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?