Johnson: No decision yet on Lee

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson offered a little more light into his decision regarding Vad Lee on Wednesday’s ACC coaches teleconference. Asked about how Lee, the true freshman quarterback from Durham, N.C., was doing, Johnson said he is “probably well ahead of where we thought he might be.”

He went on to say that coaches hadn’t made a decision on whether to play him this year, which, if you’re into parsing, is a little different than what he had said on his radio show Tuesday night, when he said he knew “what’s in my mind right now” about the decision to play or redshirt Lee. (Unless what was in his mind was one of those question mark bubbles.)

“He’s certainly on our travel squad and will dress,” Johnson said Wednesday. “We’re going to have to make that decision here pretty quickly. But he’s done great. We’re really excited about Vad.”

If indeed a decision has yet to be made, one could reasonably conclude that Lee wouldn’t play Thursday night against Western Carolina in order to protect his redshirt.

40 comments Add your comment

David from Athens, AL

August 31st, 2011
3:53 pm

Probably a smart move …


August 31st, 2011
3:57 pm

I bet he plays.

If Tevin...

August 31st, 2011
4:09 pm

…is really that much better so the Vad is 3rd string, then by all means keep the redshirt on him this year – after all, if Vad is behind a current soph then it is highly inlikely that he will unseat him the next two years. But, if Vad is close to 2nd string, and really pushes for playing time, then play him this year, cause we all saw last year that this offense requires 2 QUALITY quarterbacks for this offense to run efficiently when one, inevitably, goes down…


August 31st, 2011
4:11 pm

nice to know we have a good QB for the future


August 31st, 2011
4:14 pm

I think CPJ has to think of this as, can Lee be our best QB with substantial playing time in our first 3 games, games which we are well favored to win. The schedule works real well to break in a freshman QB from North Carolina. The 4th game is at home against, drum roll, North Carolina. The next and first away ACC game is against,drum roll, NC State. Certainly Lee will have some extra motivation.

If redshirt him, I think Washington and Days are capable of getting us a number of wins, 8-4 +/-.

I fully trust and support whatever CPJ does.

George Stein

August 31st, 2011
4:26 pm

RS him. He’ll be more valuable when he’s 23 than he is when he’s 18.

John C.

August 31st, 2011
4:26 pm

With the amount of punishment our QB’s take running the option, I think he needs to play. Also, he is definitely a very good passer, which we desperately need to open up the running game.

Ken Sugiura

August 31st, 2011
4:30 pm

I’m with you, If Tevin… I think what’s going to have to happen for Lee to play this year is he goes gangbusters in practice over the next few weeks and also Tevin Washington and also Synjyn Days aren’t quite as good as expected.
I’m told that Lee has hit a little bit of a wall after his fast start, so I imagine that’s led coaches to be a little more cautious.
interesting point about the schedule, GTKurt, but I don’t think he’s going to play Lee just to find out if he can play. if he can’t, then he’s burned a year of eligibility over three games of relatively little consequence.


August 31st, 2011
4:38 pm

Ken, I said that if CPJ thinks Lee can be our best QB. CPJ is obviously better at recognizing who can play. Keep in mind Days has no experience and Tevin only 3 1/2 games. We have to see if they can play too. CPJ has said that he’ll put the best player in that gives us the best chance to win.
It is tempting to play Lee given the schedule.


August 31st, 2011
5:10 pm

If Lee is red shirted, who would be the third string qb?

Dawg Fan

August 31st, 2011
5:13 pm

I’d rather see you break in Vad Lee next year when GT’s schedule is a bit harder. That way, the odds are you techies will have another losing season.



August 31st, 2011
5:14 pm

Have the rules changed? It used to be that a player could see some limited amount of action in the first 3 games and still be red-shirted, but if a player played even one play after that third game he lost a year of eligibility. Not sure of the details, but I seem to remember something like that.


August 31st, 2011
5:16 pm

Good question Nate. It surely may be true that some time during the season we may have to play our third qb. So who would it be?


August 31st, 2011
5:18 pm

It is really simple……….will Vad Lee be more capable and valuable to the team as a true Freshman (part time player behind Washington) OR will he be more capable and valuable to the team as a Redshirt Senior (full time player)?

I say it would be rather dumb to play him this season UNLESS Washington & Days both struggle like crazy or even worse; if both get injured and cannot play.

Raise your hand if you would be happy having Josh Nesbit as our starting QB this season……..this is what we would be looking at IF we had redshirted him his first season. I sincerely hope I do not have a Deja-Vu moment in 4 years (Deja-Vu because I would be writing the same blog comments about Vad Lee being gone after we wasted an entire season of eligibility in 2011).


August 31st, 2011
5:22 pm

nate / carolina / bb – The redshirt is not “applied” today or before the first game, you get five years to play four. If you play in a game, it counts as the whole year. The “3 games” stuff is related to medical redshirts – if you only played in the first three games and were injured, you could petition for a medical redshirt.

And Vad is 3rd string this year. If we have to play the third QB, it’s Vad Lee.

Buford Dawg

August 31st, 2011
5:39 pm

You tech fans crack me up. You are so convinced CPJ is a terrible recruiter, you doubt he can ever recruit another QB as good or better to replace Vad. In that case, I’d agree with you. Sit Vad on the bench as long as possible. Maybe even get him a medical redshirt for years 2 and 3… Haaaaa….

M. B.

August 31st, 2011
5:46 pm

It’s good to know Dawg fans are beginning to learn to read. Their apparent ability to type is interesting; however, they probably have a Dawgette to type for them, and another one to press “Submit Comment.” Personally, were I a Doggie, I’d be more concerned about my team’s season. It ain’t gonna be as pretty as most of them think.


August 31st, 2011
5:50 pm

CPJ is a very capable recruiter. He has recruited players that fit his system and will develop into solid (some even superb) players. The AJC writers (and even some UGA fans on these blogs) are trying everything they can to negatively impact GT recruiting efforts. It is simply a smart strategy to redshirt Vad Lee if at all possible {best approach for GT & best approach for Vad Lee in my personal opinion}.

Mark Bradley was VERY misleading (I did not want to use the word lie) when he stated this year’s team was lacking talent……….he is off his rocker; we are relatively young, but the team definitely has talent to be VERY successful. Just watch what Coach PJ does with this team in 2012 & 2013 and then tell me he has “the least talented team in GT history”. Mark Bradley is a GT Hater and a joke of a so-called “reporter”.


August 31st, 2011
5:55 pm

Play him, don’t let him go a year without playing. Too many people have this way wrong, the question for incoming frshman palying is weather or not they can keep up with a much faster game speed. Lee obviously can, he will improve more and more this year if he even gets limited time playing. As for freshman mistakes, Days seems to make as many or more so let Lee have second string.

What about Ray Beno

August 31st, 2011
5:58 pm

Hey Ken,
Any word on whether or not Ray Beno will be starting in the left tackle position?

Play Him

August 31st, 2011
6:06 pm


agreed! Mark Bradley blows! I don’t know what you have to do to get fired in that business…it’s like being a weatherman…you basically can say whatever you want with no reprecussions as long as it’s not offensive. His HORRIBLE reporting is offensive. The AJC should have hired Coley Harvey a long time ago!!

John T

August 31st, 2011
6:22 pm

Can’t he stay as third string and practice with the team all season just in case we lose 2 Qbs in a game, but still keep his redshirt if he never actually plays? I would have him practice so that he could play, but not put him in unless we have no ther choice.


August 31st, 2011
7:04 pm

mark bradley is an a______, if he says up, its down and if he says it is black it is really white..liar cannot get fired fast enough..I remember when he tried his best to get CPJ to take the Auburn/ND job and Radokovich to take the GA/Tn job…and then after NCAA sanctions, he then called GT and both of these men every name in the book before anyone could understand what was really going on.

do not redshirt Vad Lee, the good ones leave after their junior year anyway


August 31st, 2011
8:22 pm

Redshirting is no longer needed at TECH in my opinion. It only takes 4 years or less to earn a degree. It used to take you 5 years. So, it would serve a player better to play early to gain the game experience so that he will be better prepared to contribute in his Soph thru Senior years. It frees up more scholarships sooner and the player is not faced with the decision of whether he will be accepted in Graduate School.


August 31st, 2011
8:24 pm

Redshirting can also serve as a safety net if a player gets hurt in his Sophomore, Junior and Senior years.


August 31st, 2011
8:32 pm

GTKurt does have a point Ken. If Tech plays well enough to play Vad Lee in the first 3 games it would be worth it. Then he could take a series or two over the next 9 games preparing him for a leadership roll in his Sophomore year. My only stipulation is that he has to be a very good player in practices not just someone with potential. Then any experience is great experience for the future.

Gr8 2b aFuzzyb

August 31st, 2011
10:00 pm

Many good points above. Mostly I think if Tevin struggles, that will be the biggest factor. Unless Lee is shell shocked by the new system and doesn’t have confidence, neither of which seems the case, then I say get him on the field. Kids want to play. On the pine, he may lose confidence and then Tevin might be hard to unseat next year if he excels this year. Personally I’d like to see all 3 get a fair amount of time over the first half of the season and let the number 1 emerge from there.

230gr Full Metal Jacket

August 31st, 2011
10:43 pm

Play him. Forget about him playing his senior season. If he turns out to be that good, there probably won’t be a senior season for him. Plus, if he is that good and Tech gets back to winning regularly, there will be other dual-threat QB’s out there that we will acquire during his playing years. Do you think Vad would’ve come to Tech if he had not been following Josh Nesbitt’s career? Other dual=threat QB’s will likewise be watching Vad (IF he’s that good, which all indications say he is) and thinking “I want to replace him”. Sure, we could mess up like they did playing Nesbitt too early, but the concern had better not be the 2012 or 2013 seasons. If all focus isn’t on doing whatever it takes to win in 2011, then we are doomed already. If that focus IS there, then CPJ should/will play whoever he needs to put on the field to win RIGHT NOW.


August 31st, 2011
11:54 pm


As a current student, I can testify it still takes more than 4 years to graduate. Most schools require 120 credit hours to graduate (15 per semester for 4 years), where as most GT majors require 132 credit hours (16.5 per semester for 4 years). If you are in one of the more difficult engineerings (EE, aerospace, chemE, biomed), more than 16 is suicide.


September 1st, 2011
12:05 am

It is just time to shut the nay-sayers up (Mark Bradley) and play some football. The Jackets will prove everyone wrong this year. It all starts tomorrow night. Mark Bradley says that the MTSU game is “dicey”. Tech wins by 3+ touchdowns. Let’s just hit the field.

Ken Sugiura

September 1st, 2011
12:43 am

as i think has been stated, lee is the third string quarterback and will presumably continue to be that, whether he plays or not. if washington and days both get hurt, lee will play, because at that point, he’d be the best available option. but if they don’t, and he continues as the third string but never gets in, he can keep the redshirt.
i don’t know about beno. a good question.
for what it’s worth, i think the notion that mark bradley is a georgia tech hater is off the mark (no pun intended). read this and tell me you think he has it in for tech.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 1st, 2011
12:52 am

The MTSU game is “dicey” because of all the times in the past that Tech teams have taken another team for granted and ended up struggling at best and losing at worst. Let’s hope this team is above doing that.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 1st, 2011
12:53 am

NiquePhotog, you should have been there when Tech was on the quarter system. It was not unusual for committed students to take 20 or 21 hours per quarter. That could sometimes end up being 6 different courses. It was HELL

[...] that went in the paper online, including coach Paul Johnson’s latest public appraisal of Vad Lee and a story on B-back David Sims. Also, this is not football-related, but former Tech tennis player [...]

Typical Tech fan

September 1st, 2011
7:27 am

Vad Lee will win four Heisman’s in a row along with 4 national titles. Book it!!! THWG!!!!!


September 1st, 2011
8:01 am


By “taken another team for granted” you really just mean that the high school teams ended up being more even with the Jckettes than you expected, right?


September 1st, 2011
9:05 am

Personally, I think there is a better case that all freshman should redshirt unless totally unavoidable that they play.

Personally though, my opinion is to let CPJ coach. It’s his decision and he knows more than any one of us with respect to what might be better, for the individual and the team.


September 1st, 2011
10:22 am


Yeah, my dad was there during the quarter system and went through the infamous “drown-proofing” class as well. Maybe he was just a genius, but he says I work way harder than he ever did and I’m doing the same major as him. I also do a lot of extracurricular activities though.

Have fun at the game! I’ll be on the Flats photographing the Jackets!


September 1st, 2011
11:59 am

Red shirt him, if Tevin has a good year then he will start again next year. I believe Tevin will have a solid year and keep the offense running at a high level. So I would rather Lee sit out this year then play some next year and then get 3 great years out of him.

I would also be very surprised if he left early for the draft. Nobody is going to take an option quarterback in the early rounds of the draft. Tech will also find a way to keep him for a 5th year even if he graduates in 4. No way is he transferring cause where can he go be a starting qb that is better then Tech?


September 1st, 2011
12:19 pm

If Tevin excels who cares if he is unable to unseat him? And BTW who on here truely thinks an option QB is going to leave early for the NFL? Are we serious that we think this kid will be able to leave after his Jr. year? That’s funny as hell and i’m a Tech fan….Those of you who believe that are more delusional than UGA fans who think they’re going to compete for the BCS title