Pain-free, Tech’s Orwin Smith setting bar high

Notes from interviews this week. Camp opens next Friday.

1. Orwin Smith said he will always feel lingering effects of his toe injury, but it matters little to him as his final season at Georgia Tech nears.

“I feel like I’m good to go, 100 percent,” said Smith, an A-back. “I don’t feel any pain. … [The injury] will always be there, but it’s definitely easier to do some quickness and planting things.”

Smith suffered the turf-toe injury early in last season’s loss to Virginia Tech. He played with diminished effectiveness for the remainder of the season. He had surgery in January and missed spring practice.

On top of a summer internship in the accounting department of a local beverage distributor, Smith has attacked summer workouts. On top of participating in team workouts, he has taken yoga and trained on his own, exercising with a resistance vest and also running and jumping in a pool.

“I’m the type of guy, I feel like I can’t get fast enough,” he said. “I want to be able to hold my speed for a longer period of time.”

Last season, he had 12 offensive plays of 20 yards or longer, including a school-record 95-yard touchdown run against Kansas.

“Starting last year, I put in a good amount of time of just individual workouts, and I feel like it paid off,” Smith said. “This whole summer, I’ve been trying to do that plus more.”

He offered a whopper of an individual goal — to lead the country in all-purpose yardage. A year ago, he finished 85th in the country at 106.1 per game. The leader averaged 198.0. At the least, he likely would need to be more involved on kick returns.

Said Smith, “It’s a nice goal I feel I can reach.”

2. Quarterback Synjyn Days hopes to win the starting job over Tevin Washington, but he also has worked at A-back, B-back and wide receiver in the team’s 7-on-7 passing scrimmages. He said he has been meeting with A-backs coach Lamar Owens to go over that position.

At ACC media days in Greensboro, N.C., this past week, coach Paul Johnson said that if Days “doesn’t beat out Tevin in the first two weeks of fall camp, I don’t want him standing over there in a baseball cap [as the backup].”

Johnson wants to get Days’ powerful running style on the field, at quarterback or elsewhere. Quarterback is Days’ preference, but he’s open to being moved around.

“To be able to switch positions and be able to make plays on the field is kind of the way I was raised,” he said.

3. While he’ll use a rotation at A-back, Johnson said in Greensboro that he hasn’t determined who will start opposite Smith at A-back and that it could be “one of two or three guys” and that “the guy that blocks the best will be the one that plays.”

That could be an opening for Robbie Godhigh, a former walk-on who had a strong spring practice and for whom blocking is a strength. Godhigh said a starting job is a goal.

“I take that as an opportunity for me to make a name for myself and become the starter,” he said. “Blocking will get you chances to run.”

Deon Hill, B.J. Bostic, Broderick Snoddy and Tony Zenon are other possibilities.

4. Cornerback Louis Young and safety Isaiah Johnson fell over themselves in praise of safety Fred Holton, who is in position to start after missing last season with a torn Achilles tendon.

“Fred’s like the backbone that we didn’t have last year,” Young said. “He’s going to bring that extra muscle that we need to really get the job done.”

Said Johnson, “He can cover as good as anybody. I just can’t wait to see what he can do.”

5. At the team’s strength-and-conditioning testing, cornerback Rod Sweeting recorded a 40-inch vertical leap, a five-inch improvement from last summer. Sweeting said he figured to reach 36 or 37 inches, but then jumped 38 inches on his first attempt and hit 40 on the next.

“The new strength-and-conditioning coach, he’s the best,” Sweeting said of John Sisk. “The whole team got better working out-wise.”

6. Tech players will report for preseason practice Thursday and participate in their first practice Friday. The Jackets will hold Fan Day at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday. Festivities will begin at 3 p.m. on Callaway Plaza. Autograph signing and photo opportunities will start at 4 p.m.

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

270 comments Add your comment

buzzwax

July 28th, 2012
2:13 pm

Ken, thanks! Any strength and conditioning test data for other players? Great offseason stuff!!

5150 UOAD

July 28th, 2012
2:19 pm

What about the IRON JACKETS?
Fench
Thomas
Drummond
all made Iron Jackets this summer.

5150 UOAD

July 28th, 2012
2:20 pm

sorry FINCH
Jay Inyoface Finch It’s not just lifting but 435 on bench 400 on clean and 550X3 on squat

5150 UOAD

July 28th, 2012
2:21 pm

The Dream

July 28th, 2012
2:38 pm

So much speed at the A back position and if Days rotates through that position too, just imagine what Johnson could do with that wide open playbook. I hope Chris Jacksonj gets involved with the offense early on. I just keep feeling better and better about this year. Keep your head in the game and don’t let any stupid mistakes on either side of the ball and this could turn into a very special season.

duece coupe

July 28th, 2012
2:39 pm

OrwinSmithFanClub.com

5150 UOAD

July 28th, 2012
2:43 pm

How long until WnE comes on the blog to pee on a Good Story with his self-loathing drivel?

duece coupe

July 28th, 2012
2:46 pm

I don’t want him standing over there in a baseball cap as a backup.

duece coupe

July 28th, 2012
2:48 pm

Crush the hokies.

Delbert D.

July 28th, 2012
3:06 pm

The players were talking about Holton and his strength even while he was injured last year. That guy appears to have a really good upside potential.

BLT

July 28th, 2012
3:23 pm

Good stuff, thanks for the update Ken.

BLT

July 28th, 2012
3:26 pm

“That could be an opening for Robbie Godhigh, a former walk-on who had a strong spring practice and for whom blocking is a strength.”

Some folks are gonna be surprised how good he blocks. I really don’t care what the eternal pessimist has to say.

ONCE AGAIN...

July 28th, 2012
3:40 pm

VT F__cks Sheep

GTKurt80

July 28th, 2012
3:56 pm

Wow, great stuff Ken. How about some high optimism reports on WR, DL and LB. WR and DL, not necessarily in that order, because those are our areas of concern. LB just because I love that position. I’m hoping to see Jabari Hunt Days really make an impact.
Orwin, go for it, we’ll be cheering all the way!!

Ken Sugiura

July 28th, 2012
4:11 pm

thanks. i’ll see if i can get any results.
i’ve heard a lot of positive things about T.J. Barnes and Emmanuel Dieke, in particular. i don’t know if it will be a position of strength, but i think they’ll hold their own. wide receiver is wide open. it depends if darren waller and others are ready.
jabari hunt days is going to be a player, but you have to remember he’s never played a snap before. quayshawn nealy has added good weight.

WnE

July 28th, 2012
4:18 pm

That solves everything people, glowing pre-season Reports, I guess you can pencil us in to play for the MNC this year.

I am amazed that Holton wasn’t a great “cover guy” in HS ,and yet after a ruptured achilles tendon, all of a sudden he’s a great cover guy.

We also had the same glowing pre-season reports before 2010 when we went 6-7, that team was supposed to, “more together and more united” after losing the big-4 to the NFL draft that previous season.

We all see how that turned out.

At the end of the day it all comes down to how they play FOOTBALL.

Glowing pre-season reports are for delusional fans that don’t like to deal in reality.

Every other Team is saying similar things as our players are saying, take the comments you read from our players & coaches with a grain of salt.

I’m just curious, will Sweeting’s increase in vertical help him shut down Muttville’s WRs (Mitchell, Conley, Bennett) that had him beat so bad last season for easy an TD that he wasn’t even close enough to make a play on the ball?

I’m pretty sure many of our opponents are claiming they increased their vertical leap numbers also.

It all comes down to the GAMES.

BLT

July 28th, 2012
4:25 pm

Thanks WnE, how are the dogs doing?

WnE

July 28th, 2012
4:39 pm

re:
BLT

July 28th, 2012
4:25 pm

Thanks WnE, how are the dogs doing?
__________

Could give a rats @$$ about the effin’ mutts!

Supersize that order, mutt

July 28th, 2012
4:44 pm

And we could give a rats @$$ about your effin’ negativity. If you are a Tech fan, as you claim, then look for the good, and quit dwelling on what you THINK is bad

BLT

July 28th, 2012
4:52 pm

It does not sound like you care much about the Jackets either.

Let me simplify your assessment:

Everything is terrible with GT football. Tech should just go ahead and forfeit every game. There you go. Two sentences and your point is made. No need to post anything else.

I’m glad Ken keeps us updated on the Jackets. I doubt he’d get many “hits” if he wrote the stuff that you post on here. The dogs are on here all the time trashing Tech. Sad that someone that professes to support GT is always bashing them.

BTW, you put the “jack” in “@$$”!

Supersize that order, mutt

July 28th, 2012
4:56 pm

@ BLT…..it’s a hopeless cause, but I guess we have to try

WnE

July 28th, 2012
4:58 pm

I haven’t said anything close to “everything is terrible with GT FB”, nor have I hinted that “GT should forfeit every game”.

But I will cut through all the BS “coach-speak” that deludes many of our fans from accurately assessing our FB program.

I will not stop translating the BS coach-speak whenever I see it or read it.

That will not change.

Ever.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 28th, 2012
5:00 pm

You have NEVER NEVER said one positive thing about Tech football. So we translate your BS to “everything is terrible with GT FB.”

Ol'JacketFan

July 28th, 2012
5:01 pm

So tell us wrexie…….given all your superior knowledge and evaluation skills what record with the Jackets wind up with this year?

Supersize that order, mutt

July 28th, 2012
5:02 pm

C’mon, WnE, say something positive about GT FB. I bet you won’t

Ol'JacketFan

July 28th, 2012
5:02 pm

Oh and please break the record down game by game.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 28th, 2012
5:04 pm

Your silence TRANSLATES to “I have nothing good to say about GT FB.”

Supersize that order, mutt

July 28th, 2012
5:07 pm

BLT……it would appear that your summary statement of WnE’s assessment of Tech football was 100% correct, in spite of his denial.

Ol'JacketFan

July 28th, 2012
5:14 pm

Hmmm how hard is it to find something positive to say about the Jackets??????

Robert Barron

July 28th, 2012
5:16 pm

It is difficult not to be excited about 2012.
And I was not that much excited preseason 2010 knowing what we had lost but also that we failed to get two O lineman into grad school and they played at Ga State.
I nearly did not buy season tickeys but finally did.
This year I signed up early.
I very much like having a special teams coach who should be able to upgrade our play.
VT has used Beamer Ball to win many games.
We have been poor in this area and any improvement will make me happy.
I am hoping for more than that.
If WnE really is a Tech fan, he must be the guy who lost out to Paul Johnson to replace Gailey.
Or have some private grief he will not divulge.
Why would any Tech fan want to aggravate the rest of us?.
Not just now and then which I have been known to do but every time.
There must be more behind the constant negativity.
What’s your real complaint.
Your ex-wife a Tech fan?

GTKurt80

July 28th, 2012
5:21 pm

Ken, thanks. Hope Barnes is a good NT this year, consistent. Walls couldn’t get the job done. If Barnes comes through, then the other team may have to use two blockers on him and that gives hungry LBs the hole they need.
I don’t comment on these often, just try to stay up to date on my team. It’s all about the fun of the game, our team to cheer for, our team wins, it’s fun, we lose, our team tried their best.
This WnE character is the worst. He/she gets us all off the subject and everyone feels they have to respond to the him/her. Please just ignore this nut and enjoy talking about our team.
Go Jackets!!

North Ave Killer Beez

July 28th, 2012
5:26 pm

WnE write something a little longer next time, we will read that one too, promise!!

Samiche

July 28th, 2012
6:29 pm

Self-loathing drivel? I like that!

duece coupe

July 28th, 2012
6:34 pm

Sounds like T.J. Barnes
is getting kinda Flamboyant in his old age.

www

July 28th, 2012
7:10 pm

wne should probably see a mental health professional.

guys that obsess like he has been doing for years over CPJ and tech football never end up well without help.

Paul in NH

July 28th, 2012
7:19 pm

WnE

July 28th, 2012
4:39 pm
re:
BLT

July 28th, 2012
4:25 pm

Thanks WnE, how are the dogs doing?
__________

Could give a rats @$$ about the effin’ mutts!

—-
Now that’s an interesting statment coming from the guy who posted this on Chip Tower’s blog during Spring practice

WnE
April 1st, 2012
9:38 am
Good to see Scott-Wesley step up at WR coming off of a RS yr., with Mitchell spending time at CB it will be good for him to use the Spring to develop more, he was a raw track guy last yr. now he needs to transition to being more of a FB player.
I didn’t see any stats for C. Conley or M. Bennett, were they shut out or injured?
Also Murray has to eliminate the INTS.!

Supersize that order, mutt

July 28th, 2012
7:26 pm

@ Paul…….VERY INTERESTING !!!!

Ol'JacketFan

July 28th, 2012
7:42 pm

I’m sure wrexie will claim someone hijacked his name ;-)

Samiche

July 28th, 2012
7:42 pm

So, WhinE is a DwagE.

chas_jacket

July 28th, 2012
7:45 pm

the best way to deal with wne is to 1) not repond to his trash, 2) expose him as a dawg troll, 3) insult him – a bit redundant with prior item , 4) talk about GT football with other REAL GT fans.

Speaking of which, Super here was an article on Barnes posted while you were gone

http://georgiatech.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1384385

Supersize that order, mutt

July 28th, 2012
8:18 pm

thanks, chas_jacket. nice article

macrotech

July 28th, 2012
9:10 pm

Of COURSE, WnE is a mutt….just look at all the fecal matter on his chin when he posts….it’s a mutt thing!

Of COURSE, it comes down to the games! It’s just that we’re a month away from the “games” and this is all we have…preseason! I’m surprised YOU’d cry about ANYTHING to do with preseason…nobody’s star shines brighter than uga’s during preseason! I believe y’all are set to “win” the NC……again!

I’m stoked to see a healthy Orwin Smith on the field!!!

WnE

July 28th, 2012
9:15 pm

filters are acting very sensitive again…………

Jacket Man

July 28th, 2012
9:32 pm

You guys should know by now that anyone who stalks teenage boys online isn’t a GA Tech fan…

Jacket Man

July 28th, 2012
9:33 pm

Perhaps I should have specified males…

Supersize that order, mutt

July 28th, 2012
9:57 pm

If the filters were truly sensitive, they would censor all the garbage that you type

Supersize that order, mutt

July 28th, 2012
9:57 pm

sorry, that was addressed to WnE’s 9:15 remark

Dawgs

July 28th, 2012
10:18 pm

I could care what Kind of fan you call me …. I will tell you like it is… GT Has Major issues recruiting talent on the DL.
If they have not improved in this area look for them to be 7-5…

Paul Johnson CAN NOT recruit!! Point blank…. Sure Chump Gaily recruited the same star rating as Johnson, but some how another he turned the mediocre talent to decent players especially on Defense… Credit it to J Tunata for this maybe??? Anyways I have not seen Johnson put together ANYTHING on the defenseive side of the Ball… Yeah maybe the DBs are decent, but thats about it..

Dawgs

July 28th, 2012
10:23 pm

And quit calling WnE a Dawg!! If he is he is a dawg, he still telling the truth!
Aint no one making silly ignorant Techie jokes!!…. were talk unbiased football here. Leave your emotions out! and face truth
Your program has GLARING problems that seem almost unfixable!! 7-5 at best this season !!

Ol'JacketFan

July 28th, 2012
10:27 pm

@ Dwags………….tell us Jacket fans something…………..why would we care about your opinion on ANYTHING relating to TECH football? Tenuta? Seriously? The Tech fans I know were thrilled that he got ran out of town. His one trick pony act of blitz every down got very old, very quickly.