Tech’s Attaochu buries hatchet with Hokies’ Thomas

Greensboro, N.C.Jeremiah Attaochu got his arm around Logan Thomas Sunday. Once again, the Georgia Tech linebacker didn’t take him down to the ground.

Instead, he smiled and mugged for the camera with the Virginia Tech quarterback. Attaochu, who threw a punch out of frustration at Thomas in the Yellow Jackets’ 37-26 loss to the Hokies last season, has not just moved past the incident. The Hokies star that he’ll be chasing around in the season opener Sept. 3 in Blacksburg, Va., is now a buddy.

“We’ve talked,” Attaochu said Sunday from ACC Media Days. “He’s cool.”

Said Thomas, “He’s a funny guy. No hard feelings.”

The friendship adds a twist to the Hokies-Jackets’ rivalry, which has produced the ACC Coastal Division champion every year since the league split into two divisions in 2005. Last November, Thomas wrecked the Jackets, rifling the defense for 209 passing yards and three touchdowns on just 13 attempts and bulling his way for 70 rushing yards. He plowed through the Jackets for a 12-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak that gave the Hokies a third-quarter lead it never gave up.

That drive was extended by one of the most pivotal plays of Tech’s season. On a third-down pass play, Attaochu jumped on Thomas but couldn’t tackle him. In what he called an “out-of-body competitive reaction,” Attaochu swung a closed fist at Thomas, drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty. Coach Paul Johnson suspended him for the first half of the following game, against Duke.

“It’s something that’s never going to happen again,” Attaochu said Sunday.

Attaochu later texted and spoke with Thomas to apologize.

“He was just messing around, saying, ‘Man, you’re a [defensive] end playing quarterback. You’re bigger than I am,’” said the 6-foot-6, 262-pound Thomas. “’How am I supposed to take you down?’”

Thomas accepted the apology.

“I was like, Man, I understand,” he said. “I would probably do the same thing if I was having the trouble that they were at that time.”

While Virginia Tech will have to replace its leading rusher (David Wilson), two leading receivers (Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale) and four offensive linemen, Thomas will be no less difficult to stop. He said Sunday he has improved his footwork and accuracy this summer. Attaochu knows applying pass rush pressure and not allowing Thomas any escape routes out of the pocket will be important. He spoke with admiration about the drill work that the Tech defensive line has done this summer to impove the pass rush. Once again, though, getting Thomas on the ground will be a different challenge.

“There’s nothing you can do” to prepare for Thomas, he said. “You might need to get Cam Newton on your scout team.”

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

33 comments Add your comment

BLT

July 22nd, 2012
8:11 pm

Wrap up his legs this year.

BLT

July 22nd, 2012
8:13 pm

Get with Cam’s dad about the fee. LOL

BLT

July 22nd, 2012
8:13 pm

5150 UOAD

July 22nd, 2012
8:37 pm

Bury the Hatchet in VPI and make up for last years mistake.

chas_jacket

July 22nd, 2012
8:40 pm

Great story. Both are quality players who will make it in the NFL. Can’t wait until Sep 3rd. Go Tech! GT that is.

GT in GoldTown

July 22nd, 2012
8:54 pm

2 future 1st team ACC,1st round picks, and all pros. I can’t wait to watch these young men dominate the sport they love.

5150 UOAD

July 22nd, 2012
9:33 pm

old tech grad

July 22nd, 2012
9:44 pm

Glad to see you back and reporting Ken.

Getting excited about the season.

RomeDawg

July 22nd, 2012
10:00 pm

You chop a tree down at the trunk, not where the leaves grow.

5150 UOAD

July 22nd, 2012
10:12 pm

Actually you take the branches off the trunk first then you Top out the tree and work your way down.

FL Jacket

July 22nd, 2012
10:25 pm

Terry Silver said it best in Karate Kid 3…

“If a man cannot stand…he cannot fight”

William Casey

July 23rd, 2012
12:11 am

Some of you guys talking about getting to Thomas’s legs should get in there and try. LOL

5150 UOAD

July 23rd, 2012
12:54 am

William Casey….what a STUPID thing to say.
If I was 25 to 27 years younger I would like to give it a shot.

GT71

July 23rd, 2012
6:29 am

Talent and depth – the 2 things needed in September. It will not come down to all-star rivalries, it’ll come down to conditioning and the play of those non-starters. No matter what time of day the game is played, it’ll be hot and muggy.
Glad those 2 guys have made up (I think the fans and reporters had more invested in it than the players anyway), but come kick-off all this will be just a ripple.
So get out there and start the season off right. Beating VPI in Blacksburg could be a trigger for a very good season.

yeller bug

July 23rd, 2012
6:44 am

Shoulder pads to the belly, then wrap the legs and he’ll fold over like a ham sandwich. (in theory!) It will G Tech’s O against VT D in this game. VT lost too much talent on offensive—I can’t see them scoring over 20. We should always score over 21, but Bud Foster will have a good D again this year. Hope we air it out and put up big points. It’d be a big win and a great start to a season.

gt4ever

July 23rd, 2012
7:48 am

How Sweet! I think I need to go PUKE…

Jim 70

July 23rd, 2012
7:56 am

We need that big nose tackle I saw reported last week who we are recruiting. Get him in here early.

Technically Correct

July 23rd, 2012
8:24 am

Tech’s players just tried to “bulldog” Logan Thomas last year and his upper body strength was simply too much to handle. Hopefully, Al Groh will get the message across to go for Thomas’ knees this year.

blazer

July 23rd, 2012
8:45 am

I agree with BLT. Learned in the sixth grade to tackle their feet.

JM

July 23rd, 2012
9:19 am

good form tackles were once common in college football.

Papa

July 23rd, 2012
9:46 am

This is what’s known as “Manning Up.” Well played, gentlemen. THWg !!

909

July 23rd, 2012
9:47 am

GT will beat VT by at least 17 points.

Mark it down !!

5150 UOAD

July 23rd, 2012
10:20 am

Did what just happened at Penn St make them moving to the ACC much easier?
If the Big 10 bans them from TV I think the ACC moves FAST to get Penn St.

Teddy Roosevelt

July 23rd, 2012
10:34 am

yeller bug

July 23rd, 2012
10:41 am

PSU stock has fallen off a cliff. It would not send a good message to go after them right now. It would be worth discussing a couple of years from now.

jasperjacket

July 23rd, 2012
10:52 am

5150 UOAD What ever you are smoking it’s not legal. The last school that the ACC would approach to join the conference would be Penn State. I am just sorry that Bill O and Tedd R are there. That was one of those career opps moments!

5150 UOAD

July 23rd, 2012
11:05 am

Sorry but Penn St. still has a HUGE upside.

NCJacket

July 23rd, 2012
11:19 am

I agree that Penn St has a lot of upside, especially if they come to the ACC with Notre Dame. HOWEVER, the acc will continue to be the laughing stock of college football if they go after PSU right now. I’m not sure its worth it.

ATLER (Black Jacket)

July 23rd, 2012
11:45 am

I would like to see Penn State in the ACC in a couple of years.

SansWorld

July 23rd, 2012
11:46 am

Logan Thomas makes Jeremiah Attaochu look like an A-Back

Samiche

July 23rd, 2012
11:47 am

www

July 23rd, 2012
1:08 pm

gt4ever

July 23rd, 2012
2:56 pm

909 is on some GOOD stuff!