Wednesday practice review: Sims, Walls, Johnson, Groh happy

Slimmer, stronger and more confident, David Sims is already doing everything he can to stake his claim to be Georgia Tech’s No. 2 quarterback behind Josh Nesbitt.

Sims, Tevin Washington and Jordan Luallen went through their second spring practice on Wednesday. Nesbitt will miss the spring after having minor ankle surgery. But Sims is competing as if the No. 1 job is at stake.

“I’m just learning as much as I can,” Sims said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to play this year.”

To get on the field, Sims has worked hard off of it.

He weighed 230 pounds at the beginning of last season’s practices in August and looked heavy. He’s down to 215 and looks quicker. He also spent the short offseason studying film and talking to the wide receivers to learn more about where they liked certain passes.

It’s a far cry from last August, when coach Paul Johnson called Sims out when he appeared to drop out of a conditioning drill.

“His attitude has done a 180,” Johnson said. “He’s working hard and trying to do the right things.He’s got a real chance this spring of moving himself up.”

There were rumors during the season that Sims was considering transferring. Johnson said it appears that because Sims decided to stay at Tech, he’s also decided he’s going to work.

“It’s just being more comfortable,” Sims said. “Last year I was really pressing, trying to play early like most freshmen. Sometimes I would let my goals and my standards get the best of me when I wouldn’t reach them.”

Wide receiver Tyler Melton, who was running drills with Sims on Wednesday, said he’s noticed a difference in the redshirt freshman.

“Overall difference between him last year and this year is consistency,” Melton said. “His passes, his placement of the ball, his footwork, where his shoulders are when he lets go of the ball. With consistency comes confidence so he’s also got a lot of confidence in himself as well.”

Melton said Sims’ maturity is a result of him being on campus for a year.

“That’s just a growing thing,” Melton said. “He’s a young guy that’s continuing to grow.”

Zero technique

Nose tackle Logan Walls said he’s enjoying the changes on defense that have been put in by new defensive coordinator Al Groh. Walls is transitioning from playing defensive tackle the last two seasons to nose tackle this season.

There are two big differences. In Groh’s 3-4 scheme, Walls said the defensive line is doing more reading and reacting to the offensive line, compared to last year when they would attack at the snap. He’s also lining up over the center, instead of in a gap between the center and guard. It’s called zero-technique.

Regardless of the scheme’s philosophy or where he lines up, Walls said the goal is the same.

“I want to make a tackle or sack every play,” he said.

Practice review

Johnson was pleased with the team’s effort on Wednesday, but said the fun will begin on Friday when the team will put on pads for the first time.

“You can never tell in shorts,” he said.

Tech ran some more plays out of the shotgun formation, but Johnson cautioned not to read too much into the choice for this under-the-center, run-based team.

“That’s just for you guys,” Johnson said. “You don’t think we’re going to actually use it in a game do you? It’s something to break the monotony in practice.”

He said he hasn’t decided if the team will practice at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday.

Some highlights:

  • Wide receiver Stephen Hill caught a beautiful long pass from Tevin Washington. It was the highlight in what started out as an up-and-down day for the QBs and wide receiver, but got better as the drills continued. On Hill’s next trip through, he faked out Rod Sweeting so badly that he could only snag Hill’s shorts as he went by.
  • It’s hard to compare since he isn’t running against anyone else, but early enrollee B.J. Bostic looks fast. Charles Perkins, another early enrollee who is competing for snaps at B-back, already looks college-sized. Johnson said that Perkins impressed him during the offseason conditioning drills.
  • Former Georgia Southern quarterback Tracy Ham attended practice. Johnson said last fall that Ham is probably the greatest quarterback he’s ever had. Ham was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007. He is the only player in college history to run for 3,000 yards and pass or 5,000 in a career, and was the first Division I-AA player to both run and pass for 1,000 yards in a season, according to Georgia Southern’s web site.
  • Groh looks like a kid on Christmas morning, bouncing between players and constantly giving instructions on technique.

81 comments Add your comment

Timmy

March 31st, 2010
8:15 pm

Thanks for the update, Doug.

GTPhenom

March 31st, 2010
8:16 pm

I state again: Stephen Hill is the next Bay-Bay Thomas. Thank you, and it is awesome to see Coach Groh and the players out there having fun.

GTPhenom

March 31st, 2010
8:17 pm

Wow, that is the earliest I have ever posted.

JB

March 31st, 2010
8:22 pm

can’t wait for next season

jLo

March 31st, 2010
8:22 pm

like the energy I am hearing about. I think Groh will do just fine!

Cuttysark

March 31st, 2010
8:29 pm

Thanks for the nice update Doug. Just ignore the expected Dawg rants. Glad to hear that all of the quarterbacks are looking to get some playing time in the fall behind Josh.

For more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Go Jackets!

GT Rich

March 31st, 2010
8:55 pm

Someone tell Groh he is gonna get heatstroke if he keeps on wearing pants and long sleeve shirts to afternoon practice…you aint in Va or NY anymore.

yes!

March 31st, 2010
8:55 pm

Cleveland, OH jacket

March 31st, 2010
9:00 pm

Wooo! I can not wait to see the Spring game! I plan to be there!

FittyWaystoLeaveYourHewitt

March 31st, 2010
9:03 pm

Good News to hear that some things are going well on both sides of the ball. The warm weather should help highlight conditioning when more strenuous practice begins. Hope Hewitt quits, the bad vibrations from the basketball program might infect the football program.

Dacula Jacket

March 31st, 2010
9:03 pm

Stephen Hill is definitely the next Bay-Bay and Perkins could be the next Dwyer. Keep reloadin Jackets. Can’t wait till fall!

FittyWaystoLeaveYourHewitt

March 31st, 2010
9:05 pm

I can’t wait to see Hewitt at the Spring game, or whenever his next public appearance will be. I will always cheer for the Jackets, but I will never spend a cent of money or a scintilla of energy on applauding CPH. Go Jackets! Go Football Jackets! Go Coaches Johnson & Groh! Go to Hell, Hewitt.

FittyWaystoLeaveYourHewitt

March 31st, 2010
9:06 pm

No doubt we’ll miss BeyBey, but with a more balanced receiver corps we might enjoy a little more success overall in the passing game.

FittyWaystoLeaveYourHewitt

March 31st, 2010
9:07 pm

We know Hill has the moves and some of the younger guys have the speed, but which among them has the best hands? BeyBey was both our long threat and our possession/go to guy last year….it would be better to split up the roles a little more.

Jacket Backer

March 31st, 2010
9:25 pm

see ya’ll on the 24th!…..

Go Jackets!!!

GT GRAD

March 31st, 2010
9:53 pm

Great update…………….keep the info coming!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

March 31st, 2010
10:02 pm

That is awesome, especially the part about Groh bouncing around like it is Christmas morning. LOL

dekalb fan

March 31st, 2010
10:14 pm

Stephen Hill will dominate from the receiver position in the coming years @ Tech. His ability will force Johnson throw more than normal.

Tokyo jacket

March 31st, 2010
10:17 pm

I hope he’s just being coy about the gun. I think he is.

Scott White

March 31st, 2010
10:27 pm

30-24 hahahahaha

GT Fan...

March 31st, 2010
10:32 pm

NICE …Tracy Hamm!! I love it. Wonder if he’ll become more a regular for PJ, and help with the QBs??

I’ve told many a friend & GT fan that when PJ finds the Tracy Hamm, Jamel Holloway, or Tommy Frasier (and he’s out there now or already on the GT roster) this offense will be as unstoppable as the Eagles, Sooners, and Cornhuskers were under their respective QBs.

All the DDFs (delusional dog fans) will continue to claim this offense is high school. But it’s going to be funny as h*LL to watch them squirm when said QB is guiding the GT offense. And it’s going to happen!

Heck, look how good Nesbitt has done – 1,000 yds rushing, 1,000 yds passing last season. And Nesbitt is not one of the said QBs either. It’s going to happen folks. It’s going to happen.

GT Fan...

March 31st, 2010
10:34 pm

Hey Scott ……

45-42 hahahahaha!

you tool.

ACC CHAMPS!

March 31st, 2010
10:43 pm

OMG, love what I am hearing…go get em Jackets..would love to see the offense line up at shotgun on one play against VT and see Bud Foster have a heart attack…

JOSH NESBITT 2010 HEISMAN CANDIDATE

March 31st, 2010
10:45 pm

NESBITT FOR HEISMAN NESBITT FOR HEISMAN NESBITT FOR HEISMAN NESBITT FOR HEISMAN NESBITT FOR HEISMAN NESBITT FOR HEISMAN NESBITT FOR HESIMAN NESBITT FOR HEISMAN NESBITT FOR HEISMAN NESBITT FOR HEISMAN

messin with sasquatch

March 31st, 2010
10:48 pm

hey scott – beat the gators – just kidding – never will happen.

GT65

March 31st, 2010
10:57 pm

Thanks for info..everything looks good so for Groh and Sims.

Fire Paul Hewitt……….

StingerSplash

March 31st, 2010
11:15 pm

Tracy ruled. No doubt about it. Watch the 85 and 86 national championship games to see just how good he was. 306 passing, 180 rushing against Larry Lacewell’s Arkansas State Indians in the 86 NC game, with PJ calling the plays.

son_sir

March 31st, 2010
11:26 pm

Tracy Ham is one of the greatest college players of all time. Period. Scoff if you like……but scoff also at Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, and Mean Joe Green. Good to hear The Legend was on The Flats. Leave some magic for the Jackets Tracy.

Tokyo jacket

March 31st, 2010
11:39 pm

For what it’s worth, Nesbitt is totally within reach of Hamm’s numbers. He currently has 2602 yards passing in his career and 2069 yards rushing. He would need 2398 yards passing (171 ypg if we play in the ACCCG) and just 931 yards rushing (67 ypg if we play in the ACCCG). This would produce only the second player in NCAA history, first in FBS to pass for 5,000 yards and rush for 3,000.

My take is that Nesbitt can do it, but it’s not very likely. This would probably put him in serious Heisman contention and GT in the Top 5.

JOSH NESBITT 2010 HEISMAN CANDIDATE

March 31st, 2010
11:46 pm

Toyko Jacket you the man 2nd to only Josh

Tokyo jacket

March 31st, 2010
11:52 pm

I’ll accept that now that Bay Bay and Dwyer are gone.

Cuttysark

April 1st, 2010
1:01 am

Tokyo Jacket,

What is truly impressive is that Josh Nesbitt wasn’t even recruited for this offensive system. That is a testament to his athletic ability, toughness, and more importantly, his team first attitude. Now that the first two recruiting classes are coming up for Paul Johnson, this machine will really start to operate at maximum efficiency.

GT Fan,

Nice job of handling the folks who are always on the wrong blog! You are also right on the mark about the quarterback of the future. But I will say this; Josh Nesbitt is a warrior thriving in an offense because he is a TEAM Guy first and foremost! That is leadership not found in too many programs. Glad he is a Yellow Jacket! Keep up the good work!

Tokyo jacket

April 1st, 2010
2:33 am

Thanks Cutty, but I disagree a little bit. I hope M doesn’t filet me for this, but CCG did a good job getting Nesbitt to the flats. It doesn’t matter what type of system he was recruited for. If I were starting a team without an offensive coordinator, he’s the kind of guy I’d want at QB. He’s a leader. He’s got wheels. He’s got an arm. I think he could play in any system and be productive.

AMG

April 1st, 2010
7:14 am

Football news is sooooo much better than basketball. I am looking forward to this year. I think Tech will be alot better than most are giving them credit for, Much like last year and the year before.

GTpak

April 1st, 2010
7:24 am

Getting a shot of football news is like finding an oasis in the desert. Thanks Doug, keep it coming!

GT Fan...

April 1st, 2010
7:48 am

Tokyo … Cutty is right – Nesbitt was not recruited for the triple option offense. He was a shotgun QB in high school, and obviously a very atheletic one. Gailey, like every other school recruiting him, wanted him for his athletic skills, with the thinking they would “mold” him into a great college QB. Nesbitt’s tough as nails, and a great young man with tremendous leadership.

Does anyone know what the recruiting violations are that have Daniel Drummond suspended for at least 10 games? Sounds serious with it being AT LEAST that many games …..

Jacket Attack

April 1st, 2010
8:34 am

What’s the Robot doing during spring practice?

Minnesota Jacket

April 1st, 2010
8:37 am

Here at Tech the 2 main rumors heard are steroids, and flunking classes. Key word there being Rumors heard on campus.

Johboy

April 1st, 2010
8:48 am

Thank Goodness we have Al Groh. PJ will take care of moving the chains , but it’s the other side that has always concerned me.If we are feared on defense the victories will become common. Think how hard it is to stop our offense…now think about what it would be like if our special teams got turn overs and the D was capable of keeping teams to under say .. 20 points a game? SCARY .

BigTimeTechFan

April 1st, 2010
9:19 am

Will Corry Earls win the 2nd receiver slot now that he’s move back to WR from DB.
Is Bostic getting any snaps a QB?
Perkins – Any chance he wins B back job and we keep R Jones and AA at A backs?

Ham is one of the greatest I ever saw play, I would say greatest but not being Div 1 I don’t think that would be fare to Herchsel, Bo Jackson, Tommy Frasier, Tim Tebows, and Joey Hamilton. But I will say he was in their league.

BigTimeTechFan

April 1st, 2010
9:21 am

Here at Tech the 2 main rumors heard are steroids?

That was my guess, I repeat just a guess I have not reason other then if it was grades they would have said something.

KeithB

April 1st, 2010
9:28 am

I love the fact that all the QBs are getting reps. In this offense, you need a backup that won’t come in shell-shocked. All of these guys should be fighting like Sims. Days is the guy I am excited to see at QB when he gets his shot. I look forward to the report when they finish up in pads on Friday. That’s when you separate the men from the boys!

jackets

April 1st, 2010
9:34 am

its not steroids.. look at the guy’s weight the last few months.. he’s lost a ton.. cant be steroids

KeithB

April 1st, 2010
9:42 am

Hey jackets, losing weight, look up Clenbuterol.

jackets

April 1st, 2010
9:57 am

hmm.. interesting

CoachJRB

April 1st, 2010
10:25 am

Thanks for the updates! Are the practices open to the public? I would love to watch Saturday, please let us know when and where – when you know.

mwh6767

April 1st, 2010
10:39 am

I hope whatever it is with drummond he gets on the right track this year. Hope it doesnt become a bigger problem and he has to leave Tech. Kids a beast and would give tech big time depth at b-back with perkins for the next 3 yrs. Can’t wait til summer when some the rest of the incoming freshmen get here. Tech has some studs coming in esp. on the defensive side of the ball that will push for playing time. Love the fact that Groh is enjoying himself, was worried he may be burnt out after the deal with UVA. Should only make for a better environment to for the players to pick up the 3-4. I bet you see the shotgun this year. Heard that this spring isnt the only time its been worked on. PJ just doesnt do things for sh!ts and grins. Its coming out in a couple games, bank on it! Also to all the tech fans who can show up for the T-day game!!! Make it a great atmosphere like it is at other colleges!!!

Saint Simon

April 1st, 2010
10:44 am

((((((((((((((((((UGA 30 – GT 24))))))))))))))))))))))))))!!!!!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

WE RUN THIS STATE!

Joe

April 1st, 2010
10:52 am

Hill has great potential. I look forward to him delivering, but he has a ways to go before we call him the next Bay-Bay. His running and catching abilities are fine. He has to add considerable weight and strength to be an effective blocker on the corners. Look at tape on some of the big runs outside from last year. Most of them, Thomas had put a defender on their @ss.

Cuttysark

April 1st, 2010
11:31 am

Tokyo Jacket,

I agree that CCG did a good job of recruiting some talent to the Flats, but he was never able to utilize it anywhere near the level that Paul Johnson has done. I would think that even m would have to agree with that fact. But that three (3) game stretch at the end of 2006 including the ACCCG was the worst coaching I have ever seen in college football. That is where CPJ thrives and brings this program up to the next level.

GT Fan,

Not certain what the NCAA violation involving Daniel Drummond consists of, however, it could be as arcane as using a #2 pencil when a student was required to use a black ink pen. Given that he can still participate in practice and is officially on the team, it is probably some petty rule infraction that has a healthy penalty attached.

mwh6767,

You are correct that we need to start pulling our weight as fans and get out in force to the spring game again this year. Last year was a good start with about 10k, but we can do much better as a fan base for April 24, 2010. Al Groh will thrive being a DC once again. Given that he always has enjoyed coaching that side of the ball, and has been very successful, this will work out just fine for both him and CPJ. Also great work responding to the folks who can’t seem to find the right blog. I enjoy your responses.

For more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Go Jackets!