Last segment of the Q&A with Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson. Mostly more insight on position groups.
Q: How does it look at inside outisde linebacker?
A: You’ve got Jeremiah (Attaochu), who played a lot, Brandon Watts played a lot. Nick Menocal played some there. Malcolm Munroe played some there. We’ve got a couple of freshmen that we redshirted. A couple others. Kyle Travis played special teams. There’s three-deep if you look at the board. It’ll sort itself out. Some of those guys can pay inside. Some on the inside can play outside.
Q: At A-back, you have to replace Roddy Jones and Embry Peeples.
A: Deion Hill played some, Robby Godhigh played a little bit. You’ve got B.J. Bostic back, who played a lot the year before and redshirted. Broderick Snoddy, if he plays there. Some of the other guys at different positions could play there. If Charles (Perkins) doesn’t end up being the B-back, he could play there.
A: Sure. He’s a running back.
Q: Has he cross-trained at A-back?
A: Maybe a little bit, not a lot. It’s not rocket science. (Zach) Laskey could play there if he had to, I think. One of the quarterbacks could play there if they had to, probably. There’s a lot of different combinations.
Q: With the quarterbacks, would you want to keep the three (Tevin Washington, Synjyn Days and Vad Lee) at that position regardless of how it shakes out?
A: I think we just have to see. I think you want to get the best players on the field. You don’t want to move a guy too soon. Let ‘em develop and then we’ll see.
Q: With Tony Zenon, was there anything that kept him from playing more, or did you just like the rotation you had at A-back?
A: We just got into that rotation and there wasn’t a lot of spots for him and I think the more he plays, the more comfortable he gets. He’s going to be a year older and stronger. So we’ll see.
Q: With (quarterback signee) Justin Thomas, is it the case that you normally recruit one quarterback a year, but when he came along, he was too good to pass up?
A: Justin Thomas, (if) you can get somebody that’s going to help your football team, you take him. Somebody said he went to a track meet in Florida and ran a 6.0 or six something in the 60. He’d never run before. He can fly. Good player, so we’ll see how quickly he can do things. To me, those guys, you take as many of them as you can get. I guarantee you if he can’t play quarterback, he’ll play somewhere.
Q: Do you have any personal goals – golf to play, books to read, etc?
A: Not really, just get ready for the season, get ready for spring.
Q: Do you like this time of year?
A: It’s O.K. This’ll be year 33 or 34 for me, so you kind of get in your routine but it’s O.K. I like our kids. I think we’ve got some good kids. They’re fun to be around.
Q: You said the same thing about last year’s group, that they came around the office a lot. I imagine that hasn’t changed.
A: I mean, they work on their own. When I got here, you would never have never seen guys out there throwing on their own.
A: I didn’t see ‘em. Maybe they did, but it’s like now, every afternoon I can sit here in my office (overlooking the field) and there’ll be 25 or 30 out there throwing, working on their stuff. Yesterday, I think I saw some of the defensive linemen working on pass rush stuff. Offensive linemen come out.
Q: It has to be organized by the players, I assume.
A: They just organize it themselves and do it. I asked Vad if they threw this morning because they’ve been going in the indoor (building) throwing. He goes, ‘No, we’re throwing this afternoon.’ They work around their classes. They work. They’re good kids. They want to be good.
Q: I imagine part of the reason that’s happening is the type of player you’re recruiting.
A: One of the things that’s changed is, when we first got here, not only were we recruiting guys to come, we were recruiting the guys that were here (with) everybody telling ‘em they need to [transfer] and they can’t do this and they can’t do that. So you spend as much time recruiting them as you did the guys coming in. Now, everybody here knows exactly what they signed up for.
Q: Can you tell or encourage players to work out on their own?
A: You can tell them that, but you can’t (make them). It’s like I told them before. I talk to the guys, I say, ‘You want to throw more? Get out there and throw, get better at it. It’s pretty simple. If you get good at it, we’ll do it.’
I’m not opposed to doing it, if you can throw it and catch it. But you’re not going to be any better at it if you don’t work at it. And I think these kids have worked at it. They’re working on it. And they worked on it last year I saw that group out there before and I’m not saying the other groups never did it, but it was nothing (compared to this team).
Thanks for reading, and I appreciate all of the feedback. Once we finish up with basketball, I’ll see if we can round up a few more of these (I can’t guarantee any six-part series) to get to spring practice.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog