Archive for April, 2012

Tech’s Hill could be a 49er

SI.com draft expert Tony Pauline believes former Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill could go late in the first round when the NFL draft begins Thursday. San Francisco looks like a possible landing spot with the No. 30 pick.

“If he doesn’t go late first round, I can’t see him getting past the first six to eight picks of round two,” he said.

Pauline said Hill could go as early as No. 16 to the New York Jets. He believes the Jets are trying to trade out of that spot, but if they don’t, “People say (Notre Dame’s Michael) Floyd would be a tough pick for the franchise with the state it’s in now.”

(Floyd had a DUI arrest and two underage-drinking offenses.)

About half of the mock drafts I reviewed give Hill to San Francisco, which is going into the draft with proven receivers in Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree but question marks in Randy Moss and Ted Ginn Jr. Others give him to Houston at No. 26 and the rest to teams in the first five or six picks of the …

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6 Tech spring practice observations

Greetings-

Hope you were able to make the spring game Friday night. It was a strong turnout and it wouldn’t surprise me if the GTAA stays with Friday, or at least re-visits it, in years to come. Some thoughts from spring practice.

1. No change at quarterback spot

It was a much anticipated competition between Synjyn Days and Vad Lee, but it doesn’t appear that much changed in the pecking order. Both improved over the course of the spring and shrunk their flaws, but neither made an unimpeachable case to be the No. 2 behind Tevin Washington, let alone a challenger to the top spot.

“The other guys are both very talented and good at certain things,” coach Paul Johnson said. “As I said, they’ve got to get better at what their weak spots are.”

In this offense, and probably any other, limiting mistakes and turnovers is crucial, no matter what a quarterback’s big-play potential is. That is where Washington’s advantage is, developed over four years in the system, a …

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Tech wins fourth consecutive ACC golf title

The Georgia Tech golf team continued its lock on the ACC Sunday, winning its fourth consecutive league championship by seven strokes over second-place Virginia.

For the second consecutive year, the Yellow Jackets led wire-to-wire, taking a first-round lead Friday at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C., and keeping it through Sunday. The Jackets have won six of the past seven ACC titles and eighth in the last 13 years. Tech’s 14 ACC titles are second behind Wake Forest’s 18. Coach Bruce Heppler has now won nine league championships, seven outright.

The field included five teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking’s top 25, including Tech at No. 8. The Jackets placed all five players in the top 16. Anders Albertson led Tech by shooting a 7-under-par 209 to finish in a tie for fourth, followed by Bo Andrews, Ollie Schniederjans and Richy Werenski in a tie for seventh at 5-under.

Four-man scores of 18-under and 14-under on Friday and Saturday, respectively, gave the …

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UPDATE: Tech’s Drummond suspended 1½ games

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m.: Georgia Tech inside linebacker Daniel Drummond has been suspended for 1 1/2 games to begin the season after pleading guilty Wednesday to boating under the influence. He will also sit out Tech’s Friday night spring game.

“I am very disappointed in his actions that resulted from an incident last summer and his failure to inform me of the issue in a timely manner,” coach Paul Johnson said in a statement. “This is not the conduct that we expect from a member of our football team.”

Drummond, a likely starter, will miss the season opener against Virginia Tech on Labor Day and the first half of the second game against Presbyterian Sept. 8. By rule of the Tech student-athlete conduct policy, Drummond was suspended for 10 percent of his team’s games.

Drummond, who started six games last season, was arrested last July on Lake Lanier after failing field sobriety and breath tests. Johnson was informed of the matter Wednesday.

After entering his plea in Hall County …

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Days could miss Tech spring game

Greetings

Some notes from post-practice interviews Wednesday.

1. Quarterback Synjyn Days may not play Friday night in the spring scrimmage. Days injured his left wrist on the final play of practice Wednesday. Days and fellow backup Vad Lee had been receiving most of the practice reps and were slated to get most of them in the scrimmage.

Coach Paul Johnson was not specific regarding how Days’ snaps will be allocated if he can’t play. It could be more for Tevin Washington or for early enrollee Dennis Andrews or walk-on transfer Tim Byerly, or all three, as well as walk-on Darryl Dickey.

“As far as the game goes, it’s not a concern as much as it is he’s made a lot of progress this spring,” Johnson said. “You’d like to see him have a chance to play.”

2. Guard Shaquille Mason may not play either with an undisclosed injury. It was hoped he would return for Wednesday’s practice, but he didn’t participate. That would leave the offensive line with 10 available …

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Tech’s Goodlett goes 11th to Indiana

Sasha Goodlett fell in love with the Indiana Fever watching them play on television. The Fever apparently felt likewise.

The WNBA team made the former Georgia Tech star the 11th overall choice in the league’s draft Monday. Goodlett is the second Yellow Jackets player in as many years to be chosen in the first round, following Alex Montgomery’s selection by the New York Liberty last year.

“Honestly, I’m ready to go [Tuesday] if they wanted me (to),” Goodlett said by phone from draft headquarters at ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn.

This past season, Goodlett earned All-ACC second-team honors at the center spot and led the Jackets to their first-ever Sweet 16 berth. She has kept an eye on the Fever, taking a liking to their relentless style. The Fever are coached by Lin Dunn, who coached Tech coach MaChelle Joseph at Purdue and has been a coaching mentor.

“I know she’s a hard-nosed coach that gets the best out of her players,” Goodlett said. “I’m ready for her …

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Breaking down Tech o-line

Greetings

A few spring practice notes, from an interview with offensive line coach Mike Sewak:

1. I’ve noted this before, but injuries have been a negative/positive this spring. Having Omoregie Uzzi and Will Jackson out has given players like Nick McRae and J.C. Lanier more reps than they would have gotten otherwise, but it has also forced coach Mike Sewak to shuffle players more than he probably would like.

Injuries to Lanier and Shaquille Mason in Saturday’s scrimmage left the line with seven of the 12 scholarship offensive linemen in the scrimmage.

2. Tackle Morgan Bailey, until an injury last week, was shaping up as one of the most improved players on the team. Bailey, a rising redshirt sophomore, has plus athletic ability but has had injury challenges since he arrived at Tech. He was putting things together this spring. Not sure if he’ll be able to come back this week.

“He seems to be enjoying the playing time and seems to be enjoying the camaraderie and seems to …

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Shotgun option play shines in scrimmage

Greetings-

Hope all are well. This is the top of the notebook that will go in the Sunday paper. Brief observations of the scrimmage: Offense played better, defense didn’t tackle well. Synjyn Days ran the ball well but had trouble throwing. Vad Lee looked pretty good but had a bad fumble. Enjoy the weekend.

Last Saturday, in its first open scrimmage of spring practice, Georgia Tech unveiled the work it had been doing in the shotgun. Saturday, the Tech offense rehearsed repeatedly what could be a productive play out of that formation.

In a scrimmage at Bobby Dodd Stadium, a read-option play with a motioning A-back routinely broke for big gains against the Tech defense. Quarterback Synjyn Days used it for several productive runs, as he led the offense to three touchdowns on possessions starting on its 30-yard line. He did have a bad giveaway, throwing an interception under heavy pressure.

“They couldn’t tackle him,” coach Paul Johnson said. “He had a good day. He …

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Tech’s Hill invited to NFL draft

Former Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill is one of 26 prospects invited to the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

The number of players at the draft is a record for the event. For Hill, it is one more step of a remarkable progression since declaring for the draft Jan. 5. In a draft evaluation Hill requested prior to making his decision, the opinion of NFL executives and scouts was that he didn’t have the potential to be selected in the first three rounds.

However, Hill burst up draft boards with a standout performance at the NFL draft combine, including a 40-yard dash of 4.36 seconds. Hill’s invitation to New York is virtual confirmation that Hill will go in the first round or at least early in the second. Many mock drafts project Hill to be chosen by the San Francisco 49ers with the 30th pick.

The first round of the draft is Thursday, April 26.

The complete list:

Alabama S Mark Barron
Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon
LSU DT Michael Brockers
LSU CB …

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A-back rotation continues

Greetings

A few notes from Wednesday and Monday.

1. B-back Charles Perkins didn’t take any reps at A-back Wednesday, as he had Monday. Quarterback Synjyn Days took few, if any. B-back David Sims took some turns at A-back, though. Coach Paul Johnson said the cross-training is standard procedure and “wasn’t a big deal.”

“It’s something we’ve done everywhere,” Johnson said. “It’s like when I was at Hawaii – we had one year all four of our skill guys were quarterbacks, both slots and both receivers. Actually, it was five, because we had five quarterbacks playing at one time.”

2. Johnson on the receivers: “They’re working hard. Jeff Greene actually got hurt a little bit earlier. Nothing serious, but he missed most of practice. Darren Waller had a couple nice plays. Jeremy Moore (did, as well). Chris Jackson made a nice catch or two. They did O.K.”

It’s likely one or more of the incoming receivers will play as a true freshman, as he typically plays …

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