Archive for April, 2011

Allen headed to Baltimore

He was taken in the seventh round, but former Tech B-back Anthony Allen is going into a pretty good situation in Baltimore. Ray Rice has the starting job, but Allen has a chance to be the backup.

Backup Willis McGahee has a $6 million base salary for 2011, which is a bit more than any team wants to be paying a backup running back. His agent has reportedly said he won’t take a pay cut, which is kind of forcing the Ravens’ hand. A Baltimore Sun report indicated the decision has already been made.

If McGahee is out of the picture, then that, at least at present, leaves Allen to compete with three other running backs. Combined, they have 11 NFL carries. It’s certainly possible the Ravens could cut McGahee and bring him back or they could find a backup for Rice in the free agency market, whenever the lockout ends. And it also bears mention that, as a seventh-round pick, Allen isn’t exactly a huge investment for the Ravens. But, they do like him (a couple quotes below) and he will …

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Hewitt hired at George Mason

Even without a job, Paul Hewitt probably could have handled the bills.

Regardless, the former Georgia Tech basketball coach, fired after 11 seasons in March, is back in the game. George Mason, a prominent mid-major team, confirmed his hiring Saturday. He will be introduced at a news conference Monday.

“Every coach wants to get back, even if they say they don’t,” said Georgia State coach Ron Hunter, a good friend of Hewitt’s and now a conference rival in the Colonial Athletic Association. “He needs to get back because that’s who he is, that’s what he does and he’s really good at it.”

Hewitt was out of a job for 49 days, barely enough time to start collecting on his $7.2 million buyout, a sum Tech is still required to pay out despite Hewitt’s new job. He replaces Jim Larranaga, who left George Mason to coach at Miami (Fla.). Hewitt will take over a team that went 27-7 and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. Barring transfers, four starters will return next season. …

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Jefferson, Tarrant chime in on draft

Spoke with Brad Jefferson and Jerrard Tarrant leading up to the draft.

A couple quotes from the interviews, first Jefferson:

“I’m pretty confident (about playing in the NFL). I know what I can do. It’s just trying to get them to know I can do it. Either way it goes, you’ve just got to prove yourself. Even if you’re a first-rounder, you have to prove yourself.”

Jefferson said he’s 12 hours shy of his degree.

“That’s all my parents talk about, going back and getting that degree, no matter what happens.”

On where he thinks he might go in the draft:

“It’s pretty much up in the air right now. They’ll tell you things, but you’ve just got to wait. You won’t know anything until it happens.”

Jefferson will be waiting for his name to be called this weekend.

Jefferson will be waiting for his name to be called this weekend.

Tarrant on an opponent he thinks deserves a shot in the NFL.

“The running back from Miami, Graig Cooper. I think if he never would have gotten injured last year, he would have been a high pick. … He’s real physical. He runs hard, …

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Tech golf looks ahead after demolishing ACC

This is late, so I apologize, but I finally spoke with golf coach Bruce Heppler Thursday morning. The Jackets are four days removed from what Heppler called one of the four or five best tournaments that his team has played in the 15 years he’s been at Tech.

The Jackets demolished the field at the ACC tournament, going 33-under-par and winning by 20 strokes, to take their third consecutive ACC title and Heppler’s eighth. Paul Haley, Kyle Scott and John-Tyler Griffin finished 1-2-3 and James White tied for eighth. Second-place Duke was nearly as close to sixth place as it was to Tech.

Heppler said the most impressive aspect of the victory was the first round. It’s his contention that the first round can often be the most difficult, particularly for a team that has heavy expectations on it, as Tech often does.

Compounding that was that Tech’s golfers went out in the last groups, extending their wait to get on the course, and played in the worst conditions, cold and rainy. Still, …

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Tech draft prospects may go late

Greetings, all-

I hope you and your loved ones made it through last night’s storm safely. The NFL draft starts tonight, and I feel pretty safe in making one prediction. There won’t be two Georgia Tech players taken in the first round and three in the first three rounds, as was the case last year with Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas and Morgan Burnett going in the first, first and third rounds, respectively.

The Tech players most likely to go are B-back Anthony Allen, safety Jerrard Tarrant and cornerback Mario Butler. It’s possible that no Tech player will hear his name called until Saturday, when rounds 4-7 will take place. (Round one is Thursday night, rounds 2-3 on Friday. If you’re wondering, coverage starts at 8 p.m. Thursday ET, 6 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday, all on ESPN.)

In a conference call last week, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper projected all three to be Saturday picks, along with safety Mario Edwards, with Allen going first.

“There’s really no marquee player,” …

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Tech vs. UGA at Turner Field

- Matthew Grimes (5-2, 4.01 ERA) pitches for Tech against Ben Cornwell (1-3, 5.84). In the last meeting, Grimes struck out a career-high 10 and gave up two runs on eight hits in Tech’s 5-3 win.

- Tech is 30-11, Georgia is 21-20.

- The Yellow Jackets have won the first two games of the series this season and will be going for a second consecutive season sweep.

- Both teams are coming off of series wins over the weekend. Tech swept Boston College, Georgia took two of three from Tennessee.

- Tech’s five-game winning streak against the Bulldogs is its third-longest in the series. The longest was a seven-game streak from 1906-09.

- Game will be on Fox Sports South and on the radio at 91.1 WREK and online at ramblinwreck.com. Also on Georgia network on 960 WRFC and 1230 WFOM.

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Brian Gregory under the gun?

Sports Illustrated writer Seth Davis gave his thoughts on this year’s crop of basketball coaching hires and put Tech’s Brian Gregory in the category of “under the gun.”

Davis’ rationale was that Gregory doesn’t have recruiting ties to the South and also “the Yellow Jackets are going to be really bad next year.” That said, he also wrote that “I believe Gregory will do a very good job at Georgia Tech because I have known him for a long time and have seen him in action.”

Facing pressure from the jump

Facing pressure from the jump

He also said it would help that it would help his cause if he could sign a prominent local recruit to assuage the fan base, which I don’t think will happen this year (not including Milton’s Julian Royal).

He could have also included that Tech will be playing games at Philips and Gwinnett arenas. It probably bears mention that Gregory addressed the recruiting ties issue by hiring two coaches, Josh Postorino and Chad Dollar, with strong ties to the area.

Unrelated, but interesting. …

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Shumpert likely to decide on draft at deadline

The father of Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert said that his son will likely keep his name in the draft until the May 8 deadline.
“Why rush?” Odis Shumpert II said. “Just go ahead and wait to the day. Then you can decide, ‘I’m in’ or ‘I’m out.’”
Odis Shumpert said that Iman is still 50-50 on his decision, as he had been when he first declared March 28.
Shumpert has yet to begin working out for NBA teams. That can only start this Friday, after the NBA releases the official list of early entrants. (The deadline to declare was Sunday.) Tech coach Brian Gregory said he has been speaking with NBA team scouts and general managers to get a sense on where Shumpert might get draft, and plans to share his findings when he meets with the Shumperts this weekend.

Will likely stay in draft until May 8 deadline.

Will likely stay in draft until May 8 deadline.

“His goal is first round,” Odis Shumpert said. “Right now, we’re hearing second round. That could change.”
Shumpert has been attending class and has participated in individual …

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EA Sports NCAA football 12 Georgia Tech promo

Got this from EA Sports – a Georgia Tech teaser for its NCAA Football 12 video game, which comes out July 12.

I’m always amazed at the quality of the graphics in games these days (cue sentimental music, and me sitting on a rocking chair on my porch). We’re a long way from Tecmo Bowl, or, even better, the handheld Mattel Electronics football game. I got a version of this for my 11th or 12th birthday and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Or, for that matter, the vibrating football field game. My friend David Kline had that and we played it once; totally bogus. (The game, not David Kline.)

It features the Tech marching band, the Ramblin’ Wreck and a fight song you probably know pretty well. You’ll likely notice, unfortunately for the good folks at EA Sports, that the Jackets are running out of the southwest tunnel. They usually take the field from the northeast portal.

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Gregory calls Parks case ‘bizarre’

The likelihood of Georgia Tech signee Bobby Parks making it to campus appears slim. Coach Brian Gregory has reached out to Parks, whom former coach Paul Hewitt signed to a letter of intent before his dismissal, but hasn’t received much response.

Said Gregory, “It’s the most bizarre recruiting situation that I’ve ever seen.”

Parks, the son of former college basketball star and Hawks draft choice Bobby Parks Sr., lives in the Philippines with his father and Filipino mother. In January, the Philippine Star reported that Parks intended to play for a Filipino college team, but his father was quoted as saying that his point guard son would study his options about continuing his career in the U.S. in two years’ time.

With Parks having signed to play for Tech, Gregory said he and athletic director Dan Radakovich have tried “numerous times” to contact him and his family with limited success.

“The family was supposed to call me and (I) have got nothing,” Gregory said.

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