I’m posting notes from Tuesday practice. I will have fresh stuff up in the afternoon. Been kind of a nutty week.
Georgia Tech’s season-opening lineup is shaping up. Perhaps the most notable insight that coach Paul Johnson provided Tuesday is that B-back David Sims holds the edge to start less than five months after taking his first snap at that position.
“He worked his tail off,” Johnson said. “He earned it.”
Tech opens the season Sept. 1 against Western Carolina at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Sims played quarterback for his first two seasons but switched to B-back before spring practice, believing it would get him on the field quicker. Sims worked hard over the summer and rose from fourth on the depth chart behind Preston Lyons, Charles Perkins and Richard Watson to the top spot, for now.
“He just runs hard,” Johnson said.
The order, though, is subject to change and the backs have been getting rotated in practice between the starting unit and backups.
“I think the competition’s going to be tight all throughout the season,” Lyons said.
After Sims, Johnson said he wasn’t sure how Perkins and Lyons compare, and said game situations would dictate their use. Johnson offered a stern assessment of Perkins.
“His idea of working hard and mine aren’t the same,” Johnson said.
More lineup news
While no surprise, Johnson said that Tevin Washington will be the starting quarterback. He came into the spring and the preseason as the starter and has maintained his status over backup Synjyn Days.
“I would suspect that at least two of them will play, maybe more,” Johnson said.
More would be true freshman Vad Lee, who has earned praise from Johnson for his ability to absorb the offense.
Wide receiver Tyler Melton, who came back Monday from a strained calf injury, is trying to fend off true freshman Jeff Greene for his starting spot.
Coaches are leaning toward starting guard Will Jackson at left tackle in place of Phil Smith, who has been suspended two games for violating team rules. Jackson, a freshman All-American last season at guard, is a bright player who should be able to make the adjustment. True freshman Trey Braun would start in Jackson’s spot. Another possibility is to start either Ray Beno or Catlin Alford in Smith’s place and keep Jackson at guard.
“For the time being, we’re trying to get our best five on the field,” Johnson said.
The lineup would elevate one of two true freshman linemen, Errin Joe or Shaq Mason, into the No. 3 guard spot.
Johnson liked the intensity of Tuesday’s practice better than Monday’s, though he said it still wasn’t where he’d like it to be. The offense and defense practiced against scout teams at the start of practice.
“It’s been about the same [as preseason practices)]” Lyons said. “The only difference is we’re not here all day, but practice itself is still pretty intense.”
Lyons has been wearing a knee brace after injuring his knee in Saturday’s scrimmage, but he doesn’t want to deal with it for long.
“Hopefully not, because I don’t like it at all,” he said.
The kicking jobs have not been determined. Justin Moore is competing with David Scully for the placekicking position. Moore, Scully and Chandler Anderson are competing to take kickoffs. … A new team auditorium is almost complete. “I’ve tried to poke my head in, but they keep it covered up with a tarp,” Lyons said.