What to do with Vad Lee?

Greetings-

I don’t have much in the way of news for you. (That sentence kind of begs you to keep reading, doesn’t it?) There was no media availability Thursday and just about everything I learned this week of note has been put in a blog or a story. I can tell you that the scrimmage will be open on Saturday, as long as the weather cooperates. It starts at 9:30 a.m. If it’s inclement, check ramblinwreck.com for updates. You should know that parking and traffic will likely be a bit messy, as students will be moving in in advance of the start of classes on Monday. (A shout-out to three members of the freshman class – Edwin Choate, Stephen Dubbert and Kyle Hosford.)

Perhaps someone on the blog can make a recommendation, but I think maybe the student center parking deck might be your best bet if you have to drive. MARTA, of course, would be easier.

I was on campus this morning and Techwood Drive was closed off of North Avenue except for people moving in, and I would imagine it’d be the same Saturday morning.

I was there, actually, to speak with Denzel McCoy, who won’t be playing this year and probably ever again because of what we learned today was a cardiomyopathy diagnosis. (Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle, according to the Cardiomyopathy Association. It is not curable but can be treated. McCoy said his condition is improving, which gives him hope of playing again.

Friday was the first time he spoke with media about it. Really impressive kid who has handled this setback well. He still hopes to play again – coach Paul Johnson said his career is probably over – but if he doesn’t play again, it’ll be a small pothole in the greater scheme of things. Those who know him say he’s intelligent, personable and driven, and I found all three to be true. His best days are ahead of him. I’ll write more about it next week.

Anyway, I thought I’d pose a question to you and let you offer your thoughts. You can choose to answer it or, as seems to be the pattern here, debate the validity of Georgia Tech’s four national championships.

It’s Aug. 2015. You commute on your jetpack, Skype on your virtual-reality 12G glasses (which, for all I know, already exist) and, per the Surgeon General’s health recommendations, eat fried chicken, bratwurst and cheese fries and drink milkshakes three meals a day.

Anyway, Vad Lee is in training camp with the world champion Cincinnati Bengals, joining reigning NFL Super Bowl MVP Michael Johnson. (I am going to say this scenario is considerably more likely than the fried chicken thing.) Back at Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets are trying to break in freshman quarterback “Flyin’” Brian Wells. With Lee having gotten nearly all of the snaps, there’s no quarterback on the roster with much experience. You think that it sure would be nice if Lee had another year of eligibility and think back to the 2011 season and wonder it was worth it to play Lee as a freshman…

I understand the sentiment and rationale. Johnson and others have raved about him. He’s the new thing. Few fans seem to be very enthused with Tevin Washington (though I think he’ll surprise people).

It may inform your opinion, I imagine, that you’ve been through this before. In 2007, I suppose plenty of you were excited to see what then-true freshman Joshua Nesbitt that season could do for some of the same reasons. Nesbitt was coming up behind Taylor Bennett and Calvin Booker.

His play in the preseason and his obvious athletic ability compelled then-coach Chan Gailey to find a place for him. There were comparisons with how Tim Tebow had been used as a freshman at Florida.

“I’m excited to see what Josh might be able to do with a package like that, ” Gailey said in an Aug. 2007 story by Matt Winkeljohn. “How much can he get? How much can he absorb to be able to take into the early part of the season? That remains to be seen. But he showed he certainly has some running ability and made a couple of good throws out there, too. He’s well on his way to being a productive player this year.”

Obviously, hindsight would indicate that wasn’t the best decision. The season bombed, leading to Gailey’s firing, Nesbitt didn’t make much of an impact and he burned his redshirt. I imagine most of you, if not all of you, wish Nesbitt had redshirted, which would have made him a senior in 2011.

Those calling for Lee to play are, I’d guess, imagining mostly the possibilities and not the risks. (Which is fine. That’s what being a fan is about.) But it’s possible that if Lee gets on the field, he may not make the impact fans are hoping for, as was the case with Nesbitt. (Which you could pin to some degree on Gailey, I suppose.) He might, certainly, but it’s no guarantee. Are you willing to accept that?

What Johnson has said repeatedly about his decision is that he’ll play if he can help the team win this year. So here’s the question. What, to you, would make it worth Lee playing this year and forego 2015? What degree of helping the team would make it worthwhile?

Does Tech have to have a certain record?

Do the Jackets have to beat certain opponents (perhaps one from Clarke County) and have Lee play a significant role?

Does Lee have to play a certain percentage of the time?

Does he have to start?

Are you comfortable with the risk that Lee could play and maybe cost Tech an important game because he makes a freshman mistake?

Or that, while he shows clear talent, he also shows he’s not quite ready to run the offense and ends up not playing much?

Obviously, you can’t know what will happen. But, still, questions to consider. What do you think?

255 comments Add your comment

reebok

August 19th, 2011
1:32 pm

Redshirt the young man. Tevin’s going to be fine this year.

Decatur Tech Fan

August 19th, 2011
1:42 pm

Sucks about McCoy, but CPJ is right, just a pothole in the grand scheme of things to come.

Redshirt Lee unless Washington and Days are injured. If you told me right now that if and only if we burned his redshirt, we would win the ACC Coastal and beat the dogs, I could get on board. Otherwise, give him a year to get adjusted to college and CPJ’s offense.

GT Anchorage

August 19th, 2011
1:44 pm

Dang, my comment got blocked for some reason. Should have copied it to try again.

To sum up what I said, redshirt Lee unless there is some crazy injury scenario. Tevin will win us quite a few games this year. Plus the defense is going to be a lot better

Old Gold and White in my veins

August 19th, 2011
1:45 pm

Quickly, I’d redshirt him. just don’t see him making a significant impact and would be great to have him that last year. Let’s learn from past mistakes. Not a big fan of the whole “trial by fire” thing unless it is an absolute emergency.

Any inside info on Joshua now being listed as a FS on the Bills website as opposed to a QB? He was listed as a QB with #7 until Wednesday, now a FS with #47.

TC Tech

August 19th, 2011
1:45 pm

Unless Lee is expected to start at some point in the season….red shirt him.

Jacket Man

August 19th, 2011
1:46 pm

So far, Vad has been the second best QB on the field and climbing fast. He’s the best passer by a mile. The only thing he needs to work on is his reads in the running game, and I have news for you, he’s way ahead of where anyone could have imagined when he stepped foot on campus this summer. At this rate, I suspect Vad WILL play just because it seems he’s already passed Days, at least at this point of two-a-days. I will say that Days has shown vast improvement recently, however, Vad continues to grow as well.

hahahaha!!!!!!

August 19th, 2011
1:46 pm

Put him in the nearest Publix. As a Yek “student” athlete he better get a head start on his career of bagging groceries.

GTHD

August 19th, 2011
1:47 pm

Redshirt unless you have to play him because of injury in which case we are probably screwed anyway.

bhamwreck

August 19th, 2011
1:48 pm

Pretty creative writing style today. Kinda feels like cannabis-influenced or something. Only caught a glimpse of the Steelers preseason game last night but was Jon Dwyer really as fat as he looked out there? I say if Lee is the real deal then play him asap.

Rodney Kent

August 19th, 2011
1:49 pm

If he shows he can compete on the D1 level this year, then place him on the roster. Everything in life is a gamble, ask all those who have money in the market! The only time a person should be a redshirt is that he incapable of performing at the D1 level in his freshman year (speed, weight, difficulty learning the system, etal).

In Johnson’s system, the quarterback is a target on every play. Even if Vad Lee was third on the depth chart, it makes little difference. With the amount of injuries in football, he could wind up being the number one quarterback before the second game. Roll the dice, and play him.

However, it would be foolish of any coach to sit people on the bench when they can help the team. The most overhyped statements in football are “conditioning” and “sucking it up”. The consistent winners substitute a lot and try to play as many players as is possible. This not only keeps fresh players in the game, it keeps all the players satisfied that the coaches are looking out after their interest and the players become part of the enthusiasm instead of complainers sitting on the bench wasting their time.

Losing coaches are generally poor in their substitution abilities. They like to use excuses such as blaming the players, conditioning, and the players need to “suck it up” when they are tired.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 19th, 2011
1:50 pm

I say if he’s the best QB on the team, yet the only thing lacking is experiance, then play him now.

If not a starter, then only if your starter gets hurt and you need him play him, don’t play him just for special packages like Tebow and USC did with Shaw.

otherwise you have same issue next year where you have to brake in new QB, and next year the schudule is going to be harder.

But if the other QB’s are better, let them start and give Vad a Red-Shirt to develop

Ken Sugiura

August 19th, 2011
1:51 pm

more redshirt sentiment than i figured. Old Gold – No inside info, but the Bills listed him at first as QB/S, so there was some acknowledgement at the beginning that he could move. The Bills have four other quarterbacks in camp, three of whom they’re committed to keeping, which likely made it hard for Nesbitt to get a chance.
He was a terrific high school safety and obviously a great athlete with the right mentality for the game. It’s probably his best shot at sticking, presumably on practice squad.

GT Joe

August 19th, 2011
1:54 pm

Honestly, there is NO need to redshirt. Putting a kid on the practice squad is like making him sit on the couch all season. Look at the folks we redshirted last year; many are not any better off. Maybe stronger, but they don’t know the schemes in real time or have any game experience.

As for Gailey burning Josh’s redshirt: Bennett and Booker were pocket passers and Josh was going to be a “slash” type player, kinda like what Gailey did with Kordell Stewart. He could have added a dimension to the offense, but the season didn’t pan out well enough for Gailey to gamble a lot on “slash”. I don’t have a problem with the decision.

Josh was great, and a cool dude, but if he were playing this year, he wouldn’t do much more than Tevin. Offense didn’t drop off with Tevin playing last year, and Tevin seems more of a leader this year than Nesbitt was last year.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 19th, 2011
1:58 pm

Wow just saw the Georgetown China b-ball team fight, that was ugly, one of the Georgetown coaches leveled one of the China players at the end.

GT Joe

August 19th, 2011
1:59 pm

If Tevin goes down this year, who would you rather have, Vad or Days? Vad for sure. Also, if you redshirt Vad, Tevin will probably start next year too because of game experience. How would Vad beat Tevin for the job next year without game experience?

CPJ is stacked at a-back, b-back, and QB position is not far behind. We’re going to be reloading at all positions soon, including QB. So keep Vad on the roster, but use him. A lot.

Old Gold and White in my veins

August 19th, 2011
2:00 pm

Thanks for your insights Ken, personally feel DB would be his best shot at sticking around somewhere. Any new info you get would certainly be appreciated whenever you get it. And for the record, the only place on the planet that refuses to recognize Techs four nc’s is a tiny town located in NE Georgia.

CPJacket

August 19th, 2011
2:00 pm

Unless CPJ “really” uses him a lot, I hope he redshirts. What I do NOT want is for them to put Vad on the scout team. He needs to be on the travel squad and available in case of an injury like with Josh last year. He NEEDS to keep getting triple option repetitions all fall in practice.

GT Joe

August 19th, 2011
2:02 pm

I can see Vad playing the 2nd half against Western Carolina and Kansas. Let’s get him game experience; who knows, he could beat out Tevin THIS year. Some kids just turn it on under the lights.

Stinger 2

August 19th, 2011
2:06 pm

As long as CPJ is the cosch, it does not matter who plays QB except that he must be strong enough to take a lot of hits. The passing ability does not matter in an offense that throws only 8 or maybe 10 passes per game. Play the most durable one until he gets hurt then play the next toughest one.

final score > total rushing yards

August 19th, 2011
2:08 pm

“What to do with Vad Lee?”

Why don’t you nerds continuing what you have been doing with Vad Lee, and OBSESS over the kid.

Then be hypocrites and make fun of UGA fans for being excited about a freshman.

Vad Lee: 3 star QB with a youtube video whom you nerds feel will be the next Mathew Stafford.

And you are also LIARS AND CHEATERS!!!!

9-1

GT Rich

August 19th, 2011
2:09 pm

Wih this offense, we always need two QBs who have in-game experience. Redshirt Vad unless Days or Tevin gets injured. If one of them gets injured, Vad should see the field in non-critical game situations.

Dire Jacket

August 19th, 2011
2:12 pm

Redshirt him so our new coach next year will have 4 years with a decent QB talent

Nick

August 19th, 2011
2:14 pm

Ken, thanks for your efforts as always. It’s often hard to make something out of nothing, and it’s interesting to hear your spin on the perpetual Vad questions. At the end of the day I just want the best QB on the field. I am rooting for all QBs, including the seemingly forgotten R-FR Days who has plenty of upside as well. Ultimately I don’t want any true freshman QB to take the field if CPJ does not intend for him to eventually start THIS year.

GT Joe

August 19th, 2011
2:14 pm

final score: what the h3ll does your silly screen name mean?

Better yet, get back to Hee Haw.

headley lamar

August 19th, 2011
2:14 pm

Don’t really think it matters.

Tech is a 6 win a year team from here on out after the Gailey talent left.

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 19th, 2011
2:16 pm

In the immortal words of Herm Edwards – “you play to win the game”. If Vad Lee will help GT win this year you play him – and that is CPJ’s call.

GT Joe

August 19th, 2011
2:16 pm

Headley; ignorance must be bliss.

Tevin was Mississippi player of the year. Perkins was Georgia player of the year. Vad was NC player of the year. All CPJ recruits.

GT Anchorage

August 19th, 2011
2:16 pm

headley, you forgot to mention that Vegas predicts Tech to be a 6 win team and they are ready to take your money. You must have forgotten to copy that from the last blog.

GT Joe

August 19th, 2011
2:17 pm

Not to mention, Gailey talent doesn’t fit CPJ’s system. Believe it or not, Nesbitt did NOT fit CPJ mold of triple-O QB.

PerimeterCenterJacket

August 19th, 2011
2:17 pm

I say regardless the record (which needs to be at least 5W’s based on the schedule anyway) beat the rivals who are most emotional for the fans. GU, CU, and VPI&SU. That’d be an 8 win season and the best kind.

hahahaha!!!!!!

August 19th, 2011
2:18 pm

His handle is pretty obvious. He is mocking the moronic tool trolls on here that have tried to spin their LOSSES to UGA with idiocy like “so what!! At least we had more offensive yards!!!”

Richard

August 19th, 2011
2:19 pm

Redshirt him. If something happens injury-wise you can always burn it later.

Old Gold and White in my veins

August 19th, 2011
2:20 pm

Whatever CPJ decides, I’m sure it will be fine. The man can flat out coach football. Damn if it ain’t great to be a Jacket!!!

GT Joe

August 19th, 2011
2:20 pm

Oh now I get that stupid handle. Apparently the “>” sign means something else at UGA.

Hint: leave the mathematical symbols to the big boys; because the final score will NEVER be more than Tech’s rush yards.

Buzzed

August 19th, 2011
2:22 pm

Joe: All cpj recruits – and yet to prove a thing. Jury’s still out on whether johnson can recruit.

Old Gold and White in my veins

August 19th, 2011
2:23 pm

ha, unless I am mistaken, the only time I have seen any Jacket fan reference our total yardage against UGA was in response to claims that UGA kicked our asses. It simply was not true and we do not preach the “moral victory” angle like all you UGA trolls think we do.

Buzzed

August 19th, 2011
2:23 pm

“Better than” is better than “more than”

Spock

August 19th, 2011
2:24 pm

So glad all of our student athletes are brilliant. Anyone of them could work at NASA!

GT Anchorage

August 19th, 2011
2:24 pm

PerimeterCenterJacket , you think that if we beat Virginia Tech, Georgia, Clemson, and whoever SU is that we will only win 8 games? If we beat all of those teams, I would think that we would be looking at 10 or more wins. I agree with the 8 win season, but not with us beating all of those teams. I think we beat Clemson, and I have no idea about the Virginia Tech and Georgia game (they could be really good or really bad, who knows).

GT Joe

August 19th, 2011
2:24 pm

Buzzed: if they haven’t proven anything yet, then, by definition, they haven’t proved that CPJ can’t recruit, right?

Play Him

August 19th, 2011
2:26 pm

I say play him and go through the groing pains now. Tevin isn’t SOO experienced that it lends a huge advantage. We will still have some of those pains with him in my opinion. If you redshirt Vad, next year we have a senior in Tevin and a better RS Freshman sitting behind him just wasting away another year. Whose to say Vad will stay a full 4. In your scenario, we only use Vad for 2 seasons, because the RS year counts towards 3 and out. So while some may say, “wish we had him for another year,” it’d be real nice to have him for 3 or 4 full years, rather than watch him sit again next year behind Tev. There is no way a RS gets played over a 2 yr starting senior. Go through the pains now and enjoy 3 and a half years of thrill starting 2011!

wreckbuzz

August 19th, 2011
2:26 pm

It’s a false choice. If Paul Johnson deems that Vad Lee is the best QB and thereby worthy of starting, then I don’t care about 2015. 2015 will take care of itself. Think about it this way. What if Lee is so good that he elevates the program to competing for the ACC championship? Then recruiting his replacement will be easier (along with other players to go with him).

The true mistake Gailey made was that he didn’t have any good QB’s in front of Josh Nesbitt. Nesbitt was obviously not ready. I don’t think Paul Johnson has the same problem. I think Tevin Washington can run the offense and that Synjyn Days could surpass Washington for what he can do in real game situations (as opposed to practice). So the praise that Johnson is giving Lee is real, not hyperbole. As we all know Johnson is not given to blowing anybody’s skirt up that don’t deserve it.

Buzzed

August 19th, 2011
2:26 pm

OG&W: Your total yardage figures were used to support the moral victory argument plenty of times by plenty of techies. Dawgies just said more points is better than more yards.

Jacket1985

August 19th, 2011
2:26 pm

Redshirt him and burn it if you have to.

Buzzed

August 19th, 2011
2:27 pm

Joe: You set those names out there as if that was proof that cpj COULD recruit. I’m not saying he can’t; just that it hasn’t been proven yet.

GT Joe

August 19th, 2011
2:28 pm

Buzzed: sorry; when I read comments from UGA, I have to lower my IQ by about 50 points.

Every in the world (except forAthens), the “>” sign means more than. Apparently in Athens, though, it means “better than”. LOL.

Just need to store that one in the memory banks. Like when you country bumpkins say “fixin ta”. Not really “fixing” anything, but I get your country talk (and now, country math).

wreckbuzz

August 19th, 2011
2:28 pm

To me, the “what if’s” and “could have beens” are for not playing a QB soon enough, not the other way around. The only way a young QB gets better is by playing. So there’s no reason to redshirt him if he’s already progressing as good or better than a Junior or RS Freshman.

Buzzed

August 19th, 2011
2:28 pm

Not proven yet EITHER WAY.

Jacket1985

August 19th, 2011
2:29 pm

Buzzed, I think the only thing that is going to help him recruit is winning consistantly. Even though we went to a bowl game, last year was pretty much a setback.

Just my thoughts.

Buzzed

August 19th, 2011
2:30 pm

Joe: Country bumpkin? Grew up in the heart of Buckhead (and not the one near Lake Oconee). UGA? How do you know that?