Taylor highly doubtful for Kansas game

Georgia Tech safety Cooper Taylor, who did not  play in the second half of last Saturday’s season-opening win after suffering from what coach Paul Johnson described as heat-related symptoms, has not practiced this week and Johnson said he is “highly doubtful” for Saturday’s game at Kansas.

Taylor, a third-year sophomore from Marist, missed Tech’s final 11-plus games last season and had surgery in November to remedy issues related to Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, which can cause an irregular heartbeat.

Johnson did not say that Taylor has any new heart-related issues, but he has not denied that either.

Taylor was not available for comment.

In the event he does not play, freshman Isaiah Johnson – who at one point prior to the opener was listed as a starter only to see Taylor and senior Mario Edwards start – or junior Jerrard Tarrant will start.

More moving parts

Left guard Will Jackson also has not practiced and Nick McRae, who replaced Jackson when he sprained his left knee against South Carolina State, is the top candidate to replace him at Kansas. “We’ve worked Michael Johnson, [backup center] Jay Finch and Zach Krish, but more than likely it will be McRae,” the head coach said.

Ray Beno was in competition at guard in the preseason, but did not dress for the opener for disciplinary reasons. He’s not likely to be in the mix at Kansas. “I don’t think Beno is going to be on the trip this week,” Johnson said.

Johnson suggested Tuesday that sophomore Orwin Smith might earn a start in Embry Peeples’ A-back spot if he practiced well this week. Wednesday, the list of possible A-back starters opposite Roddy Jones expanded to include junior Marcus Wright.

Smith, who has earned points for his high energy level, sometimes struggles with certain assignments that tend to change play to play and he needs to be more consistent at that.

 “Certain plays change against certain defenses,” said Smith, who also returns kickoffs. “If we go out there expecting one defense and they have a whole different defense, I have to know what to do against that defense.”

End Emmanuel Dieke (shoulder) remains out.

Extra points

Johnson said the Jackets practiced with improved pace early Wednesday, which he said he’s been looking for, before dialing back the pace because of heat. “I tell you, it’s been really hot . . . and I kind of worry about the cumulative effect,” he said. Right guard Omoregie Uzzi said the goal is, “Just play fast, I guess do a little less thinking. Guys were more worried about missing assignments than going 100 mph.” . . . If as Johnson has said the Jackets are diligent about rotating in more defenders this week than last, sophomore Julian Burnett may see some action at inside linebacker behind starters Brad Jefferson and Kyle Jackson. Brandon Watts has been playing catchup there since missing more than a week of preseason practice injured, and Burnett – who started three games as a freshman – was a menace on the kickoff coverage team. “I love contact and I want to make plays. If I can’t get them on defense, I got to take what I got,” he said. “It’s a process so if I’m not in the starting rotation it means I’m not grasping some kind of concept, or something that we’re doing. I’m just being patient.”

– AJC contributor Matt Winkeljohn

32 comments Add your comment


September 8th, 2010
8:42 pm

Kansas will go down!

PJ's highscool offense

September 8th, 2010
9:02 pm

if PJ is smart he will tell Groh to put Burnett into the mix at LB , boy has a mean streak a mile wide

Jack this

September 8th, 2010
9:08 pm

Jerrard Tarrant needs to start..why is wrong with you defensive coaches anyway, why can you not see that?


September 8th, 2010
9:12 pm

They lost to Parkview High School last weekend. Why the worry?


September 8th, 2010
9:14 pm

GT 34 Kansas 17


September 8th, 2010
9:24 pm

How come the game inn’t televised? Do we suck that bad?


September 8th, 2010
9:26 pm

Thanks a lot, Winkie! Good report.

West Coast Two Stars

September 8th, 2010
9:26 pm

Tech better put on training wheels after their showing on opening day for defense and maybe Nesbitt can throw for 24 yards


September 8th, 2010
9:29 pm

The answer to your question is…..YES!!!!


September 8th, 2010
9:39 pm

The game is televised, it’s just on Fox Sports so ESPN has no reason to publicize it.

West Coast Two Stars

September 8th, 2010
9:42 pm

Tech game will be available in paperback on Sunday


September 8th, 2010
9:43 pm

Tech wins going away.

Georgia loses 40-7 at South Carolina.

Hear Green will be selling Georgia red panties in the stands for 1000.00.

He should make at least 100,000 K.

Master of Analysis

September 8th, 2010
10:25 pm

I was saying Monday that Tech would beat Kansas in a close one. It’s not going to be quite as close as I thought, if Tech’s defense gained the smarts I believe they did against South Carolina State. The Jackets will win by 15 at least.

GT Letterman

September 8th, 2010
10:31 pm

Coach Johnson had a great first weekend. A win, with a much improved defense, and plenty of running that did not give away any of the wrinkles in this offense, which will be revealed later on down the season. Well done.
Go Jackets. THWG.


September 8th, 2010
10:33 pm

I would like to see Julian Burnett get some time at LB.

I would also like to see Kyle Jackson play with a little more urgency (more agressive when the opportunity presents the possibility to make a play)…………..Kyle Jackson (#59) was in position many times to make a big play but he hesitated and the QB or RB found a way to make him miss. I hope this is simply a little rust…….he was in great position to make tackles for a loss in the backfield; maybe he will make the play more often than not in the future.

I hate to hear about the injuries……..Taylor is a superb athelete and we definitely want him on the field when he is healthy, but I think we will be fine with Tarrant or Johnson at safety.

Not the Saviour

September 8th, 2010
10:45 pm

Could it be that Coop has two broken ankles after all the missed tackles? Start Johnson or Tarrant and be done with it…even after Coop returns.

West Coast Two Stars is a joke

September 9th, 2010
2:30 am

Brother, what are you doing here? You’ve been on here a bit recently insulting Tech AND UGA. Your insults are a joke, mate; you obviously don’t watch the games…..

Furthermore, this is the AJC.com (Atlanta) (Atlanta!) (Atlanta!!). Couple the location with your juvenile attempts at insulting programs and there is NO WAY you’re a Boise St. fan. You don’t attend Boise St. You never went there. You’re not from there. If you were a fan, you’d be on the Boise St boards chatting about their great program with other fans….real fans. Instead, you’re a complete fake trying to ride a Cinderella-story train. Boise St IS a great program. They keep going out and proving it, but don’t pretend you have cared, or have been a fan. Stop riding the success of a program for the sake of coming here and taking cheap, asinine shots at two good programs.

West Coast Two Stars is a joke

September 9th, 2010
2:32 am

Mate, it’s not worth debating. Don’t waste your time trying to convince anyone here you REALLY ARE a fan of Boise St. Go somewhere else and pretend to be a fan of another team. You’re just plain dumb.


September 9th, 2010
7:28 am

Get well soon Cooper!

Americus Jacket

September 9th, 2010
7:42 am

Is it wrong, as a Tech fan, to have laughed a little at West Coast’s joke?

I hope it is on TV. I was thinking about going but decided to just watch it, and the Tech site says it’s on Fox Sports. I know about 10 of the guys I tailgate with are going, so we will have some fans at the game. I think this is going to be a good season, and I think fans are excited. I’ve had about 25 people ask me for tickets this year.


September 9th, 2010
7:49 am

Hmmm, 75% chance Coop’s football career is over? That would be shame. Hope his ankles recover from the last game.

Butts Wagner

September 9th, 2010
8:08 am

Orwin Smith needs to keep doing what he’s doing and keep improving. He’s a good one at A-Back. Just imagine the A-Back rotation next year with Roddy, Orwin, Chris Jackson, Bostic(with an understanding of the offense), and then Peeples, Wright, and whoever else I’m forgetting as the 3rd string and beyond. That is going to be one deep position.

I’m on the Julian Burnett bandwagon. He needs to see the field on D. Knock his size, but that guy has a nose for the ball and just makes plays.

I hate to say anything bad about a player, but I never understood the Cooper Taylor love. He’s a decent player, but he gets a lot of pub from coaches and fans that gushes about him as if he is an All-ACC type of player. In my opinion, he’s maybe the 20th best player on the team if you factor in both production and potential.


September 9th, 2010
10:18 am

The Kansas bound plane leaves Friday! Should be a blow out! anyone know where i can get a good steak in Kansas


September 9th, 2010
11:32 am

I think people root for Cooper a lot because he has all the “measurables:” great height, great speed, good vertical, etc. He has been very good at times and not so good at other times.

He’s still a young guy and I hope his career is not over.


September 9th, 2010
12:39 pm

Wow loser you are still using my handle huh? So sad little man. Oh and stupid it is on TV.
Jack this,
Don’t forget that for all of Tarrant’s talent he has a tendency to let WRs get behind him. Remember Iawo scored on his coverage twice before he had the pick 6.

Tokyo jacket

September 9th, 2010
1:05 pm


If CPJ were smart (which he very much is), he’ll let CAG run the defense and leave him alone. That’s why he hired him. So far, CAG has given up 10 points to a team that averages well over 30 points per game. He’s doing well. If we start off 3-0, we’ll be 7-0. I’m happy with the way CPJ runs the team and am seeing improvement on the defense. Continued improvements should happen all the way through the season. Let’s see if UGA learns as fast as GT with the 3-4. Only time will tell.


September 9th, 2010
1:30 pm

West Coast Two Balls, good joke about the paperback. Now go post on a blog about the West Coast. Get off our blog. There are a lot of haters on here. Must be hatin’ because they are scared or jealous. That’s how haters operate. As far as Cooper goes, I hope he gets well but I think he should play less until he can cover and tackle better.


September 9th, 2010
2:00 pm

Maybe AJ Green can use the down time learning to read!


September 10th, 2010
8:42 am



September 10th, 2010
6:08 pm

I’m hoping that the new defense will warm up the more time they have clocked during actual games. Even though Taylor stole money from me, hopefully he will recover, get better at covering and wrapping up during tackles, and not be done playing ball for good.


September 11th, 2010
9:59 am

yeah kansas lost to parkview high school last week and parkview sucks this year. i think GT will run all over them nes will only have 1000 yds rushing this game but anthony allen will have 1500 and no this is not a typo i mean 1000 and 1500 haha oh and nesbitt will complete more than 1 passes this time