach Johnson commented on this in his closing remarks as well, this team is focused.

That’s not to say we haven’t had a good time! As soon as we touched down in Ft. Lauderdale we were greeted by the Orange Bowl committee. There was much fanfare and it added to the excitement already coursing through my teammates. The team picture with Osahon Tongo on the side …

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Hoops blogging, just in time for Georgia

 Howdy

   First thing’s first, it’s Carroll Rogers here, at the controls, hoping to augment our Georgia Tech basketball coverage with some hoops blogging over the next two months and maybe on into, ahem, March. (If you’re a regular Braves blogger, then hey, what’s up? Long time no see.)

   Here we are almost two months into the basketball season – my apologies – either I’m late, or the season is about to get interesting. Let’s just say it’s the latter.

   I’ll be blogging on the days I work, which at this point, is hard to predict, but it’ll be on game days, obviously, and most other days in between. So be on the lookout, let me know what you think, you notice, see, hear, and what you want to read about. I aim to please!

   This should be a pretty fun week on the ol’ Tech front. The Yellow Jackets travel to Georgia tomorrow night – actually they’ll head over tonight, stay in a hotel in Athens and shoot around at Stegeman tomorrow. Coach Paul Hewitt likes players to have fresh …

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Last Orange Bowl press conference over — updated

Paul Johnson poses with the Orange Bowl trophy.

Paul Johnson poses with the Orange Bowl trophy.

The morning interview sessions are over.

Both coaches seem ready to get on the field.

As evidence that there’s not much left to ask or talk about, Johnson’s press conference lasted 8 minutes. Ferentz’s lasted around 18 minutes. The room was booked for about 30 minutes for each session.

Don’t forget that Jeff Schultz will have a live chat starting at 11 a.m.

I’ll post transcripts from the press conferences as soon as I receive them.

Here is a transcript of Johnson’s press conference:

(MODERATOR) JASON ALPERT: Coach Paul Johnson from Georgia Tech is here. Coach
Johnson, we welcome you to South Florida, and you now have one day left to get ready for the FedEx
Orange Bowl. What is left for your team to do if anything?
COACH JOHNSON: Well, actually, today we’ll go do a little walk through. Won’t be much of a
walk through. We’ll take a team picture, you know, just kind of familiarize ourselves with the stadium.
Fortunately, we’ve …

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Videos, practices and Orange Bowl fans

First, I apologize that there was no blog yesterday. I wrote one and thought I posted it, but it disappeared into cyberspace. I have no idea what happened, but it doesn’t matter.

I shot some video yesterday, but I can’t post it here because of user error and Verizon limitations. However, it is on the AJC Ga. Tech page on facebook. You can watch it here: http://bit.ly/5glhwK

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Coach Paul Johnson seemed pleased with Sunday’s practice, the last full practice before Tuesday’s Orange Bowl.

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Tomorrow’s feature is about Tech’s defense, and how it says it’s ready after back-to-back bad games.

Tomorrow’s notebook is about the freshmen and their Orange Bowl experience.

Both will be on ajc.com/sports soon.

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In an unofficial count, Iowa fans outnumber Tech fans about 100-1 here so far. Of course, this hotel is the Iowa fan’s official hotel, so that may have something to do with it. I know a lot of yall are arriving today, so I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

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Since there’s just one more …

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