Archive for April, 2011

Four facts about new hire Josh Postorino

Greetings-

I spoke with new men’s basketball assistant coach Josh Postorino, an engaging sort whom you’ll enjoy meeting if you get the opportunity. He’s been busy recruiting and visiting with old contacts in the Atlanta area. I’ve got four Josh Postorino facts. I’ll post something in the afternoon spring football-related.

1. Postorino’s first job was at Dayton in 2000, where he also played, as director of operations under Oliver Purnell. He shared a small, windowless office with Shaka Smart, who joined him after one season. They later worked together at Clemson under Purnell and have remained friends. Postorino, in fact, watched VCU play Butler in the Final Four from behind the VCU bench.

2. Postorino met Brian Gregory at a recruiting seminar that Gregory led and Postorino and Smart both attended. Postorino said he still uses a lot of the stuff Gregory shared, including trying to making contact with recruits and their coaches daily – five phone calls, five hand-written notes …

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Tech linebackers making progress

Before practice this afternoon, a quick update on the linebackers.

Julian Burnett, who started the final eight games of last season and led the team in tackles, and Daniel Drummond, who was ineligible for most of last season, are working with the first team at inside linebacker. Drummond has moved to linebacker after playing B-back his first two years at Tech.

“Julian’s building upon what he learned last year and so in that respect, he’s playing even faster,” linebackers coach Joe Speed said. “He’s picking up his keys instantly.”

Given the learning curve associated with Al Groh’s defense, Drummond’s ascent to the first team is noteworthy.

“He’s willing to put in the time and the effort to put his nose in the playbook and learn what he needs to,” Speed said of Drummond.

Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu figures to make more plays like this in the fall. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu figures to make more plays like this in the fall. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

An outside linebacker who has made considerable gains this spring is Jeremiah Attaochu, who played 12 …

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Gregory hires Postorino as second assistant

Basketball coach Brian Gregory has hired his second assistant coach, former Clemson assistant Josh Postorino. He was most recently the director of basketball operations at DePaul University in Chicago under Oliver Purnell.

Postorino played and coached at Dayton, Gregory’s previous employer. Postorino played at Dayton 1995-99 and was a staff member for three seasons starting in 2000. He left with Purnell when he was hired at Clemson in 2003, when Dayton hired Gregory to replace him, but then took an assistant coaching job at Marshall. He returned to Clemson and was on staff 2007-10.

Postorino joins Chad Dollar on Gregory’s staff. He still has a third assistant to hire.

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B-back update: Lyons, Watson still out front

A quick update on B-backs. I’m planning on writing something for the paper either later this week or next week.

Preston Lyons and Richard Watson are getting most of the reps with the first unit, David Sims and Charles Perkins with the second group. They have been switching them a little bit to give Sims and Perkins a chance to run behind the first-string line, though Paul Johnson noted Wednesday that apparently hasn’t done them a lot of favors.

Sims is having some trouble getting out of the stance, as might be expected of someone in his first two weeks at the position. He and Perkins both are struggling with the pass-blocking aspect of the position. Perkins, a rising redshirt freshman, didn’t block at all in high school as a tailback at Collins Hill and worked with the scout team last fall. Sims has spent most of his time at Tech at quarterback.

“I know what I can do when I have the ball in my hands,” Perkins said. “It’s the whole blocking aspect and all that” that has been …

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Tech spring practice No. 10

Greetings, all-

Some notes from Tech’s Wednesday afternoon practice at Bobby Dodd. I’ll have more Thursday….

Perhaps it would be more noteworthy if Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson were satisfied with the offensive line’s play in spring practice and not displeased. Regardless, the play of the line in Wednesday’s practice left Johnson in an unsparing mood.

“There’s 10 offensive linemen out there,” Johnson said, answering a question about the team’s injury status, before clarifying. “There’s 10 bodies.”

The Jackets return three starters on the line from last season’s unit that helped Tech lead the nation in rushing — guards Omoregie Uzzi and Will Jackson and tackle Phil Smith. Regardless, the line has been a weak spot throughout the spring. Asked about the competition at B-back, Johnson said it was difficult to discern, implying the blame lay with the line.

The B-backs “don’t really have much of a chance, if you want to know the truth,” he said. “It’s hard to tell.”

Johnson …

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Dollar joins Gregory’s staff

Chad Dollar has joined Brian Gregory’s coaching staff at Georgia Tech.

Dollar played at Douglass High School, where his dad, Don, coached. Chad played three seasons at South Florida before transferring to Milligan.

He has spent the past 12 seasons as an assistant coach, including on NIT champion Wichita State this most recent season. He is Gregory’s first announced hire.

“The chance to join coach Gregory, one of the top coaches in the country, and to come back home is an unbelievable opportunity for me,” Dollar said in a statement. “I look forward to helping the Georgia Tech program get to the place where it needs to be in the ACC and the nation.”

His brother, Cameron, is the head coach at the University of Seattle and starred at UCLA.

Before going to Wichita State, Dollar spent three seasons as an assistant coach under John Brady at Arkansas State (2008-10) and at LSU (2007-08). Dollar coached the 2006-07 campaign at Murray State and spent four seasons (2002-06) as an …

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Caravan begins tonight in Macon

The Yellow Jacket Caravan will make its first stop in Macon. Athletic director Dan Radakovich, football coach Paul Johnson and Wes Durham will be at the Idle Hour Country Club. The event, which will be open to the public, begins at 6 p.m.

Tech asks guests to pre-register  at http://ramblinwreck.com/caravan.html.

The caravan will hit Tampa on Thursday and Dalton on April 19.

The finale, scheduled for May 3 at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, will include new men’s basketball coach Brian Gregory.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

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McCollum likes what he’s seeing from Tech’s defensive line

Georgia Tech defensive line coach Andy McCollum likes what he sees from his group.

Talking after Saturday’s practice, McCollum said that he can see improvement in defensive ends Izaan Cross and Jason Peters and nose tackle Logan Walls, all of whom started last year, the Yellow Jackets’ first in Al Groh’s 3-4 scheme.

The group goes nine deep with the addition of Chris Crenshaw. McCollum said he’s already seen flashes of good things from him.

There are still persistent issues the group must work on, according to McCollum: pad level and physicalness being the first two he named

He pointed out that defensive end Emmanuel Dieke got in a few games last year, mostly in pass-rushing situations. T.J. Barnes also got a lot of playing time at nose tackle. McCollum said Barnes has improved his conditioning and his toughness.

Perhaps the player everyone wants to know the most about is redshirt freshman Shawn Green, who was expected to challenge Walls and Barnes at nose tackle. McCollum …

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Defense shines at Tech’s practice

Georgia Tech had a to-be-expected rusty performance in its first lengthy full-pads scrimmage of the spring during Saturday’s practice at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

“It was pretty ragged,” coach Paul Johnson said. “I thought the defense did some good things, that was encouraging.”

The offensive line had issues throughout either trying to pick up blitzers or staying in their stance. They were flagged for several false-start penalties. The first-team unit was able to generate a push up the middle for the B-backs, but pitch plays outside and pass protection generally broke down. The line is trying to break in new tackles on both sides because the only returner with experience is Phil Smith.

“Those guys struggled a little bit up there, to be kind,” Johnson said.

They did hold off the young, aggressive defense long enough for Synjyn Days to find A-back Tony Zenon for a touchdown in the day’s only score.On the play, Days said he read the corner, who stayed up to cover a hitch route. Zenon …

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Stephen Hill working harder for Tech

Stephen Hill was usually the first player off Georgia Tech’s practice field last year.

This year, he plans on being the last off. He said last year’s 15-catch, 291-yard performance “could have been more of a disappointment,” but his tone made it seem like he wasn’t sure how. This year, a stronger Hill has rededicated himself to doing the extra things that he thinks will lead to better results. Coach Paul Johnson said Hill put too much pressure on himself to try and be the next Demaryius Thomas.

“The expectations were higher than what was accomplished, but you live and learn and Stephen’s working hard and hopefully he can come back, have a good spring and a good year next year,” Johnson said.

The hard work started in the offseason. Hill’s upper arms and forearms are noticeably bigger. He said he wanted to get stronger in both areas so that he could better secure the ball after catches and in jump-ball situations, as well as successfully fight off cornerbacks who try to jam him …

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