Archive for April, 2011

T-Day game thoughts

Greetings, all-

I think this is going to be quick, because it appears I’m the last one in Bobby Dodd Stadium and I’d like to get home. But, anyway, a few takes from the T-Day game.

1. Don’t get too worked up over Tevin Washington’s performance. True, it was pretty lousy. He threw three interceptions and led the offense to one touchdown in 10 possessions. First, he’s played better over the course of the spring than he did Saturday, and he was, as Paul Johnson put it, running for his life. If you were at the game and got on the Synjyn Days bandwagon because of the way he played, there’s probably a pretty good chance you would have been of a 180-degree different mindset last Saturday.

It doesn’t say very hopeful things about the quarterback position that the two top guys swapped dreadful scrimmages in consecutive weeks, but, as I said, Washington has been better than he was Saturday.

(I don’t think this means that Vad Lee should start, by the way. As I’d mentioned before, he’d …

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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 …

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Charlie Sheen takes BP with Georgia Tech’s baseball team

Charlie Sheen announced his arrival in Atlanta via Twitter: " (Special photo)

Charlie Sheen announced his arrival in Atlanta via Twitter: "I'm extremely honored that CNN has changed it's name to 'Charlie News Network'" (Special photo)

Charlie Sheen almost hit a home run in Atlanta on Thursday.

No, we’re not talking about his “Violent Torpedo of Truth” show scheduled for Thursday night.

#WINNING (Sheen) showed up to work out with Georgia Tech’s baseball team for nearly three hours on Thursday afternoon. It was arranged after ex-major leaguer Todd Zeile contacted Tech baseball coach Danny Hall.

“He was very engaging, about as nice you he could be,” Tech spokesman Dean Buchan said. “He interacted with our players and coaches. I think he had a good time in the batting cage. He came close to hitting one out. He hit about six right up to the wall, but couldn’t quite punch it over.”

Sheen wasn’t done after BP. He grabbed a mitt and took some ground balls and fly balls in the field.

Before leaving, Sheen gave some high fives, took pictures and chatted briefly …

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Paul Johnson on ACC teleconference

Greetings-

Paul Johnson spoke on the ACC spring football teleconference Thursday. He provided a few insights into the team and the spring. Here ya go:

1. Charles Perkins has moved up to second on the depth chart at B-back behind Preston Lyons. Richard Watson, who had been the No. 2, has moved down. With those three and David Sims, Johnson called B-back probably the deepest position on the roster.

2. Johnson said quarterback Tevin Washington has “a significant edge” over Synjyn Days. Washington has done “a much better job” executing the offense and taking care of the ball.

Experience and ability to run the offense have given Tevin Washington a leg up on the quarterback job. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Experience and ability to run the offense have given Tevin Washington a leg up on the quarterback job. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

3. Johnson mentioned a few rising true sophomores or redshirt freshmen for improving this spring: Days, defensive backs Louis Young, Fred Holton and Isaiah Johnson and linebackers Quayshawn Nealy and Jeremiah Attaochu.
“We think they can be really good players,” he said.

4. He said …

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Tech spring practice No. 14 in the books

Greetings, all-

A few quick tidbits, mostly from a story I’m working on for Saturday’s paper in advance of the T-Day Game, largely about the defense.

1. One thing I’ve heard Paul Johnson and Al Groh mention a few times just in the last week and a half is “situational awareness.” Basically, it’s knowing the down, distance, score, field position and other factors and adjusting play accordingly. An obvious example is a wide receiver running beyond the first-down marker on third down rather than pulling up just short of it to catch a pass.

I don’t doubt Johnson has coached it every other spring, but I’ve heard it a good bit.

“We’re in a one-minute drill, the defense gets a sack and the ball goes loose,” Johnson said last week. “They know the situation that’s on the board. (Evidently, in this situation, the defense’s team was leading.) There’s a minute, 30 (seconds), one timeout, they try to pick it up and score with it. Fall on it, the game’s over. Now, he did pick it up, but …

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Johnson plays ‘What if?’ with Nesbitt’s injury

I don’t know if you’re in the habit of reading the Dalton Daily Citizen, but if not, you probably missed a comment from Paul Johnson about the 2010 season. Johnson was up in Rocky Face near Chattanooga Tuesday night with AD Dan Radakovich, softball coach Sharon Perkins and play-by-play man Wes Durham for the north Georgia segment of the Tech spring caravan. This is part of Chris Whitfield’s report.

“If you want to be realistic, we were very disappointed,” Johnson said. “Truth be told, though, we were 5-3 on the road on a Thursday night in Blacksburg and what happens?”
Starting quarterback Joshua Nesbitt breaks his arm is what happens, and the Yellow Jackets won just one of their last five games, including losses to Georgia in the regular-season finale and a 14-7 loss to Air Force in the Independence Bowl.
“You never know,” Johnson said. “Do you win eight or nine games if your veteran quarterback is in there? We were in every ballgame and had 600 yards of offense …

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Attaochu trivia

Hello, all-

Hope you got to read the Jeremiah Attaochu story. A few tidbits I didn’t put in it that I learned from talking with his father Paul, who himself has a fascinating background.

1. Attaochu’s middle name is Ojima-ojo, which in Attaochu’s father’s tribal language means “God’s glory.”

2. Paul wasn’t so sure about Jeremiah’s football prospects. “I never thought that Jeremiah could withstand the rigor of that sport to get a scholarship,” he said. Paul said Jeremiah’s mother Comfort was more encouraging to Jeremiah about football than he was.

3. Jeremiah arrived with his siblings and mother in 2001 from Nigeria. Paul went to pick up his family at Dulles International Airport. They arrived with other international flights, which, as you might guess, were full of people from around the world.
Said Paul, “Jeremiah kept asking me a question: ‘Where are the white people?’”

4. Paul Attaochu grew up in a small village in Nigeria, went to college in Lagos, the largest city in the …

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Durham on Carolina job: ‘Not about me right now’

In the wake of his father Woody Durham’s retirement after 40 years as the voice of North Carolina football and basketball, Georgia Tech play-by-play man Wes Durham declined to entertain a question about the possibility of leaving Atlanta to succeed his father.

“There was a basketball coach who lost to Syracuse a few years back, and he was asked a similar question,” Durham told the Raleigh News & Observer Tuesday, referring to North Carolina coach Roy Williams‘ interview following Kansas’ NCAA championship game loss to Syracuse in 2003. “And I’ll answer it the same way: I respect and understand that you have to ask that question, but it’s not about me right now.”

Durham referred an AJC interview request to that statement. Durham has called football and basketball for Georgia Tech since 1995. He is also the play-by-play voice for the Falcons and co-hosts the “Barnhart & Durham” show on 790 the Zone. In January, he was named Georgia’s sportscaster of the year for a seventh …

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Jeremiah Attaochu developing by ‘leaps and bounds’

Greetings, all-

This is a little later than I’d anticipated, but I’m working on a story for Wednesday about outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and wanted to give you a little preview.

1. He’s arguably the most improved player on the defense this spring, which is saying something, considering the defense as a whole has improved considerably from the fall.

Said defensive end Jason Peters, “He’s made leaps and bounds. He’s going to be an important part of our defense next year. With his athleticism and tenaciousness to the ball, we’re going to need him.”

2. He would agree, at least about the improvement. Overall, compared to the fall, I feel like the mental part of the game is there and then I’m better through the offseason program.” He has put on about 13 pounds since the end of the season, up to 238 pounds.

3. He was born in Nigeria in 1993 and his father moved to the U.S. in 1997 to get a job and bring his family over, which he did in 2001. Attaochu’s father Paul went to …

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Pope named ACC pitcher of the week

Georgia Tech pitcher Mark Pope was named the ACC pitcher of the week and a national player of the week for Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Monday after throwing a complete-game one-hitter in a 5-1 win against Wake Forest on Friday night.

Against Wake Forest, Pope retired 14 consecutive batters at one point in earning his fourth complete game of the season in nine starts. Pope, a junior from Walton High, threw Tech’s first one-hitter since 1997.

Among starters, Pope is second in the ACC in ERA at 1.14. The opposition is batting .163 against him this season. Pope, 8-1, has been named ACC pitcher of the week three times and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper national player of the week twice this season.

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