Updated: Tech safety Holton likely out for season

Some quick notes from Georgia Tech’s Monday practices. More later.

- Safety Fred Holton is most likely out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, sustained backpedaling in Saturday’s scrimmage. It’s unfortunate. After playing a lot of special teams as a freshman, Holton was one of the hardest workers over the summer and was making a run at a starting job in camp.

“It’s disappointing for Fred because he worked so hard and he was playing so well and he had a great camp,” coach Paul Johnson said.

Freshmen Zach Laskey and Demond Smith, who have been working at B-back and quarterback, worked at safety Monday.

“I’ve just got a lot of sympathy for him, wish he could be out there with us, but we’ve got to move forward,” said linebacker Julian Burnett, a close friend of Holton’s. “All we can do is just keep him in our hearts and play for him.”

Without Holton, the top option at backup safety is Jemea Thomas, who has been working at both safety and cornerback. Monday, the team worked two true freshmen at safety, B-back Zach Lackey and quarterback Demond Smith, at safety.

“Things happen,” Johnson said. “You just have to move on.”

- The team practiced twice Monday after having Sunday off. Johnson said the morning practice was “sluggish” but that tempo picked up in the afternoon. To help with numbers, Johnson is hoping several injured players will return. Wide receivers Tyler Melton, Daniel McKayhan and Jeremy Moore, cornerback Rod Sweeting, offensive tackle Phil Smith and safety Lance Richardson were among those not practicing. Wide receiver Stephen Hill returned to practice Monday.

“We’ve got to know the difference between hurt and injured,” Johnson said. “There’s a difference.”

Johnson, who had remarked upon the team’s enthusiasm and work ethic when camp began Aug. 3, was asked if he still saw those qualities after 15 practices.

“I think with the majority of the guys, yeah,” he said.

- Tevin Washington’s status as starting quarterback continues to be safe. Without naming names, Johnson said the pecking order at quarterback is “pretty clear to me.” Asked to clarify, he said, “I don’t think I need to, do I?”

Johnson said it is “amazing for [Lee] to be where he is,” but reiterated that he isn’t ready to play. “He’d be some kind of a guy with a cape if he was ready to come in and play right now.”

- One of the most improved players in the spring, outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu has continued his development, defensive coordinator Al Groh said. Attaochu has gotten past the stage of learning the terminology and responsibilities of his position and is now focusing on executing. He’s called on to rush the passer, stop the run and occasionally drop back in pass coverage.

As a sophomore who started one game as a true freshman, “every facet of his game is in position to move forward, which he’s concentrating on doing,” Groh said.

- Inside linebackers coach Joe Speed on true freshman Jabari Hunt-Days: “(He has) physical tools, picking up the game, picking up the defense. (There is) a lot of verbiage for him, so I’m sure it’s fast for him right now, but once he picks it up, he’s going to be able to have a clear mind so he can play faster.”

- Competitions for kickoff specialist and punter are ongoing. Johnson said punters Sean Poole and Chandler Anderson “have a good battle going.”

69 comments Add your comment

TB

August 15th, 2011
8:30 pm

First. There are some awesome CPJ quotes over the years. “I don’t think I need to, do I?” Awesome.

David

August 15th, 2011
8:32 pm

macrotech

August 15th, 2011
8:36 pm

We gotz some folk that need to mend…speedy recovery Jackets!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
8:37 pm

Hey, macro. you still here?

Ken Sugiura

August 15th, 2011
8:37 pm

Congrats, TB. I should point out, at the risk of bursting your bubble, he didn’t say that with a smart-aleck tone. but, yes, it’s what makes him CPJ.
The “not after watching today’s practice” answer to a question last week about if he thought Tech was underrated was pretty good, too.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
8:44 pm

I hate hearing about injuries…..hate it for the kid and the team as a whole

spider

August 15th, 2011
8:49 pm

WARNING GT FANS, be carefull when you guys travel to byu in a couple years. they claim they are some kind of christians but they are the big cheaters..they actually cheated on the field in a game last year at end of game that enabled them too win in the last minute. ncaa did nothing but moutain west slapped their hands and changed a league rule but since they are no longer in the league they can go back too cheating.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
8:50 pm

spider, don’t want to get into a religious discussion or argument here, but Mormons are not Christians, even though they want everybody to think they are

George Stein

August 15th, 2011
8:54 pm

Whatever, Spider.

I’m not too worried about Mormons. Hell, I’m gonna vote for one for president.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
8:55 pm

George, I will too if he’s the candidate, but I really don’t think he will be

George Stein

August 15th, 2011
8:55 pm

I feel awful for Holton. I hope he focuses on school and gets himself healthy and experiences no long term damage to his ankle.

George Stein

August 15th, 2011
8:56 pm

I’ll vote for whoever has the “R” next to his or her name, Supersize. But I agree, it likely won’t be Mitt.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
8:56 pm

yeah, nothing like a year off with limited mobility to start hitting the books

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
8:57 pm

same here, George

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
8:57 pm

dang, I wish macrotech would come back. He and I need to talk

George Stein

August 15th, 2011
8:59 pm

Yep, Supersize. It’d be cool if he followed Roddy’s footsteps and was a candidate for his MBA in a few years.

JACKETfan12

August 15th, 2011
8:59 pm

Too bad for Holton. I was really hoping to see him on the field this year. He can deliver some punishing hits. Now we’re gonna be thin at safety and in the secondary. We have some awesome athletes, but we’re a little thin now. Holton would have helped make an awesome group of safetys. I just hate it for him because he has been working so hard.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:00 pm

hell yeah, George

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:01 pm

JACKETfan, let’s just hope somebody else steps up, learns fast, and gets the job done.

Worm

August 15th, 2011
9:05 pm

Tech has been blessed to not have many injuries on Johnson’s watch..Good luck to fred

SavannahJacket

August 15th, 2011
9:07 pm

Good Luck Fred! We hope that you have a speedy recovery. I have heard nothing but good things about this young man and his work ethic. Get well, we look forward to seeing you on the field next year.

JACKETfan12

August 15th, 2011
9:07 pm

I agree, Supersize. This will open up some snaps for some of the younger guys. Once Dominique Noble becomes healthy again, I am sure he will be thrown in the mix. He had a great prep career. Now he may see the field earlier than he had expected. Guys like him and Lance Richardson will need to step up and learn the schemes quickly. Having Noble out right now is definitely not helping. Gosh it hurts having Holton out. It seemed to me that he would be starting at some point this season. His big frame would fit well in the 3-4.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:10 pm

I’m just not familiar with too many of the young guys on the team. You guys seem to know a whole lot more about them than I do. Of course, living in Augusta doesn’t give me any opportunities to hear much of anything at all about the Jackets. I have to rely on what I read on these blogs, and what I see on the field once the season starts.

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 15th, 2011
9:16 pm

I hate to see any kid get hurt. Hopefully Holton will recover and be back at 100% in time for the 2012 season.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:18 pm

Hey, Paul. How’s the weather up there in NH?

George Stein

August 15th, 2011
9:19 pm

About to ask the same question, Supersize. I lived in Raleigh for a year and didn’t want to leave. Had to be a rough move, Paul.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:20 pm

yeah, but NH is a beautiful state. I have friends who live near The Old Man in the Mountain….or what’s left of it

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:20 pm

Gets COOOOOLLLLLLDDDDD there in the winter though. lol

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 15th, 2011
9:24 pm

Supersize – today the weather could best be described as miserable – low 60s and raining like crazy. Having said that, last week was beautiful – mid 80s, clear and sunny. Sure as heck beat the week before when I was loading up boxes in Raleigh in 100+ heat.

George Stein

August 15th, 2011
9:25 pm

Never been to NH myself. My roommate in law school went to Vermont, though. We went up there one winter and it was bitter cold. Lake Champlain was beautiful, though.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:25 pm

Paul, I figured it would be mostly nice up there now. I think you will love the Fall in NH; very nice temps and beautiful to see. Temps are going to be down a little in Augusta this week, and no rain for a couple of day predicted either. Too many 100+ days and late afternoon storms; I’m sick of it.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:26 pm

yeah, VT, NH, upstate NY, and Maine are all mostly beautiful

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 15th, 2011
9:27 pm

George,
We loved Raleigh and didn’t want to move, but with the employment situation these days you go where the job takes you.
We move into a house in walking distance of George O’Leary’s alma mater at the end of the month – it’s going to be good to get out of a corporate apartment.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:29 pm

what was O’Leary’s alma mater?

George Stein

August 15th, 2011
9:29 pm

Totally agree, Paul. Gotta do whatever it takes to keep the food on the table and the roof over your wife and kid(s)’ respective heads.

Spring for a good winter coat, though!

h2o

August 15th, 2011
9:30 pm

It’s good to have an amazing true freshman QB.
GT may need him sooner than later.

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 15th, 2011
9:30 pm

All of those areas are beautiful in Spring (beginning 5/1), Summer and espeically Fall (until around 10/1 when most of the leaves have dropped). It’s that long, cold, white period that is tough. I lived in PA just North of the Poconos for 15 years so I know what I am in for.

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 15th, 2011
9:31 pm

George O’Leary went to UNH in Dover, NH

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 15th, 2011
9:32 pm

Oops – UNH is in Durham, NH
Just down the road from Dover

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:32 pm

ok, thanks, Paul

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 15th, 2011
9:35 pm

My big problem up here this Fall is going to be trying to catch GT games on TV – but that is what streaming video on ESPN3 is for.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:36 pm

well, some games should be on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU. Do you get them?

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:40 pm

And you should be able to listen to all of them online too, on the 790 The Zone website

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 15th, 2011
9:40 pm

Yes – but the “world wide leader’s family of networks” does a lot of split coverages. I’ll definitely get the Thursday night game against VT. You can get plenty of sports on TV as long as the first name of the team playing is Boston.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:41 pm

I would have thought that the new ACC – ESPN contract would have given us sole coverage.

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 15th, 2011
9:42 pm

Back in May there were plenty of games to pick from. Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins. Pro sports is slightly more successful up here, but I am not a pros’ guy

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:44 pm

I’m not into pro sports either, other than golf……obviously. lol

FullMetalJacket

August 15th, 2011
9:47 pm

Bad news about Holton, he’s the kind of gamer we really need this year (and that we missed last year). Washington will have to make a helluva lot of improvement to win me over. If he can at least cut down on the turnovers it would be something. Completing passes to our own receivers would be icing on the cake. 7-5 if we’re lucky, and if we can start out 4-0. If we’re anything less than 4-0 by week five, we’re in really big trouble. I still have a lot confidence in CPJ, but after last year this new group of Jackets has to earn some respect.

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 15th, 2011
9:48 pm

See you again some time Supersize – I am off to read the UK papers to see whether the riots in my home town are topping the ones back in 1981.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 15th, 2011
9:48 pm

ok, I need to take a break. I was really hoping macrotech would check in again; I want to talk to him. I may be back in about an hour. If he checks in, somebody please tell him I was looking for him