Six players to watch in T-Day game

Greetings-

Hope you’re planning on being at Bobby Dodd Stadium for the T-Day game Saturday at noon. I don’t think a lot is going to be decided in terms of competition for jobs — the work that players put in over the first 14 sessions of spring practice will weigh far more heavily in how the two-deep is arranged — but, obviously, it still should be interesting. If you’re going, here are six players worth keeping an eye on.

1. Synjyn Days The redshirt freshman quarterback has made improvement this spring, but Paul Johnson has made little secret about Days’ trouble holding onto the ball, one reason why Tevin Washington has held onto the starting job through spring. This will be Days’ last opportunity to demonstrate his ballhandling ability before the summer.

“I think that certainly there have been days in the spring where Synjyn Days has looked really good,” Johnson said. “I think he’s a really good athlete. There’s no question he can do what we need him to do.”

2. Jeremiah Attaochu The sophomore outside linebacker has been one of the most improved players on the roster, all the better for Tech since his position is a featured spot on Al Groh’s 3-4 defense. Attaouchu has size and speed and could be a terror for the next three seasons. Generally speaking, the speed at which the Jackets defense moves should be improved.

3. Jay Finch The sophomore center is taking over for All-ACC selection Sean Bedford, who started the past two seasons. Because of injuries this spring and other issues, coaches have been down on the line’s progress, particularly backups. It probably hasn’t helped that the Tech defensive line is one of the strongest units on the team.

4. Charles Perkins The redshirt freshman B-back has impressed with his explosiveness and his grasp of the position in his first spring, though his pass blocking needs to develop. He and B-back Preston Lyons will likely compete for the starting job. David Sims, who switched to B-back this spring from quarterback, also bears watching.

Said Johnson, “We’ve got four guys who we feel like can step in and play that position.”

5. Justin Moore No kicker on the roster has made a strong move in the competition to replace Scott Blair. Moore is the only scholarship kicker on the team. Andy Elakman, David Scully and Ty Rawlings are also in the running. The punter job is also open, with Chandler Anderson and Sean Poole in competition, though Poole is out with a knee injury.

Said Johnson of the kicking game, “We’ll have a better idea coming out of fall camp.”

6. Jemea Thomas He played safety as a true freshman in 2009, redshirted the 2010 season and is now competing at cornerback. He’s part of a young secondary that shows promise but lacks experience. The group surrendered a few too many big plays in the spring than coaches might have liked.

“In spots, we’ve still got to improve our open-field tackling,” secondary coach Charles Kelly said. “When things break down, you’ve just got to get the guy down.”

Who else would you put on the list?

103 comments Add your comment

JACKETfan12

April 22nd, 2011
12:00 pm

JACKETfan12

April 22nd, 2011
12:02 pm

So excited about Attaochu. Maybe we’ll have an all-american in him by his jr/sr year.

Not so excited about the quarterback position. Having Tevin as the full-time starter scares me. Hopefully he will prove me (an others) wrong.

I am also excited to see Perkins take the b-back spot and be the next great GT back.

GT 07

April 22nd, 2011
12:08 pm

Drummond and Nealy! ILB is gonna be a huge need.

Also..JC Lanier switching to OL

GT Rich

April 22nd, 2011
12:09 pm

Curious to see if any WR will actually catch a pass and who’ll win the ILB spot next to Julian.

GT Rich

April 22nd, 2011
12:11 pm

I was impressed by Simas last year as a running QB. Would love to see him break one as a B-back tomorrow. Maybe CPJ will give him a chance at A-back this summer just to get him in the open field with the ball in his hands.

GT Rich

April 22nd, 2011
12:12 pm

Sims, not Simas.

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

April 22nd, 2011
12:13 pm

Izaan Cross at Defensive End. I’m hoping this will be a break-out season, and that we’ll see him carry on the legacy of some of our last few defensive ends, including Michael Johnson and Derrick Morgan. I think he’s got the potential.

Who cares (the original)

April 22nd, 2011
12:16 pm

The secondary and kicking game have to improve. The O will always be able to put up points and numbers, improve on those two and the season should be a good one.

Go Jackets!!!

ManUp...

April 22nd, 2011
12:21 pm

I’m watching them all and hoping to see this attitude adjustment I’ve been hearing about! Let’s lay some big hits!

Go Jackets!

Techy

April 22nd, 2011
12:22 pm

I wish Vad Lee would have come in early and gone through spring practice. He is definitely the future.

RambleOn84

April 22nd, 2011
12:23 pm

Guys are being too hard on Tevin

RambleOn84

April 22nd, 2011
12:24 pm

Tevin’s got the talent…he just needs to take care of the ball. I have confidence that Tevin can make some good things happen.

Don’t forget that Nesbitt made some of us groan when he first started back in 2008 as well.

Tevin’s a much better passer at this stage than Nesbitt was…he needs guys around him to step up (especially the O-line), and he will be just fine.

GO JACKETS!

Born2Buzz

April 22nd, 2011
12:35 pm

Notice that all of the players listed are either freshmen(rs) or sophs. Our D will be young but much more talented.

Bammer

April 22nd, 2011
12:36 pm

The T-Day game is just an organized pillow fight………..you’ll see more hitting on C-SPAN.

DoddSquad

April 22nd, 2011
12:38 pm

Drummond, Hill, and ROBBY GODHIGH. Robby is #25 at the a-back position. He’ll make plays tomorrow…he’s been doing it quietly all spring.

George Stein

April 22nd, 2011
12:43 pm

Agreed, Ramble. Tevin did a nice job managing the offense last year, especially under the circumstances. I think people view his ceiling as lower than Days or Lee, but his floor might be higher than either. Personally, I don’t care who takes the snaps as long as we win.

I’d like to see incremental gains on defense. But most importantly, I want the guys to have some fun, get their work in, and get out healthy.

D A DoubleU G

April 22nd, 2011
12:48 pm

Hey guys!!!!!

Just wanted to let you all know I hope that you enjoy your T-Day.

Spring is a fun, optimistic time for college football. And you guys deserve to enjoy the day like every other team does.

I truly, from the bottom of my heart, hope the 200-300 of you that attend enjoy yourselves!!

ManUp...

April 22nd, 2011
12:51 pm

Tevin can get it done. Especially with the pressure of Days and (in the Fall) Lee vying for the job. It’s good to have talented depth there.

Maybe we won’t see big hits on T-day. But I want to see a vicious attitude come August. Pancake blocks, good punishing hits on tackles, and running backs charging defenders down and then running for more yardage after the hit. THAT will optimize our game!

Go Jackets!

supersize that order, mutt

April 22nd, 2011
12:56 pm

I hate that the T-Day game is on Easter weekend. I would have come, but there’s too much I need to be doing in Augusta to make the trip.

Pine

April 22nd, 2011
1:06 pm

Ken,
Your comments on Days and Tevin are mindboggling. Truly, Days has ability but so does Tevin. If Tevin is still the number one quarterback surely it is because of what TEVIN is doing RIGHT not because of what Days is doing wrong. There is a difference.

kc

April 22nd, 2011
1:27 pm

Daniel Drummond.

j

April 22nd, 2011
1:29 pm

If Tevin starts this whole season… we are in some big trouble!

gtfanfrom1951

April 22nd, 2011
1:36 pm

Tevin was player of the year in ALA. when he was signed. Now he is our starting QB and 9 or 10 wins this year for sure! GO JACKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GT hulk

April 22nd, 2011
1:39 pm

At least PJ recruited us a long-snapper, guess he plans on punting alot

dawgfan

April 22nd, 2011
1:40 pm

Will Lindsay Lohan be there Techies?

Tech Fan

April 22nd, 2011
1:40 pm

Tevin was not player of the year in Alabama………

Tech Fan

April 22nd, 2011
1:43 pm

To think Jordan Laullen could be playing this year….

George Stein

April 22nd, 2011
1:48 pm

Or kicking a lot of extra points, hulk.

Charlie Sheen

April 22nd, 2011
1:49 pm

I would like to thank Jake Skole for showing me the best places around campus to get drunk and joyride.

Duh, #Winning

BYRDDAWG

April 22nd, 2011
1:56 pm

I’d be watching Walls, Peters and Cross! For the D to do well those 3 will have to be dominant….A 3-4 is only as good as it’s front 3! Washington didn’t have the luxury of throwing to Calvin or Thomas who made Ball’s and Nesbitt’s passing look better …..Have a blessed Easter! He is risen!!!!

George Stein

April 22nd, 2011
1:59 pm

Pretty sure it wasn’t Jake Skole, Charlie. You should check your facts.

Duh, #UGATroll #Losing

CoolBreeze

April 22nd, 2011
2:13 pm

BYRDDAWG, you nailed it. The front 3 are crucial for the whole team’s success. And some day, I hope to see us try some SHORT passes…

DoggieHouser

April 22nd, 2011
2:16 pm

DA DoubleU G – You love comparing your attendance to that of a smaller school. Try a comparison of your spring game with that of the Crimson Tide; don’t you like to think you’re in their league? Oh, yeah, you are…..

Jacket Backer

April 22nd, 2011
2:17 pm

Looking forward to a fun day on the Flats!

Go Jackets!

DawginLex

April 22nd, 2011
2:24 pm

Have fun guys. Hope no one gets injured and you have good weather.

Lots of rumors circulating in Athens about an apparent meeting between McGarity and Richt and staff. 0-2 start and they are fired.

We will see.

Happy Easter!! He is risen indeed!!!!!!!!

Tech Fan Since 1950

April 22nd, 2011
2:31 pm

This offense demands experience and the sticky fingers and hands of the quarterback. Tevin has played under fire and deserves his ranking now. That is not to say that Days and Lee will not get their playing time. I hope they do. I remember Nesbitt turning the ball over during his first times under center and that is the nature of contact and quick decision making of the Tech offense until experience is gained (got to get the offensive line well and better too). Complete a few more passes in 2011 combined with what I believe will be a much better defense and everyone on the schedule had better look out.

dawgfan

April 22nd, 2011
2:32 pm

Techies, where did the name “T-Day” come from? Its so clever and original. I simply can’t believe that no one has thought of something like that before.

Thanks.

Ken Sugiura

April 22nd, 2011
2:45 pm

Daniel Drummond is a good one, as is Stephen Hill, and the defensive line.
Pine – please note that i said that Days’ ball-security issues are “one reason” why Washington has retained the job, not the only reason.
juvenal – back to mostly

Ken Sugiura

April 22nd, 2011
2:45 pm

lower case. i knew you guys were messing around.

Stinger 2

April 22nd, 2011
3:07 pm

Ken: Good post about who to watch. I did get a chuckle
about your comment that Perkins needs to work to improve his pass blocking.

supersize that order, mutt

April 22nd, 2011
3:10 pm

dawgfan, it’s been called T-Day since at least the early 60s, probably even earlier than that.

St. Pete Wreck

April 22nd, 2011
3:17 pm

Ken, Thanks for your coverage man!! Has made me an ajc follower (and one from out of town) again!

…I am super pumped about Drummond’s quick rise to the 1st Team D at ILB

30,000 empty seats in a 55,000 seat stadium

April 22nd, 2011
3:43 pm

“Six FANS to watch T-Day” would have been a more appropriate headline.

GTBob

April 22nd, 2011
3:43 pm

Im looking forward to Days and Perkins. Both have tremendous potential. Hopefully they come out strong.

ben

April 22nd, 2011
3:46 pm

I’ll believe this “great defensive line” talk after I see it during the season. As bad as it was last season, its hard to believe that it will be our strength this year.

Bill M

April 22nd, 2011
4:06 pm

What happened to Doug? Not that I am complaining. Ken is doing a much better job.

reebok

April 22nd, 2011
4:10 pm

thx, DawginLex. Happy Easter sunday.

Steve

April 22nd, 2011
4:19 pm

Will be funny to read that 5,000 people showed up to watch. What a terrible excuse for a football team.

6 National Titles

April 22nd, 2011
4:33 pm

Hey D A,
Why does your team not have any NCs to go with that big stadium and all those fans?

6 National Titles

April 22nd, 2011
4:37 pm

I guess an annual top 5 signing class doesn’t equate to winning a NC. Unless you are Alabama. Or Fla. Or LSU. Or Ohio St. Or USC. Or Texas. Or Oklahoma??? Need I go on??? Only one sticks out like a sore thumb!