Open competition in Tech secondary

Greetings-

Have a couple leftover bits from the Fred Holton story I wrote that ran in Monday’s paper. Aside from speaking with them about Holton, I asked secondary coach Charles Kelly a little about the position battles at the cornerback and safety spots (no starters return) and strength coach Neal Peduzzi about the work being put in by players this summer.

First, Kelly. As I think I mentioned in the story, Rashaad Reid and Isaiah Johnson finished spring ball as the starters with Holton just behind. Jemea Thomas is in the mix as well. Thomas will also get a look at cornerback.
As for Holton’s chances, “I think a lot of it depends on how much carryover he has from the spring,” Kelly said. “If you play physical like that, you’ll find somewhere for guys like that to play.”
Kelly said that the competition for the cornerback jobs is “going to be pretty open.” As you likely know, there’s some talent but also inexperience. Among the candidates — Rod Sweeting, Louis Young and Michael Peterson, who all lettered last season, and as well as Ryan Ayers and Thomas. Jamal Golden and Domonique Noble are incoming freshmen who will get a shot at cornerback.
Sweeting finished the season strong. Young didn’t get much playing time at corner last fall but played a lot on special teams and has good speed. They ended the spring as starters. For what it’s worth, Holton said Young has made a lot of progress this summer.

Thomas might have had the best spring of any secondary player. Peterson, a senior who graduated in December, probably has the best understanding of the defense. Ayers, who redshirted last fall, showed some promise in the spring.
I don’t get the sense that Kelly is sold on any of them. I’d say they’ve all shown the capacity to play but he’s looking for consistent performance.
“There’s some good competition,” Kelly said. “That’s what you always want.”

Peduzzi has been conducting testing for players this week in vertical jump, broad jump, bench press, squat, clean and pro agility drill. When I spoke with him last week, Peduzzi named four players who’d made notable progress – center Jay Finch, inside linebacker Daniel Drummond, offensive tackle Phil Smith and wide receiver Stephen Hill.
“I’m sure there’s some other people I’m forgetting, which is going to get me yelled at,” Peduzzi said with a laugh, “but those guys, they’ve definitely been working hard.

119 comments Add your comment

OldSchoolTechFanatic

June 30th, 2011
7:01 am

I’m ready for some football, I think this years team is chomping at the bits to get out there and play hard and put last year behind them . Yellow Jackets !!!

Yazoo

June 30th, 2011
7:34 am

Ken-

As always, great work. One correction, Jemea didn’t letter last season, he did the season before and redshirted last year. I feel like we’ve got some great talent. If we can get these guys to lock down on their targets and we get more pressure on the QB, we’ll have a great year. Go Jackets!

Chad

June 30th, 2011
7:39 am

Thanks Ken. Nice job

Buzzed

June 30th, 2011
7:56 am

Who is the secondary going to practice against?

GSU Fan

June 30th, 2011
8:01 am

I think Tech is going to have a really good run over the next few years. Vad Lee seems to be the real deal and reminds me a lot of Raymond Gross running the option. When a passing threat is there you can really do some damage. Check out this option highlight of Raymond Gross.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPms0Se0C4M

Jacket Fan

June 30th, 2011
8:14 am

I believe the defense will be fine this year. Young and Ayers are four stars, if I remember correctly. Plenty of depth all around. Look forward to seeing Drummond at LB. Can TJ step it up like he should be able to? Have plenty of running backs, enough wide receiver competition to figure out who can do it. Can we get the receivers the ball, at least when they are wide open? We list a 262 pounder at one offensive tackle spot. With all due respect to the young man, that does not work in D1. Does that force us into a true freshman?

Buzz Me

June 30th, 2011
8:18 am

Hill cant catch a cold

Ken Sugiura

June 30th, 2011
8:52 am

yazoo- thanks. pardon the error. i’ll make the fix.
buzzed – funny.
good questions, jacket fan. the last is an important one. tackle is a big question.

ScurvyKnave

June 30th, 2011
8:54 am

The secondary looked better towards the end of the season last year…not sure if it was due to a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude or if coaching tweaks worked, so I’m looking for much improvement this season. Regardless, the D has had a while to grasp the 3-4 concept, so let’s do it!
Also, hoping that a reciever will again rise up to become a star – we need it. Gooooo Jackets! THWG!

Stinger

June 30th, 2011
8:58 am

UNdefeated BABY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big Macon DAWG

June 30th, 2011
9:47 am

@ Jacket Fan

“Young and Ayers are four stars…”

Riiiigggght….

Georgia Tech doesn’t sign 4 and 5 stars. Have to travel to Athens to see those athletes!

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
9:57 am

Big Macon thing, Tech can and will sign 4 and 5 stars in the future. We have before and we can and will again. No, the guy above is probably not correct that current players were 4 star recruits, but don’t say that we “don’t sign” them…because we will. I think this season will show that we have momentum behind this program more than people are willing to admit. Last season is not a repeatable outcome, and it won’t happen again anytime soon.

Go Jackets!

T3

June 30th, 2011
10:00 am

GT Offense will play much better than 2010 and COTINUE to average 30 pts/game.

What’s going to shock the the Hell out of everyone is how good the GT Defense is going to be.

Fitz

June 30th, 2011
10:00 am

Jabari Hunt-Days is a 4 star

hey big macon dawg

June 30th, 2011
10:08 am

in order to see most of the 4-5 star players in athens i thought it took a visitation pass?

now where are my fries.

Robert

June 30th, 2011
10:11 am

Big Macon Dawg, you are really a Big Mav=con FOOL!

Robert

June 30th, 2011
10:13 am

Pardon my typing, but Big Macon Dawg is really a Big Macon FOOL!

Tokyo jacket

June 30th, 2011
10:16 am

Ayers and Young were both four-stars on scout and rivals. Check it out.

Glad to hear that two of our best four improvements in strength and conditioning are on the O-line. That’s what we need to help protect our QB.

T3

June 30th, 2011
10:29 am

GT 2011 defensse will have the best LB tandem with Daniel Drummond and Julian Burnett
since GT defense had the LB tandem of Phillip Wheeler and KaMichael Hall.

During the O’Leary years, GT had a good offense and a suspect defense.

During the Chan (EFN) Gailey years, GT had a good defense and a suspect offense.

In 2011, GT will finaly have both the Offense and Defense in gear.

2011 is going to be a great year at The Flats.

GT BBall

June 30th, 2011
10:35 am

It’s nice to talk football over here on the Tech blog. While thUGA fans are talking about potential probation and cheating scandals. LMAO!

mumbai anyone?

June 30th, 2011
10:35 am

Don’t blame CPJ for not getting 4-5 stars. Hard to get any when recruits visit and see that 70% of the student body is from India and freshman have replaced rat caps for turbans. If you wonder why Alexander Memorial was a ghost town last year and the AD is begging alumni to buy season football tickets, just look at who is in the student populace.

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
10:35 am

T3, I’m really pumped to see that LB corps do some damage. TFL’s are my absolute favorite part of any football game. I want them. Many, many of them. A steady stream of TFL’s and sacks is such a demoralizer to the opponent. I was a Phillip “Predator” Wheeler fanatic a few years ago, and I’m ready to see more of that!

Go Jackets!

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
10:38 am

mumbai, your racist comments are actually incorrect. The undergraduate population at Tech is 70% white american (not that that is an important thing, but there it is) and over 60% are from the state of Georgia. The International demographic is under 17% for undergrad (PhD candidates is a different story, but that’s true everywhere.) I’ll end with this – your racism is not welcome at Tech.

juvenal

June 30th, 2011
10:49 am

mumbai-Hines Ward is half Asian-which half do you REALLY dislike more?

We_Run_This_Country

June 30th, 2011
10:58 am

STFU about GT recruiting…….Yes, Ryan and Ayers were 4* recruits….not that it means anything though (see Caleb King).

Harvey

June 30th, 2011
11:02 am

Mumbai just wrote what I think is the most stupid paragraph I’ve ever read in the AJC.

BuzzGT

June 30th, 2011
11:07 am

Ryan Ayers, BJ Bostic, Denzel McCoy, Anthony Williams, and Louis Young were all four star recruits for 2010.

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
11:09 am

For what it’s worth I think recruiting is only getting better. If you don’t think so now, then just wait and see how it is once this “new attitude” hardworking team actually goes out and wins some meaningful games this season. Only the right kind of good recruits will want to join a team of humble, disciplined, hardworking dudes who win games…with all the Tech tradition and history, with the great education (no matter what major you choose), right near downtown Atlanta, the list goes on. Things are looking up on The Flats for sure.

Go Jackets!

Big Ol Stinger

June 30th, 2011
11:19 am

I’m sure Ken Sugiura was impressed by Mumbai’s comments.

I picture a fat white redneck, two or three chins, overalls, no shirt, straw hat with a red “G” hat band, riding a tractor on a peanut farm.

I can almost hear the banjo music. Woof Woof Woof.

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
11:31 am

Big Ol Stinger, that might work for you, but I like to picture my “mumbai” in a tuxedo t-shirt because it says “I learned life lessons from watching Talladega Nights, but I’m here to Party in the U.G.A.”

We Jackets are “too busy to hate” but for “the other state school” we’ll make an exception. Go Jackets!

Tiger Woods

June 30th, 2011
11:31 am

Mumbai! Stop being racist in my back swing!

Buzzed

June 30th, 2011
11:35 am

Harvey: You just haven’t read too many of these blogs, then.

Big Macon DAWG

June 30th, 2011
11:39 am

Tech has never been able to get elite athletes. It’s just not a “football school”.

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
11:52 am

Wow. What was Calvin Johnson? Or the entire 2007 class?! Sheesh, you wouldn’t know Georgia Tech sports if it beat you on your home field in the rain in a season when you were predicted to win the MNC….

Buzzed

June 30th, 2011
11:58 am

Perimeter Center: You keep living off that aberrative circumstance for the rest of your life. It hasn’t been repeated by the ‘new sheriff’.

St. Simons

June 30th, 2011
11:59 am

Glad to see that GT bballer forgot to mention Jarrett Jack’s recent run in with the law……. LMAO. It must have been a racest Dawg fan who pulled him over at 4 a.m.

T3

June 30th, 2011
12:08 pm

I’ll say it:

ALL people who drink and drive are morons !!

No matter what jersey you wore.

St. Simons

June 30th, 2011
12:09 pm

sorry, racist…….

St. Simons

June 30th, 2011
12:10 pm

And T3, you are correct.

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
12:11 pm

Aberrative, huh? I guess none of the All-Americans in our football history count either then? And yeah I’m aware CPJ hasn’t pulled in a 5 star who goes on to consensus All-American status and then gets taken in the first round – yet. But that really doesn’t stop me from seeing things as looking up for the program. You don’t have to agree…you might find out when whatever team you root for gets beaten by Tech this season.

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
12:13 pm

St. Simons, no here will apologize for Jarrett Jack. He did an idiotic thing. The racist comments were from a truly racist post above by “mumbai.” Read it and see for yourself. We’re not saying the Dawg fans are…but that one is. And it shouldn’t be welcome in Athens, Atlanta or anywhere!

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
12:14 pm

*no one here will…

4 and 5 star jackasses

June 30th, 2011
12:19 pm

Better get to Athens quick before that coaching staff coaches all those 4 and 5 star recruits down to 2 and 3 star players.

jackets

June 30th, 2011
12:19 pm

Speaking of 4 stars, wasn’t Jeremiah Attaochu also a 4 star recruit for 2010?

LMFAO!!!!

June 30th, 2011
12:32 pm

“Why is it that during recruiting season they sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players? I don’t understand that. What happens to them?”

Steve Spurrier qouted after 45-13 defeat over the fleabags in 1991

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
12:39 pm

I can’t bring myself to like Spurrier much, but that’s pretty funny.

GT BBall

June 30th, 2011
1:02 pm

I mentioned NCAA probation and cheating scandals that thUGA is dealing with on campus athletes.

Dawgtard fans mention Jarret Jack as an equal argument. An Ex-GT athlete who just acted like a fool and got caught. The list of Ex-thUGA athletes and administrators who run afoul of the law is a VERY LONG LIST. Let’s start with your esteemed ex-player (really ask any chick in buckhead) and ex-AD about drinking and driving. How that for a trump card!

Now back to the NCAA investigating UGA sports for more cheating …

Ncaa Probation

June 30th, 2011
1:17 pm

Gt hypocrites, which institute was on probation most recently? Playing ineligible players not working towards a degree, flunkgate, Reuben Houston, athlete overdosing on Heroin, Joe Hamilton, basketball team losing 2 ships due to poor grad rates.

PerimeterCenterJacket

June 30th, 2011
1:27 pm

I believe “the other state school” in Athens had players suspended most recently…and as for hypocrisy, how’s Damon Evans?! “Hey kids, it’s not the Georgia way to drink and drive. Ever. (unless you’re me when I’m partying with a lady who’s not my wife)”

Either way, Jack’s a former Tech athlete and his actions are embarrassing and not anything we’d ever defend. But don’t throw stones if you make your home in a glass farmhouse in Athens. Because right now the most recent NCAA allegations are there. Not Atlanta. Athens. That’s for the second off-season in a row. Tread lightly unless you want to be continually reminded.

GT BBall

June 30th, 2011
1:28 pm

Jan Kemp, Norwin Cowins – Crack dealer, Damon Evans – DUI, lying, cheating. Vince dooley – drops out of politics over extramarital affiar, Herschel – Free trans Am to play. UGA football recruits steal from UGA locker room. UGA boosters sleeping with Gym dawg coach causes issues in Athletic Dept. UGA Coaches sued for not reporting summer camp income.

Trump Card X3, NEXT topic please!