Archive for January, 2012

Stephen Hill draft projection

Draft expert Mel Kiper thinks former Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill would have been better served staying in school, but gives him a chance to get into the third round of the NFL draft.

“He’s going to need a strong workout to be a guy that goes on Day 2,” said the ESPN analyst, referring to the second and third rounds of the draft. At worst, Hill would go between the fourth and seventh rounds, he added.

When Hill requested an evaluation from the NFL draft advisory board, he was told that he did not have the potential to be drafted in the first three rounds. Working to Hill’s benefit is that he has the capability to impress NFL scouts in a workout. As a high school senior at Miller Grove High, Hill set the state high school long jump record.

Kiper said he was surprised when Hill decided to leave Tech after his junior season shortly after the Yellow Jackets’ season ended because another year could have elevated him “maybe in the first-round discussion.”

“I thought …

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Georgia Tech-Clemson live blog


Sorry for the delay. Wireless issues. Onward.

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Paul Johnson rips oversigning practice

Speaking at a news conference Friday, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson made clear his thoughts on oversigning in recruiting, a topic that has gained buzz this week because of Alabama’s pulling a scholarship offer for 2012 from North Atlanta High running back Justin Taylor.

Johnson is not in favor of it, a stance he has taken in the past. The matter came up when he decried the practice of high school prospects committing to a school but then continuing to fish for better scholarship offers. He made an analogy to illustrate his opinion.

“That’s like (if) we go out there, we’ve got 15 commitments and we just keep recruiting over the top of them,” Johnson said. “Now, people do that, but not many. And then they just come back and they tell ‘em, ‘Hey, sorry, you’ll have to come next year. You’ll have to come in the spring. We found somebody better than you. We oversigned.’ That’s wrong. And it’s wrong on both sides. It’s just wrong.”

Taylor committed to Alabama last February, …

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Burnett injury apparently serious

Georgia Tech linebacker Julian Burnett suffered an injury in the Sun Bowl that could affect his playing career. At a news conference Friday, coach Paul Johnson was vague in his comments about Burnett but offered an indication of the injury’s severity.

“There’s a lot of guys who are playing and have gone through it,” Johnson said in response to a question about players ending their careers because of an injuries or health issues. “But they’ve come out on the other end, that they’ve determined it’s O.K. for them to play. It happens a lot; it’s a violent sport, high-contact.”

Johnson declined to offer more detail about the injury, saying the matter was between Burnett, his family, doctors and himself.

“If Julian wanted to shed light on it, he could,” Johnson said, but has chosen not to do so.

Burnett was injured in the first half of the Sun Bowl and didn’t return to the game. He led the Jackets in tackles for the second consecutive season and was named second-team All-ACC.

“I …

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Georgia Tech-Virginia live blog


Hope all are well and ready for Game No. 18 of the Brian Gregory era. A friend asked me if I thought Georgia Tech will get into the 50’s. Virginia is No. 2 in the country in scoring defense at 51.1 points per game and has had a week to stew over its loss to Duke and get ready for the Jackets, who, as you might remember, managed just 50 points in its 61-50 loss to Maryland Saturday in its poorest offensive game of the season.

We’ll see. I see a game in the 50’s and a lot of floor burns. Enjoy the game.

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Tech hoop statistics comparison


In writing a Georgia Tech basketball notebook that went into Wednesday’s paper, I compared some team statistics from this season compared to last season at the same juncture, most notably the Jackets’ defensive field-goal percentage (38.2 percent this year and 44.0 last year, which ranked 21st and 212th, respectively).

It probably does not surprise you that many of the numbers suggest that Tech is playing better this season. The first set of numbers are from this year, second set of numbers from 2010-11. Sorry for the lame presentation. If there’s a way to use charts and the like on wordpress, I’m not aware of it.

Scoring offense – 64.6, 241st; 71.1, 132nd

Scoring defense – 61.8, 59th; 68.5, 196th

Scoring margin – 2.8, 154th; 2.6, 153rd

Field goal percentage – 45.1, 114th; 41.6, 264th

3-point field goals per game – 4.8, 291st; 5.9, 199th

3-point field goal percentage –  31.1 percent, unranked*; 29.3 percent, 268th

Field goal perc. defense – 38.2 percent …

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Danny Hall on Barry Larkin


I apologize for this being a bit dated, but I spoke with Georgia Tech baseball coach Danny Hall last week in the wake of one of his former players, longtime Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Hall worked with Larkin 1983-85 as a young assistant coach at Michigan, Hall’s first job. After Larkin was voted in last week, he specifically credited Hall, among others, for his coaching and influence in a teleconference with reporters. Hall shared some memories of Larkin from their time together in Ann Arbor.

1. In high school, Larkin saw himself more as a football player than as a baseball player and was recruited to Michigan by then-coach Bo Schembechler. However, he was drafted in the second round coming out of high school by the Cincinnati Reds, which changed his thinking.

“But his mom was just dead set on him going to school and she pretty much told him, ‘You’re going to school,’” Hall said. “‘You’re not signing a pro …

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P. Smith won’t return to Tech

After two separate suspensions this past season, offensive tackle Phil Smith will not play for Georgia Tech in the 2012 season.

“(After) his violation of team rules at the bowl game, I think he and Coach (Paul) Johnson decided that it’s probably best for him to concentrate on his studies,” associate athletic director Wayne Hogan said.

Smith, a redshirt junior from Tampa, Fla., was a starter for the Yellow Jackets in the 2010 and 2011 seasons and started a total of 20 games in his career. He helped the Jackets lead the nation in rushing in 2010 and finish No. 2 this season.

Smith is on track to earn his management degree this semester and would be immediately eligible to play his final season at another FBS school if he enrolled in its graduate school.

Johnson suspended Smith for the first two games of the 2011 season for violating team rules. He sent him home from the Sun Bowl for breaking team rules in El Paso, Texas. At the time, Johnson called Smith’s actions …

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Tech in talks with ACC for Labor Day game

Georgia Tech is in discussions with the ACC to play in its nationally televised Labor Day night game, though chances do not appear good.

“We’re moderately interested in it, not crazy about it, but it’s got some interest to us,” associate athletic director Wayne Hogan said Tuesday. “It’s just a question of what makes sense.”

The league has interest in moving Tech’s game against Virginia Tech to that Sept. 3 date, Hogan said. The winner of that game has represented the Coastal Division in the ACC title game in each of the past seven seasons. The game would give the Yellow Jackets a national platform on a day and time slot in which it would have little, if any, competition.

However, Tech’s preference would be to not play Virginia Tech or any other Coastal Division team in that opening-week spot. Tech’s philosophy in recent years has been to play an FCS team in its opener as opposed to a more meaningful league game. For a Labor Day game to happen, the school would have to agree to …

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Uzzi staying at Tech

The deadline for early entry into the NFL draft passed Sunday night without an announcement from Georgia Tech guard Omoregie Uzzi, meaning he will return for his senior season with the Yellow Jackets.

It was not unexpected. While Uzzi had requested an NFL draft evaluation in December, he was leaning towards staying at Tech all along and gave indication that he planned to come back. The return of the first-team All-ACC guard means that every Tech offensive lineman will return next season.

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