Archive for December, 2010

66 Tech student-athletes scheduled to graduate

Cornerback Dominique Reese is one of 66 Georgia Tech student-athletes who are scheduled to graduate. The bachelor’s degree ceremony begins at 9 a.m. Saturday in Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

It will be a special moment for the Reese family because he is the first person in his immediate family to graduate from college. He completed his degree requirements in management during the summer.

“They are proud of me,” said Reese, who estimates there will be as many as 25 family members who will watch him walk. “My grandma didn’t care if I ever played football. She wanted to see me graduate.”

Among the 21 past and present football players are several redshirt juniors, including A-back Roddy Jones, linebacker Kyle Jackson and defensive end Jason Peters.

Each said they plan to continue their education and playing career at Tech, either by being accepted into graduate school or by pursuing a second major.

Here are the student-athletes who are degree candidates, a term Tech uses until …

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Nesbitt not likely for Independence Bowl

Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt will likely not play in the Independence Bowl, coach Paul Johnson said on Thursday.

He said Nesbitt saw a doctor earlier in the day.

“[That's] Probably not going to happen,” he said. “That’d be a real reach, I think.”

Nesbitt broke his right arm in the loss at Virginia Tech on Nov. 4. A senior, Nesbitt has repeatedly said that he hoped to return in time to play in what would be his last game, though he sounded pessimistic about his chances after practice on Tuesday.

Even if he doesn’t play against Air Force on Dec. 27 in Shreveport, La., Nesbitt would leave as the ACC’s all-time leader in two rushing categories for quarterbacks: yards (2,806) and touchdowns (35). He’s seventh on Tech’s all-time career rushing yards list. He is responsible for 55 touchdowns, fourth-most in Tech history.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

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Stopping an Atlanta native key for Tech’s bowl chances

Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson has rushed for 769 yards and a Mountain West Conference-best 15 touchdowns this season. He is averaging 64.1 rushing yards per game. His longest run is 59 yards.

But what will make him particularly challenging for Georgia Tech in the Independence Bowl is his ability to throw the deep pass, according to defensive coordinator Al Groh.

Jefferson, a junior and alum of the Woodward Academy, is completing 52.2 percent of his passes for 1,342 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is averaging 111.8 passing yards per game. His longest pass play this season is 63 yards.

“He’s made a number of really, really good throws down field which expands the issues we have to deal with,” Groh said.

Tech has faced many passing quarterbacks who can run, such as N.C. State’s Russell Wilson, Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor and Georgia’s Aaron Murray, with varying degrees of success.

Wilson rushed for 16 yards and a touchdown, Taylor rushed for 57 yards and …

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Tech’s Sean Bedford honored

Georgia Tech’s Sean Bedford was named today the winner of the inaugural 2010 Burlsworth Trophy, given to the nation’s best player who was formerly a walk-on.

Bedford, a native of Gainesville, Fla., is a two-time All-ACC player at center. This season he has helped the Yellow Jackets lead the nation in rushing.

“I am extremely honored to be the inaugural recipient of the Burlsworth Trophy, Bedford said in a statement. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for what Mr. Burlsworth accomplished and it is humbling to be mentioned in the same caliber with him. I would like to thank the Burlsworth family, my coaches, teammates and friends for helping me earn this award.”

The award is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman. He was selected in the third round of the 1999 NFL draft by Indianapolis, but was killed in a car accident 11 days later. The Burlsworth Foundation was created in his memory and supports the …

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Hewitt elected to board of trustees at alma mater

St. John Fisher College has elected Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt to its board of trustees.

He was chosen at the college’s December board meeting.

Hewitt is a 1985 graduate of St. John Fisher, located in Pittsford, N.Y., and was hired as Georgia Tech coach in 2000. In the 10 seasons under his leadership, the team has been to the NCAA tournament five times.

Hewitt has a record of 177-144 at Tech, and his overall record as a college head coach is 243-171.

Off the court, he conducts an annual golf outing and auction to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out for Children (H.E.R.O.), which organizes activities and benefits HIV-infected children, and Camp Twin Lakes, an organization that works with children with serious illnesses and special needs.

Hewitt also serves on the board of directors for the Black Coaches Association and the National Association of …

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Tech takes look at younger players

Because of temperatures in the low 20s, Georgia Tech’s football team moved its practice on Monday to the Georgia Dome.

Coach Paul Johnson said he doesn’t yet know if they will be able to practice there again during the week. Temperatures are expected to increase to the 50s during the week, with some snow predicted early Wednesday. Tech will begin construction of a new indoor practice facility in January, which will make trips to the Dome unnecessary.

Johnson said they got a lot done on Monday as part of their Independence Bowl preparation, including giving true freshmen Synjyn Days and Charles Perkins time at quarterback and B-back, respectively, with the second units.

Johnson said that Days and Perkins looked good athletically, but their technique was to be expected.

Days said he also ran the second huddle on Friday, which he enjoyed because his parents were there to watch.

Teams often use bowl practices as a time to take a longer look at less-experienced players and to give …

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Holsey starting to understand the game

Kammeon Holsey said he doesn’t feel lost, which is how coach Paul Hewitt described his efforts on defense in the win against Savannah State, but he says he is getting the hang of college basketball.

Holsey, a 6-8 forward on Georgia Tech’s basketball team, is averaging 2.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game. He had a rough game in the 69-59 win against the Tigers, missing two shots, turning over the ball twice and failing to pull a rebound in eight minutes.

In his postgame press conference, Hewitt twice described Holsey as lost, saying, “We’ve got to get Kammeon going.”

Holsey admits to being lost on defense when the season started, but said he’s now starting to understand the nuances of man-to-man, particularly communication and jumping out on his man. He said fellow big men Daniel Miller and Nate Hicks have helped him keep his confidence up.

Hewitt said that the confusion Holsey may be experiencing on defense may be affecting his offense. He has shown flashes …

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A Tech football player who is also an Air Force cadet

Chandler Anderson has an interesting dilemma.

Not only is he Tech’s punter, he’s also one of 120 cadets in Detachment 165, the school’s Air Force ROTC program. The Yellow Jackets will play the Falcons in the Independence Bowl.

Are his loyalties divided between his educator and future employer?

He said the detachment’s commander, Lt. Col. Shawn Bevans, tested his loyalties earlier this week.

“I said ‘Sir, I’ll always root for the Air Force,’ ” Anderson said. “… but I’ll be for Tech.”

Anderson will graduate next December and should be commissioned a few days later. His commitment after graduation will depend upon his specialty code. He said it’s possible he could be an officer should Tech play in a bowl in 2011.

Anderson has taken the requisite tests to be a pilot. If he doesn’t receive that assignment, he hopes to land a job in air and space management.

His brother, Cody, is in the Air Force ROTC program at Valdosta State. Anderson said Cody talked him into joining the …

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Tech and 3-point defense

Though Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team has allowed three teams to hit at least 10 3-pointers against them, coach Paul Hewitt said there’s not a common thread.

The most recent barrage came from Georgia in Tuesday’s 73-72 loss, which included Dustin Ware’s game-winner, which Hewitt called “inexcusable.”

While not satisfied with his team’s 3-point defense (38 percent allowed), Hewitt said the reasons for the success that Georgia, Northwestern and Kennesaw State had from beyond the arc were somewhat different:

  • Tech wanted Georgia to shoot 3-pointers. The Bulldogs were making less than 30 percent before facing the Yellow Jackets. The Bulldogs hit 12 of 22.
  • Northwestern was a good 3-point shooting team. The Wildcats hit 12 of 19.
  • Kennesaw State was the result of poor defense. The Owls hit 10 of 23.

Hewitt was asked if teams are getting better looks because the Yellow Jackets, who are smaller than most of their opponents, are concentrating on interior defense and rebounding. …

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Video: Early preview of Independence Bowl

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