From Nick Claytor, who took time to answer the questions that you posted on the blog a few days ago.
I’ll exit, stage right.
Mr. Claytor, you have the floor…
This season marks the third year in the Paul Johnson era for Georgia Tech. We have had a lot of success coming off an 11-win season and an ACC Championship. This offseason we have dedicated ourselves to getting bigger, stronger, and faster in order to push for an even better season. With that being said the AJC has given me a chance to answer questions from you all. Thank you for the questions and we hope to see your full support this season! Go Jackets
Nick, how do you feel the competition for starting positions on the OL will be this fall at camp? Will a lot of the new guys be pushing for playing time?
It will be fierce, competitive, and make us a better line overall. I feel the spring really brought out the best in the O-line, these guys want to get on the field and stay there.
Hey Nick! Fans are always hearing coaches harp on the need for our OL to “stay low” and I’m sure the OL does countless drills on this point to “stay low” even when fatigued. My question is: In our offense, is there actually a physical advantage for GT Offensive Lineman to be shorter (rather than taller) since a shorter lineman will typically have a lower center-of-gravity? That would “seem” to make it “easier” for an OL to “stay low”. Thanks, and have a great season!
I am a bit taller so at times it may be more difficult for me to bend and stay low, but that is why we do the drills over and over. Also, my flexibility and athleticism allows me to utilize my size while doing what I am asked. If you look at players like me, Phil Smith, and Andrew Gardner you can see how effective a taller lineman can be in this offense. As for centers and guards, I feel a body type like Sean Bedford’s is perfect for center. You just need to find someone with half the worth ethic he has.
How would you compare this year’s O-Line to last year’s. We know that we lost a lot of experience, but is there an improvement in power, speed, knowledge of the blocking assignments???
This offensive line has been growing together for about three seasons now. We lost some good players, but after this spring I have complete confidence in my O-line. In the film room you can see that players are starting to “get it”. This means knowing the option in and out, not just lineman assignments. This summer has shown growth throughout the line as well. We are bigger, faster, and stronger. In terms of redshirting linemen, that is up to the Coach Johnson. I am happy to say that we have much needed depth going into camp now.
Tell us how it is practicing against the Groh’s 3-4 defense?
After practicing against Groh’s version of the 3-4 I cannot wait to play against it in games! My teammates say they ran base all spring, so when we see the real playbook offenses better look out.
Hi Nick. How is your back feeling this season and are you ready to go? Also, is Phil Smith ready to play after breaking his leg early in the ACC Championship Game?
I believe Phil broke his ankle. Phil has fought back hard after his injury; I think he is going to standout in camp. As for me, this is the first off season since high school that I have had a chance to work out and I took full advantage. I am going into camp healthy and geared up. Expect to see Josh running people over down field and Ant’s dreads flying!
Nick do you feel healthy? I know last season and the season before you were dealing with a nagging injury. Are you back to 100 percent health? We all know you are talented and a vital asset to the line. Is this the year that you hold down a full time starting job? Do you see yourself as a leader on the line? Also what freshman do you see pushing for playing time this year?
My goal is to fully start and be a leader on the O-line. We all lead in different ways and its more by committee from the older guys.
Nick, what besides the change to 3-4 defense is the biggest difference you see from last season to now on defense?
You never know where the blitz is coming from and upfront the D-linemen are playing strong and violent.
What has been your best football memory so far at Tech?
Any personal/team goals for the season?
Favorite place to eat on campus/in Atlanta?
How do you feel about practicing some shotgun back in spring? How is the pass protection looking this season (I figure yall have the run locked down)?
Do you have a favorite play to run?
Any good movies you have seen recently?
Thanks and good luck this season.
1. Best memory has to be beating UGA at UGA, and winning the ACC Championship in the haze of pain I was in. (lol)
2. Personal goals are to start and have a healthy, stellar season. As for the team, it is about time we won a bowl game. Not just any bowl game either but THE bowl game.
3. I thought my O-line coaches were messing with me when we first talked about it, I personally love the shotgun. Pass protection is looking a lot better as we are all getting better in technique and more proficient in assignment. I am not sure how much shotgun we will run.
4. As soon as they figure out a fumble-rooski play where the tackle can score THAT will be my favorite!
5. I am a self-proclaimed movie buff and if anyone reading this has not seen Inception I demand you stop what you’re doing and run to the theatre. Now!
Have you played NCAA 2011 yet, and if so do you agree with your player ratings or not?!?!
I was actually featured on Fox 5 with Tyler Melton, Dominique Reese, and Anthony Allen playing an advanced copy of NCAA 2011. It was a great experience being on TV and hamming it up. Seeing as how “I” got rated pretty high I love the rating, but I mean that’s not me right? If it is I need to see a check!
What Tech Defensive Linemen gives you the most trouble in practice?
Have you ever done Oklahoma drills with Joshua Nesbitt, If so who won?
Head to head Jason Peters is a monster. Joshua isn’t allowed to do Oklahoma for fear of killing one of his teammates. Save it for the season!
1) How has the transition from underclassman to more experienced veteran been?
2) What does Nick think about the younger talent that redshirted last year. Are they more prepared for this option offense than he was?
3) Who are his primary motivators (coach, self, other players, etc.)
4) What does he find to be the most difficult part of adapting to CPJ’s offense.
1. Like all things time progressed, faces changed, the game hasn’t. I do consider myself an “oldhead” now.
2. I feel like we have some great talent that cannot wait to play. After being held back from doing what you love for a year all you want to do is be successful and produce.
3. My family drives me to be better than I ever thought I could.
4. Staying low took a lot of practice!
Nick, is there any big difference between playing LT and RT?
The major difference is how you set your feet and balance your weight. Besides that the assignments and techniques are the same.