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?