David Sims likes the move to B-back

David Sims is a football player looking for a position.

He has spent the past two seasons playing quarterback at Georgia Tech. However, with Tevin Washington returning and Synjyn Days battling for the No. 1 spot, coach Paul Johnson decided that Sims should try B-back during the spring because he liked Sims’ athleticism and wants to get him on the field. Sims said he was already thinking about asking to move, so he didn’t mind the change. A quarterback at Calhoun County High School in St. Matthews, S.C., he was recruited as a running back by some schools because he rushed for a school-record 2,800 yards in his career.

He said he’s enjoying the change after two days of practicing in the rain in helmets and shorts.

“It’s still a little bit of a learning experience, getting in the stance and getting out,” he said.

Sims said he thinks he can bring a combination of Anthony Allen’s toughness and Jonathan Dwyer’s breakaway speed. They are the former B-backs who rushed more than 1,300 yards each of the past three seasons. Plus, Sims said he has a little bit of shiftiness.

Of course, he has to know where to go. He said he’s still learning what he and assistant coach Brian Bohannon call his “track.”

The team will practice in pads on Friday, which will also be the first time that Sims will experience that first hit on the handoff at the line of scrimmage.

“Friday should be fun,” he said.

Though Bohannon said it will take two weeks to get a feel for his grasp of the position, he hopes Sims is competing for a starting spot by the end of the spring. The team doesn’t have an established returner at B-back. Johnson described the returners — Preston Lyons, Richard Watson and Charles Perkins — as group of good players. However, none of them have a lot of experience. Lyons and Watson didn’t combine to rush for more than 100 yards last season.

Bohannon said he asks each of the backs each day to pick out one or two things they can improve on, so that they come back as a better football player. Sims mentioned working on the handoff, as well as holding the football high and tight against his chest, which helps reduce fumbles.

“We will see what goes on with that position,” Johnson said. “I am comfortable with it. We have more guys there than anywhere else. I am not worried about that position at all.”

Inside the inside linebackers

Across the middle of the field, at inside linebacker, another battle is brewing between several players trying to fill the position held last season by Brad Jefferson.

One of those players is Quayshawn Nealy, who will be a redshirt freshman when the 2011 season begins.

Julian Burnett, who led the team in tackles last season, will likely start at one inside ‘backer. Nealy is competing with Albert Rocker, Daniel Drummond and B.J. Machen at the other spot. They’re all around the same size (each are between 6-1 and 6-3, and are listed between 230-235 pounds). Nealy said he’s still learning the 3-4 scheme, but he has a much better understanding now than he did last year.

“The way coach Groh teaches the defense is meaningful and easy to understand,” he said. “At first, coming in as a freshman and coming from a 4-3 defense, I couldn’t really understand what’s going on. But now after the installation process I have a better grasp. Pretty much everything’s coming 1-2-3.”

As far as the competition at the position, Nealy said his advantage may be his speed.

“Once I get it, I’m like a bullet,” he said.

Etc.

Saturday’s practice is the first one that will be open to the public. It will start at 9 a.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium. … Johnson said he was encouraged by the players’ attitude on Wednesday. “They were bouncing around and looking good,” he said. He said the coaches are watching the players’ fundamentals and assignment awareness during the drills in helmets and shorts. “We are doing the same type of practice we do in pads, just no contact,” he said.

– Doug Roberson, AJC



80 comments Add your comment

bluecole

March 30th, 2011
6:58 pm

hey, wait. . . I’m. . . .not going to say it!

J.P.

March 30th, 2011
7:21 pm

I’d like to see Sims at A-Back. He is a great blocker and would be as effective as Allen was as an A-Back. Then Perkins could play B-Back. With Roddy on the opposite side, and Days at QB, it would have the punch of 2009.

J.P.

March 30th, 2011
7:25 pm

We’ve got the size at Wide Receiver this year. Can we catch?…

Stephen Hill 6′5” 200 lbs.
Jeff Greene 6′6” 200 lbs
Darren Waller 6′5” 205 lbs.
Jeremy Moore 6′3” 185 lbs

brandi

March 30th, 2011
7:32 pm

The David Sims move is a hot sexy decision

ha

Ramblin Man

March 30th, 2011
7:50 pm

J.P.
Don’t forget Chris Jackson.at 6′2″ 200 lbs.. He has real potentiol and hopefully has gotten over the injury and attitude bug. I would also like to see one of the BBs that does not win the #1 or 2 spot move to AB to have the bigger body out there like when Dwyer and Allen were on the field at the same time. Interested to see how much size Bostic has put on as well.

GT45

March 30th, 2011
7:51 pm

I have some 8×10 future Hall of Famer Keith Brooking autographed photos for sale. Let me know and I will send my email address. They are from his 9th grade year at Coweta. You can already tell at that age he was going to turn into a stud.

Ramblin Man

March 30th, 2011
7:56 pm

For those that do not know GT got a nice commitment from an OL in Chase Roberts today and he is a legacy. Welcome to the flats Chase. Looking forward to seeing you open big holes.

GTGreg

March 30th, 2011
7:57 pm

Thanks for the update, Doug.

GT hulk

March 30th, 2011
8:28 pm

Do we have someone that can catch a ” fair-catch” ?

5150 UOAD

March 30th, 2011
8:39 pm

SIMS is a BALLER as the younger people say. He can PLAY the GAME. I hope he likes the new change. He is another Tech Player that can make things happen the more he touches the Ball. Thanks D. Sims for being a team player and looking to help Tech win.

Techmania

March 30th, 2011
9:23 pm

@Ramblin Man: I think Chris Jackson left the team.

ManUp...

March 30th, 2011
9:41 pm

This all sounds quite encouraging. If I can find the time, I’m thinkin’ that practice in the stadium would be a great place to sit and sip a coke. Gotta see this new energy and work ethic for myself.

Go Jackets!

GTFan

March 30th, 2011
9:46 pm

@Techmania..He is back…again.

Ramblin Man

March 30th, 2011
10:01 pm

Techmania,
He walked back on and is looking to get his scholarship back. I have heard he has made a big turnaround in attitude and is one of the guys you hear about that is seen by CPJ working hard.

wes

March 30th, 2011
10:12 pm

I thought Albert Rocker was no longer on the team???

Started his own business I thought.

buzzster

March 30th, 2011
10:20 pm

I’m not sure about your comment about all of them being the same size but Drummond’s 6′3″ and 248lbs. Per JacketsOnline.com interview with the coaches this afternoon, Burnett and Drummond are starting at ILB with Nealy and Machen backing up Burnett and Rocker backing up Drummond.

macrotech

March 30th, 2011
11:44 pm

SO ready to get this season started!!!

Jacket Man

March 30th, 2011
11:48 pm

Ramblin Man; Chris has his scholarship back and will be ready to go.

Macon Jacket

March 31st, 2011
12:46 am

Sorry. Can’t see more than 5 or 6 wins.

1. No QB that provenly can pass the ball. 1 dimensional offense.

2. Undersized defensive lineman, playing the wrong scheme.

3. Special teams that have shown no sign of being special.

4. No receivers that have proven capable of making plays.

5. Offensive line who to this point, don’t look like can pass protect.

Personnel

March 31st, 2011
12:50 am

I’ve been saying since the first game he played in last year that he would end up being the BBack this year. Dude is a freight train! He plowed through at least 2 guys running the ball out of QB last season, and he obviously didn’t play that much. Granted it was of lesser talent, he is still going to train this year! Can’t wait!

surfrider

March 31st, 2011
12:51 am

I like the move to get Sims on the field. But also we have one of the highest rated FB’s coming out of H.S. in Watkins and Perkins and others. Is there a way we can run the Wishbone a few times a game or put in a lead blocker/hb with one slot, mix it up a little. We have the skill people it appears. If Pepper Rodgers had the Qb that came in later Tech would have been top 10 every year particularly with the Wr’s they had. The Wishbone with a passing component is a hard system to stop.

superDawg

March 31st, 2011
4:55 am

macriod:are you sure your ready for all that heartache?

Stinger 2

March 31st, 2011
5:27 am

superDawg: Good Morning. I hope your Dawgs have a great year. Have a good day.

Stinger 2

March 31st, 2011
5:34 am

The best approach GT football fans can have about the 2011 season is to wait and see what happens. Too many question marks in too many areas. Regardless of what happens, I will always be a Jacket fan but I don`t get excited anymore because GT football is not going to be
at the level too many fans expect it to be.

Ramblin Man

March 31st, 2011
7:37 am

Stinger I agree to a point and would like to see 8 wins with any more just being gravy. The 6-7 recrord killed recruiting and a decent season could land a really nice 12 class. I mainly just want to see improvement on D and special teams being as the offense will consist of a bunch of new guys.

Buzz Me

March 31st, 2011
7:44 am

Hope Sims does well. Won’t Vad Lee compete for the QB job?

Tokyo jacket

March 31st, 2011
7:53 am

Look for good things out of Tech this year. It kind of reminds me of 2009. We probably won’t win the conference or even division, but I bet you money that we’ll be competitive every game – with an upset or two.

GT45

March 31st, 2011
8:15 am

I don’t know who that gt45 is up there, but it ain’t me! I hope Simms makes it as running back. He has already paid his dues, and deserves a shot! Tokyo, I think we have a good chance at winning the division!

GT45

March 31st, 2011
8:17 am

Is Stinger 2 Dave Braine?

yella fella

March 31st, 2011
8:18 am

what the hell is a B BACK anyway ???

NYCJacket

March 31st, 2011
8:21 am

As mentioned in an earlier thread, I’m concerned with no proven QB that can pass well consistently. Tevin has shown us he can’t pass and Days didn’t light up the score board in high school with his arm. Vad seems to be the only passing threat we will have in 2011, but there seems to be only talk of him red shirting.

NYCJacket

March 31st, 2011
8:24 am

And, if our opponents don’t have to worry about us passing, they’ll stop the run every time.

Giddyup

March 31st, 2011
8:26 am

Oh for the days when we just had tailbacks, fullbacks, etc. But it’s cool, the “genius” loves his gimmick.

Stats on Vad Lee

March 31st, 2011
8:35 am

Vad Lee was named the Class 4A player of the Year after leading his team to a 16-0 record and state championship. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,969 yards with 23 TDs and added 1,004 yards rushing.

NYCJacket

March 31st, 2011
8:37 am

Looks like Vad Lee could be that game changer we are looking for but he’s a true freshman. Looks like CPJ would “tweak” the offense so not too hard to learn and get Vad in the game.

LAKE OCONEE JACKET

March 31st, 2011
8:51 am

Please get us a shotgun passing attack when it is 3rd and 15, albeit because of a penalty or whatever….Shotgun also great for the 2 minute offense, which unless you are a pro QB, is hard to execute from under center….Would like to see shotgun and some of the gimmicks the spread teams run from the shotgun added into our offense….QB draw that we love to run on 3rd down is also good out of the gun….

dawgfan

March 31st, 2011
8:52 am

Josh Nesbitt had some good passing stats in high school too. Then CPJ gets a hold of him and he completes 40% of his passes in college. His career comes to an untimely end when he breaks his arm trying to make a tackle after Johnson let’s him force a pass in to the endzone. Georgia Tech’s season is finished because Johnson has developed absolutely no depth at QB and his oddball offense is completely dependent on ONE guy to run it.

Paul Johnson is a genius with QBs and obviously the smartest guy in the room.

Thanks.

Mark Richt

March 31st, 2011
9:05 am

If I had the choice of Vad Lee, Tevin Washington and Synjyn Days at QB – I’d play Vad Lee as a true freshman AND change the offense to exploit his talent. It’s a no brainer.

BYRDDAWG

March 31st, 2011
9:22 am

Smart move because the kid had no chance of getting on the field as a QB! With no experience @ B-back the competition is wide open….He sounds like a good kid too!!!

demjackets

March 31st, 2011
9:32 am

Vad is not playing this year guys. You think a true freshmen with only fall camp under his belt will beat out two other guys with multiple years running PJ’s option. Seriously doubt it. If it does happen we are in for another bad year. I bet Vad will redshirt and be the QB of the future.

5150 UOAD

March 31st, 2011
9:42 am

Vad has said he wants to compete for the job, but he also wants to get in the weight room some. Tech will not burn a redshirt if he can’t play the whole year at QB. DAYS will probably be the starter and Washington as the back-up. VAD will workout and learn the play book.

juvenal

March 31st, 2011
9:50 am

L. O.-agree on shot gun-surely the kids can handle the flexibilty..

Ramblin Man

March 31st, 2011
9:59 am

Dawgfan did you really just put that CPJ let Nesbitt force the pass to the endzone. Do you really believe CPJ was yelling force it to Allen from the sideline? Nesbitt made a bad read and did not see the LB coming it happens all the time. I will grant you nobody has been impressed with the passing stats over the last three years, but if you would actually watch a game other than reading a stat you would know that it was hampered more by butter fingered WRs than the QB’s (now that still falls on the coach). Now did Nesbitt, Washington, and Shaw all throw erractic passes sure, so did most college QBs last year it’s just that a GT QBs bad passes are going to stand out more simply because of the number of attempts. Depending on how you look at it CPJ did try to develop depth at the QB slot, but until Nesbitt got hurt nobody was close in a QB battle and departures happen so GT was 2 QBs down. Did you post the same about Richt when he had nobody to step up after Stafford left and had to play Cox in 09 and a true freshman with no experience in 10? It’s college not the pros teams recruit 2 QBs a year in the hopes that in a four year span two of them work out as quality starters. I again thank you for all your concern with GT athletics and hope you save some time to follow your own team.

Ramblin Man

March 31st, 2011
10:03 am

I in no way see Vad playing this year unless things go really bad with Washington and Days. I also do not expect to see a shotgun formation. I believe CPJ used the pistol some at Navy and Ga. Southern and would expect that formation over the shotgun, but agree a different look would be nice from time to time. Just please CPJ do not try to pull a team offsides on 4th and 3 anymore it has worked maybe twice.

dawgfan

March 31st, 2011
10:07 am

Um, correct me if I’m wrong here Ramblin Man, but Johnson calls the plays does he not? He is responsible for the offense, is he not? Nesbitt would not have been throwing the ball unless Johnson had given him the green light to do so. Funny how Johnson is such a genius when things go well but when something goes wrong its all the player’s fault. You Techies are so far up that guy’s azz you can’t even think straight.

But whatever. No skin off my back. Johnson is a genius and his sorry players just need to execute for him. Whatever you want to think Techies. Works for me.

GTfan2011

March 31st, 2011
10:09 am

Perkins is our B-Back of the future. I hope Sims will get some opportunities at both A and B Back. Go Jackets!

Mark Richt

March 31st, 2011
10:13 am

Vad Lee gives the offense something Washington and Days don’t – a passing threat. Therefore, if either Washington or Days is under center, the running game will be stunted which translates into low number of scores. Write it down…

dawgfan

March 31st, 2011
10:20 am

I don’t know why you clowns always bring Richt in to these discussions, but I can assure you that hardly anyone in the Georgia camp is singing his praises these days. I am personally sickened by the state of our program and have serious doubts that he can turn it around. Richt has won 2 SEC titles, played in 3 BCS bowls, and has numerous top 10 finishes under his belt but his azz is still on the line this year. Meanwhile, Johnson is 1-2 against Georgia, 0-3 in bowl games, and just went 6-7 but you Techies are still ready to name your damn stadium after him. Its hilarious. I love how Techies try to act like WE’RE the delusional ones. Paul Johnson could murder your first born children and you would blame it on his players.

Thanks.

macrotech

March 31st, 2011
10:25 am

dawgfan, are you suggesting that ALL interceptions are the fault of the coach? We’ve all been watching you leak stupid all over the blogs in regards to Tech for a while…but, damn?!

threetrone

March 31st, 2011
11:02 am

tes tos te rone, oh boy it’s great not having to take test anymore at Tech my alma mater, with first t equalling tes, not test, reward for graduating! now I can wear my beard; I am white; I believe I can tell by how a black football and basketball player looks at Tech if he is a Tech man; I don’t believe Tevin Washington has that look, therefore I don’t believe he should start next year; I have read someone else’s comment on AJC about him and they also did not care for him; I do believe Vad Lee has the ok look for a black Tech man; the cube at Tech when I was there, Eddie McAshan, a black, looked like an ok black football player for Tech; some just don’t look right, don’t look intellectual enough; I think Salley looks ok as a representative for a black Tech basketball player; I think Shumpert looks not ok, and should leave if he is 50-50 undecided, proving he is not loyal to Tech but by only 50 percent; he doesn’t look like a Tech black basketball player either; I agree with Mark Richt, start Vad Lee next year, and tweak offense for his passing accomplishments, because Vad looks like an acceptable black football player for Tech; CPJ has to take responsibility for starting Tevin Washington last year; I’ve never seen how Days looks