Archive for July, 2012

Finch named to Rimington Trophy watch list

Georgia Tech center Jay Finch was named to the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s outstanding center. Finch started 12 games last year in his first season as a starter, helping the Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense.

Finch is one of five ACC players and 51 players nationally to make the list.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Alford pleads no contest on disorderly conduct

Georgia Tech walk-on linebacker Corey Alford pleaded no contest to two counts of disorderly conduct but had a misdemeanor charge of obstructing and hindering law enforcement officers was dropped in Athens-Clarke County State Court. Alford was arrested after an altercation in a downtown Athens bar June 9.

Alford was placed on six months’ probation, fined $500 and barred from downtown Athens. Alford was suspended following the arrest. Alford, a junior, has yet to play in his two seasons at Tech.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Tech’s Days working on passing form

Georgia Tech quarterback Synjyn Days is open to playing another position, but should make a strong push at quarterback when the Yellow Jackets’ fall camp opens at the beginning of August.

Days has been working with a private quarterback coach and feels he’s making progress as a passer.

“I feel like I’m getting a lot better with my throwing,” Days said.

Days, battling with Vad Lee behind starter Tevin Washington, has been training with Ron Veal, a former Arizona quarterback who has tutored Georgia’s Hutson Mason, among others. Days and Veal meet every weekend for about an hour and 15 minutes. (During the summer, college coaches are not allowed to supervise players.) Veal has been working with Days on his footwork, his drops and throwing on the run.

“His accuracy has gone up a lot,” Veal said.

Veal said that he’s throwing better on the run.

“He throws a fairly good deep ball,” Veal said. “His intermediate ball, he’s still working on.”

Days’ arm strength has never been an issue, …

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Tech basketball schedule released

Georgia Tech released its men’s basketball schedule for 2012-13 on Monday. Precise dates for many of the ACC games have yet to be determined and will be set in August.

Tech will open McCamish Pavilion Nov. 9 against Tulane. The Yellow Jackets play Georgia Dec. 4, a Friday. ACC home games are against Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. (This is the first year of the 18-game league schedule.)

Nov. 9 – Tulane

Nov. 14 – Presbyterian

Nov. 22-25 – Anaheim Classic (Anaheim, Calif. Other opponents: California, Drake, Drexel, Pacific, Rice, Saint Mary’s and Xavier)

Nov. 28 – at Illinois (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)

Dec. 4 – Georgia

Dec. 8 – UNC Wilmington

Dec. 17 – Alabama State

Dec. 22 – The Citadel

Dec. 29 – Fordham

Jan. 2 – Chattanooga

Jan. 5/6 – Miami

Jan. 8/9/10 – at N.C. State

Jan. 12/13 – Virginia Tech

Jan. 15/16/17 – at Duke

Jan. 22/23/24 – at North Carolina

Jan. 26/27 – Wake Forest

Jan. 29/30/31 – at …

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10 things you didn’t know about Buzz Preston

Greetings-

The third installment of interviews with Georgia Tech assistants, following Al Groh and Charles Kelly. I’ve enjoyed doing these. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading them…

The Georgia Tech assistant coach who helped Demaryius Thomas get drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft and Stephen Hill in the second round this past April also fondly remembers his days at the University of Hawaii and his upbringing in Los Angeles and took a roundabout path to college.

Buzz Preston has coached wide receivers at Tech since arriving with coach Paul Johnson before the 2008 season. He shared thoughts on his past and present with the AJC.

You can call him Al

Preston’s given name is Albert Preston Jr., but everyone calls him Buzz or Buzzy. Preston has a sister one year older than him, and the story goes that she couldn’t say “baby brother.” From her mangled pronunciation came Buzzy, which he went by into his 20’s, when the same sister told him that he needed to adopt a more …

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Godsey heads Tech HOF class, other notes

1. Former Georgia Tech quarterback George Godsey headlines the school’s 2012 sports hall of fame class, announced Thursday. Godsey, now the New England Patriots’ tight ends coach, started for the Yellow Jackets in the 2000 and 2001 seasons and was second-team All-ACC in 2000. He still owns several school records.

Other inductees: Jon Carman (second-team All-America offensive lineman), Carlton Forrester (All-ACC golfer), Becky Megesi (All-America distance runner), Tomas Motiejunas (national champion 4×400-meter relay member), Maja Pachale (ACC volleyball player of the year) and Cory Vance (third-team All-America baseball pitcher). The induction ceremony will be held Oct. 19.

(I’ve heard more than once from Wes Durham that the induction dinner is something every Tech fan should attend.)

2. Baseball coach Danny Hall has interviewed at least two candidates for the pitching coach position – St. John’s pitching coach Scott Brown and UNC-Wilmington pitching coach Jason Howell.

Both, …

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Georgia Tech: Jeff Greene summer update

Some notes from a group interview with Georgia Tech wide receiver Jeff Greene.

1. Greene looks at the competition at wide receiver as open. Greene will compete with Darren Waller, Chris Jackson, Jeremy Moore and incoming freshmen Anthony Autry, Travin Henry and Micheal Summers.

“Everybody has the chance to play,” he said. “You’ve just got to go out there and fight for that spot, fight for that job.”

2. In the past, receptions have not been distributed particularly evenly. Last season, Stephen Hill led with 28 followed by Tyler Melton with 17. In 2010, Hill led with 15 (that is crazy). The second wide receiver was Correy Earls with nine. In 2009, it was most pronounced. Demaryius Thomas had 46 and Hill had six. In 2008, Thomas had 39 and Melton was next among receivers with five.

Greene’s explanation: “You have a big target in Steve. We already knew that if it was a go route, he’s most likely going to get (past) the DB. You just already knew he was going to be open.”

The gap …

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Georgia Tech: Darren Waller on summer workouts

Georgia Tech wide receiver Darren Waller met with reporters and provided some excellent insights to the team’s summer workouts. Forthwith…

1. Waller has been working on a list of skills that receivers coach Buzz Preston and coach Paul Johnson gave him. Among them are getting off of press coverage and route running, which encompasses knowing his route depths and running them more smoothly. A lot of it is individual work, working with a dummy or running routes using cones. He’s also worked with the cornerbacks and quarterback Tevin Washington.

Of Washington, Waller said that “he knows more about receiver drills just because he’s been here five years and knows what I can work on.”

Thus far, he said he feels “a whole lot smoother” because of his work and his experience in the offense.

2. A lesson learned from his freshman season: “You’ve got to be physical with whatever you do. That’ something I really learned last year.”

3. Waller added his praise for special teams coach Dave …

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Georgia Tech’s Taylor ‘amazing’

Late Sunday evening (Eastern time, at any rate), Georgia Tech men’s track coach Grover Hinsdale was driving back to Portland, Ore. He had spent the past two weeks at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Ore. On his last day there, he was a marvel.

“Shoot, I don’t know what I can say about him,” Hinsdale said. “He’s just an incredibly special athlete.”

Georgia Tech grad Angelo Taylor is headed to his fourth Olympic Games, having finished second at the trials in the 400-meter hurdles. He’ll go for his third gold in the 400 hurdles, which would make him the first person to ever accomplish that hat trick.

He’ll be going with another former Yellow Jacket, high jumper Chaunte Lowe, who won her event Saturday for her third Olympic berth.

Taylor, though, nearly met catastrophe, which is what had Hinsdale agog. After sailing through qualifying and semifinal heats, Taylor took a sizeable lead in the final and, with two hurdles to go, seemed to be in the clear for first …

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Georgia Tech: More on strength coach John Sisk

Greetings-

Hopefully you read the feature on Georgia Tech’s new director of player development (read: strength and conditioning coach) John Sisk. There were a few notes and thoughts that I couldn’t fit into the story that I thought you might be interested in.

1. His background: played at Western Carolina (Paul Johnson’s alma mater), three years as a high school coach, at Furman for two years as an assistant, then Western Carolina to become the head strength coach, then five years as an assistant at Clemson, then Vanderbilt for nine years, the first eight under Bobby Johnson.

He interviewed with James Franklin when he was hired at Vanderbilt, but was not retained. He went back to Furman as the head strength coach for a year and then was hired at Tech.

The fact that he was hired back at Furman suggests that a) he got results; b) people liked working with him. From what I gather about him, I’d say they’re both true.

2. Sisk didn’t have a connection with Johnson prior to the job. …

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