Updates on injuries, Wright, Vad Lee


Got a little head start today, so I have post-practice notes for you a little earlier. Some news – Paul Johnson was less than thrilled with practice, Jeremiah Attaochu and Daniel Drummond both practiced (only non-contact drills) and A-back Marcus Wright has left the team. And… a Vad Lee update.

1. Linebackers Jeremiah Attaochu and Daniel Drummond both practiced Wednesday, Attaochu for the first time since his leg injury in the Oct. 1 N.C. State game. Drummond took part in his second practice in a row since a leg injury in the same game. Both wore gold jerseys, meaning they were limited to non-contact drills.

“For the defense this time of year, there’s not a lot of contact going on anyway,” coach Paul Johnson said.

Drummond has a better chance of playing than Attaochu, Johnson said.

“He’s got a chance,” Johnson said of Attaochu. “He’s getting better every day.”

2. A-back Marcus Wright has left the team, Johnson said. Wright, who started the season with an injury and then did not get into any games after his return, will take the year as a redshirt and may transfer after his expected graduation in May. Johnson said he hasn’t been with the team for two weeks. As he played as a true freshman in 2008, he would have a year of eligibility remaining. If he graduates, he could be eligible immediately for an FBS-level team.

“He was hurt and he had a hard time coming back from injury,” Johnson said.

In response to a question if the decision was a playing-time issue, Johnson replied, “He wasn’t going to play.” In a meeting between the two, the possibility of a redshirt year and transfer came up.

“It was a deal (where) he was going to redshirt and so there’s no use for him to be out there in a redshirt if he’s not going to play,” Johnson said. “He needs to finish school and we’ll try to help him find a place to go.”

Wright, from San Antonio, played 24 games for Tech with 43 carries for 265 yards.

3. A believer that a team plays how it practices, Johnson said he was concerned that practice has been “kind of lethargic.” He noted that the team has played six games in a row and that players have exams just in advance of fall break.

“It’s kind of the point in the season where you’re just a little bit lethargic and you’ve got to be able to push through it,” he said.

He was hopeful that practice pace would improve Thursday, the final session before the team travels to Charlottesville Friday.

“We need to clean up a lot of stuff,” he said.

4. Provided he’s not needed in an emergency, true freshman quarterback Vad Lee will redshirt this season, Johnson said. B-back David Sims, who converted from quarterback in the spring, takes practice snaps weekly at quarterback in case he’ s needed in a pinch.

“But if you needed a quarterback in the first half of the Virginia game, we wouldn’t hesitate to put Vad in,” Johnson said.

5. Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh played football and graduated from Virginia, was head coach there for nine years and still owns a home in Charlottesville. He declined the opportunity this week to froth or get misty-eyed over the thought of bringing his defense up to Virginia Saturday.

“Another challenge, a chance to win the seventh game of the season,” Groh said of the game’s meaning to him.

Groh isn’t devoid of sentiment. He spoke of his dear feelings for his players and teams and for Cavaliers fans. Saturday, he’ll coach against players he recruited and coached. Virginia coach Mike London was a Groh hire and worked for him for six years. Linebackers coach Vincent Brown played for Groh when both were with the New England Patriots.

London said Wednesday he and Groh had a good relationship when they worked together, and that he respects Groh “because he kind of brought me up through this program.”

Groh’s players, who helped Tech beat Virginia last year in his first game facing the Cavaliers as a Tech coach, don’t harbor much desire to exact revenge for his firing after the 2009 season.

“I think the motivation more comes from them being next on our schedule,” inside linebacker Julian Burnett.

6. Backup guard Shaquille Mason has played limited snaps in place of Will Jackson for the past two games. He has earned co-offensive line coach Mike Sewak’s confidence, but will likely need to refine his technique to gain more playing time. Technique is crucial for Mason because, as a true freshman, Sewak said, “physically, he’s not overwhelming.”

“Coming in as a true freshman, I think he’s having a way better year than I was my redshirt freshman year,” guard Omoregie Uzzi said. “Shaq’s doing great.”

7. Virginia has three Georgia players on the roster, all of whom have arrived since London’s hire. London said he and three assistants – including Brown, a former Meadowcreek High assistant coach – have connections in Georgia.

“There are implications (to Saturday’s game) because of the recruiting part of it because you want to play well,” London said.

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Miles Gooch (Towers High) has logged significant special teams time this season. True freshman linebacker D.J. Hill (Newton High) and walk-on Justin Olderman (Marist School) are also on the roster.

8. There typically are two approaches to defending Techs’ spread-option offense, which opposing coaches and players routinely say is difficult to prepare for because of its unconventionality – stick to one scheme and know it well or mix things up and try to confuse the Jackets.

In the first approach, “you may know what you’re doing, but they also know what you’re doing and it’ll be difficult to stay with that,” Virginia defensive coordinator Jim Reid said. “If you line up in two or three schemes, then now you risk on defense making a major error.”

Reid declined to identify his strategy for Saturday. Reid also called quarterback Tevin Washington “a very poised, outstanding athlete” and said that the Tech passing game “scares you to death.”

Note from my colleague Doug Roberson: Georgia Tech won’t host Georgia until Nov. 26. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t already thinking about the game. Tell us your favorite play in the rivalry, and the AJC will try to track down the players involved and tell you what they remember about that game and what they are doing now. Please send your favorite (just one, please) and why to Doug Roberson to droberson@ajc.com.

Thanks for reading. Please follow on Facebook and Twitter.

By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech beat

69 comments Add your comment


October 12th, 2011
7:20 pm

I wanna see at least one counter!


October 12th, 2011
7:23 pm

somehow I knew and feel we would see David Sims play QB

George Stein

October 12th, 2011
7:24 pm

I’m sad about Marcus Wright. He wasn’t very big but he’d block the hell out of people.

Alabama Jack

October 12th, 2011
7:25 pm

Virginia defensive coordinator Jim Reid said the Tech passing game “scares you to death.”

Yeah, it bothers us Tech folks sometimes as well.

fan of shorter passes & longer runs

October 12th, 2011
7:27 pm

Washington will have VA scratching their heads wondering what to do…I hope!


October 12th, 2011
7:33 pm

Now that was funny AL Jack,

Good to see Wright intends to stay and get his degree. Still remember his big game in Athens in 08′.

Just a “gut” feeling guys, Tevin has his best game to date at UVA.

Simon Bar Sinister

October 12th, 2011
7:36 pm

My favorite play from a Georgia game was in Athens in 1984. I had gone to the concession stand under the west stands for a drink. I watched the game for just a few minutes from ground level through an opening in the middle of the stands.

As I watched, I saw a hole open up you could have driven a truck through, and I watched Dewberry run through it for a touchdown on a quarterback draw.

It would have been a lot better if he had been running toward me instead of away, but it was still great to see the play from this perspective.

Ramblin Man

October 12th, 2011
7:38 pm

Sucks for Marcus. I hope does the right thing and graduates. On the plus side that gives the coaches another scholarship to work with.
Glad to see Vad is sill working hard and he coaches have confidence enough to use him if needed.

no turnovers

October 12th, 2011
7:43 pm

ALL defenses will now scheme for Tevin to keep the ball, so our receivers have to catch the dang ball.

Stephen Hill has to help out Tevin. Hill makes unbelievable catches in traffic but you hit him in the numbers 10 yards beyond any coverage and he looks like Edward Scissor Hands….

George Stein

October 12th, 2011
7:45 pm

Yeah, we’re screwed, no turnovers. Whatever will we do!

an idea

October 12th, 2011
7:52 pm

Tevin will become another Nesbitt….beat up and injured by the VT game. Defenses will take away the pitch and the corners all day long now. Speed along the corners (Clemson and VT) will force us to throw or run the full back dive or QB keeper. Shucks…guess we’ll only have 400 yds of offense per game now.


October 12th, 2011
7:54 pm

Best of luck to Marcus. Hopefully he will take a look at Georgia Southern. He knows the offense and with his strength and speed he would be a superstar in I-AA. Good Luck Marcus, you will always be a Jacket!


October 12th, 2011
7:56 pm

Tevin needs to make better reads and pitch the ball when there is a blocker in front of the a back. Several times against Md, he had a play there that could have gone for several yards and maybe a td here or there. Guys gotta start catching the ball too. No excuses for dropped balls that hit your hands

5150 UOAD

October 12th, 2011
7:57 pm

Good Luck and Best wishes Marcus.
I ain’t skeered bout this game.
Tech plays a hell of a game and gets #7.


October 12th, 2011
7:59 pm

I watched the game again today and from the 2nd qtr on, maryland had 8-9 players all in the box. No reason why we can’t complete more passes.

230gr Full Metal Jacket

October 12th, 2011
8:44 pm

Hate to hear that about Marcus, he always seemed like a solid player. Best wishes to him — and very glad to see that he is doing the smart thing and graduating before considering another school just to play 1 more season of ball. Get the diploma first, that way you have something to fall back on that nobody can take away!!

As for Saturday, I expect to see a VERY motivated offense. I also expect to see some players challenged for their positions if they play like the have the last 2 weeks! Regardless, I smell 7-0 coming up (and I expect 8-0 when they come back home for Clemson. I’m REALLY amped about that game!!!!).

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 12th, 2011
8:58 pm

Intriguing comment about Vad needs to be ready at all times. It ain’t happening but good strategy coach to keep this kid’s mind and heart as part of the team.

If Tevin struggles out of the gate this week, my bold prediction is we’ll see Synjyn. Maybe only for a series…I wouldn’t put it past CPJ to try to ignite Tevin that way if he needs it.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 12th, 2011
9:02 pm

Simon – I was at that ‘84 game in Athens too. Great win. But I’m hoping most folks send their memories to Doug’s email. Let’s stay focused on UVA this week. GOOOO JACKETS!


October 12th, 2011
9:07 pm

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 12th, 2011
9:07 pm

Gotta love a name like “Gooch”.

This lethargic stuff worries me a little. Hopefully we got enough in the tank to at least steal a couple of road W’s, this week and next. If we can do that, adrenaline will kick in for Clempson. This week will be no gimme. Hope Tevin’s arm and Hill’s hands are up to the task against the Wahoos.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 12th, 2011
9:08 pm

What in the heck is a Wahoo anyway?


October 12th, 2011
9:19 pm

Coaches can scheme to have Tevin Washington keep the ball all they want. The thing about CPJ is that he’s good at adjusting blocking schemes to counter their strategy and muddle their assignments. There’s nothing they can do that he hasn’t seen before and developed a response to. Of course, it will all open up as soon as the passing game starts clicking again.

George Stein

October 12th, 2011
9:32 pm

It’s a fish, Fuzzy.

yeller bug

October 12th, 2011
11:42 pm

G Stein, you’re so cavalier in your answer.

Athens, we have a problem...

October 13th, 2011
12:15 am

Good luck and Godspeed to Marcus Wright. I admired the effort and courage he showed in running past Dawgs twice his size. It’s too bad things didn’t work out better.

Thanks for the update, Ken. Many of us had been asking on the blogs. You are a real professional.

Harvey D. Pooka

October 13th, 2011
7:59 am

Good luck (and thank you), Marcus! For now, Priority One, stay focused and get that degree. {This is an intelligent and hard working young man, and he can accomplish many great things in his life.}


October 13th, 2011
8:36 am

This is the first game this season that I’ve had a really bad feeling about. Being on the road, against a decent team, with our guys seeming tired…and starting to repeat the dropped-passes issues of last year…this has the feel of one of those sloopy losses. Hopefully, I am wrong as usual…GO JACKETS!!!


October 13th, 2011
8:55 am

every thing doesn’t always work out in relationships, or the divorce rate wouldn’t be so high……hard to see a need for both Marcus and Xenon…….heather has us on the upset watch…..believe big John-John Davis of Ellijay had a good block on that run, & a great burst by Malcolm King up the middle as well…..Tevin will be crucial to this game……


October 13th, 2011
9:11 am

I’m not so worried about this game (though I hope the players are). Next game in Miami… the week before the Clemson showdown has “trap game” written all over it.


October 13th, 2011
9:33 am

wish we’d give Harrison Davis, John’s son, a look……


October 13th, 2011
9:34 am

Casey, don’t worry too much about Miami. Defense isn’t what it used to be right now and Jacory Harris is believes some of the best receivers on the field wear the other team’s jersey on defense.


October 13th, 2011
10:15 am

On paper, this game is a blowout but I’m guessing you get the full nozzle load from the wahoos.

Their defensive front is athletic enough to make a play or two.

If Washington is accurate, that could turn the game into a smashing.

I bet they score some, probably more than people think.

I say 38-27 Tech and it serves as a wake up call.

There is a lot of football left to be played...

October 13th, 2011
10:21 am

…but, as of right now, there are 7 teams that could realistically end up undefeated –

Boise State

So, based on rankings and the 1vs 2 set up, it looks like AL/LSU winner will be playing the OK/OKS/KS winner, and then you have 5 other really PO’ed teams…


October 13th, 2011
10:24 am

How about this one?

Alabama/LSU winner plays SEC East champ in SECCG and LOSES

Boise stays undefeated
Oklahoma stays undefeated
Stanford stays undefeated
Wisconsin stays undefeated
GT/clemson winner stays undefeated

BCS implosion?

All Cupcake Conference

October 13th, 2011
10:29 am

One cupcake getting ready for another



October 13th, 2011
10:30 am

That prediction would shake things up a ton Lex. I think LSU has it all going for them right now though. They stop the run, a balanced offense and special teams. It might just be their year.

GT Fan

October 13th, 2011
10:44 am

Thanks for your comment headley lamar (A.K.A. All Cupcake Conference), you are dedicated to the Jackets one way or another…….

Have a blessed day, sir


October 13th, 2011
10:50 am

“an idea”

Nesbitt was having the best game of the year against VPI. We were on their 10 yd line about to go 3 TDs up in the 1st quarter itself, before he threw a pick and broke his arm while trying to prevent the DB from making it a pick 6.

To say he was beat up is just plain silly.


October 13th, 2011
10:52 am

@DawgInLex – that scenario would be fun in a “watching a train wreck” kinda way. But I am positive the SEC East champion does not stand a chance. Even if they were capable of beating the SECw champ, the refs wouldnt let them. It would prevent the SEC from playing in another MNC.


October 13th, 2011
11:02 am

So Lex, I guess according to addicted, the fix is in to LET the SEC get into the BCS title game. Who knew?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 13th, 2011
11:06 am

Hiya, cupcake, you little sweetheart you—–HA!!! Your real identity was revealed to us yesterday, so we all know now that you are nothing but a L I A R !!!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 13th, 2011
11:07 am

DAMMIT, why won’t the filter let me call out cupcake for who we all now know he really is?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 13th, 2011
11:08 am

For those of you who don’t know, All Cupcake Conference = headely lamar, otherwise known as a pathological liar


October 13th, 2011
11:10 am

I have no idea who that is, but sounds like the beginnings of some interesting blog banter back and forth.


October 13th, 2011
11:17 am

get ready for italics….Lex, ever figure out my Doc Holiday Q? Super, this computer can’t handle too many simultaneous inputs……

Supersize that order, mutt

October 13th, 2011
11:17 am

Tampa, he is a troll who pontificates in here almost daily (except after a UGA loss) and swore that he NEVER signed on under any other name than “headley lamar”. Well, he logged in yesterday under “All Cupcake Conference” and more-or-less gave himself away by using the very-recognizable format that headley always uses. A couple of us called him out on it, but he didn’t respond.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 13th, 2011
11:18 am

Tampa, he is a troll who pontificates in here almost daily (except after a UGA loss) and swore that he NEVER signed on under any other name than H L. Well, he logged in yesterday under “All Cupcake Conference” and more-or-less gave himself away by using the very-recognizable format that H L always uses. A couple of us called him out on it, but he didn’t respond.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 13th, 2011
11:19 am

The filter is totally f’d up today. Tampa, he’s just a troll whom we now know for sure logs in under multiple names, which he has denied in the past that he does.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 13th, 2011
11:20 am

juvenal, apparently the ajc needs to talk to some of those infamous nerds at Tech and get a new system. LOL


October 13th, 2011
11:25 am

Trolls blogging under different names?!!?!?? Oh yeah, got some of those on the UGA side .. one posts these incredibly long non-sense rants at around 2 am then pops back on around 10 am to see people bash him .. usually goes by Thomas Brown (current), Rooster or Pollyanna. Nut job you should see just for entertainment purposes.