Georgia Tech hits the road for its season opener vs. Virginia Tech on Monday. CineSport’s Noah Coslov and I discuss the keys to the game & Paul Johnson’s Twitter ban.
Notes from the news conference, formatted for the print edition. It’s mostly stuff that was in the earlier post.
1. When Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson dropped B-back Charles Perkins to third on the depth chart midway through the preseason, he offered a word of caution to not read too much into it. The depth chart is fluid and remains subject to change, he said.
It turns out Johnson knew what he was talking about. When the depth chart for Monday’s opener against Virginia Tech was released Friday, Perkins was first among B-backs and will make his first career start against the Hokies.
“He’s done better than the other guys,” Johnson said at his Friday news conference. “That’s why he’s the starter.”
In his redshirt freshman season in 2011, Perkins was third on the depth chart behind David Sims and Preston Lyons. He played special teams and ran 28 times for 95 yards.
The three competitors for the job, Zach Laskey, Sims and Perkins, have all missed practice time in the preseason
UPDATED, 12:40 p.m. — Georgia Tech B-back Charles Perkins will start Monday night against Virginia Tech, coach Paul Johnson said at his Friday news conference. Johnson said that Sims is not yet 100 percent and that Perkins earned the start over Laskey through his performance in practice.
Johnson said that the depth chart remains open to change in the future, that Laskey and Perkins are “neck and neck” and will both play Monday night. Laskey, Perkins and Sims have all missed practice time during fall camp, which has muddied the picture at the featured position in the Tech offense. Johnson also noted the play of backups Broderick Snoddy and Matt Connors.
“They all bring some different things to the table, and this week in practice, Charles has probably been the best at all of it,” Johnson said.
It will be the first career start for Perkins, a sophomore.
“Hopefully, Charles will go out there and rush for 200 yards,” Johnson said.
Other notes from the news conference:
Georgia Tech defensive end Izaan Cross is going into his third year as a starter at defensive end and was named to the Ted Hendricks Award watch list, given to the nation’s top defensive end. The senior from Flowery Branch High, who will be counted on to provide pass-rush pressure and leadership, spoke with the AJC about his unusual name, his favorite bowl gift and a trusted pre-game ritual. Questions and answers were edited for clarity and brevity.
Q: What’s a crazy story from your recruitment?
A: End of my junior year, we’re sitting in class. That’s when everybody had a cell phone. So our teachers were really cracking down on us having cell phones in class and not being able to use it. Right as she was giving us this huge lecture, my phone started ringing while she was talking about it and it was Urban Meyer calling. So I was like, I have to take this call. I’m sorry, you can take my phone after. I just left class and answered the phone call.
Q: Where did your parents get
1. Georgia Tech safety Fred Holton and offensive tackle Morgan Bailey were held out of practice again with injuries, but that was about all coach Paul Johnson would offer on the topic in advance of the Monday opener against Virginia Tech.
Asked about a replacement for Holton, Johnson said, “We’ll let you know [Friday],” when the team will release its depth chart for Monday’s game.
Whether or not Holton plays, defensive back Jamal Golden should see considerable playing time with cornerback Louis Young out because of a suspension. Golden, who mostly played special teams last season as a freshman, has been working at various positions in the secondary.
Coaches “haven’t really told me anything” about playing time or role, Golden said. “I’ve just been repping a number of spots, so I’m just trying to stay confident and learn the defense as best I can and just go into the game ready in case I get in it.”
2. Players wore the new helmets – white with adjoining hexagons outlined in
The Twitter-verse will have to LOL without @inyoface50, @Heartbreak_mea and @BIG_O_17 until January. After Georgia Tech players sent out photos of the Yellow Jackets’ new helmet from their Twitter accounts Wednesday, coach Paul Johnson banned players from messaging on the social-media site until the season ends.
That would include the owners of the aforementioned handles, center Jay Finch, cornerback Jemea Thomas and A-back Orwin Smith.
Johnson has had no issue with players’ use of sites like Twitter and Facebook, but cautioned them to use them responsibly and to keep team matters private. Wednesday’s episode proved to be the final straw. The photo of the helmet and messages about it were taken down from players’ accounts shortly after they were posted, but not before other Twitter users began circulating them across the Internet.
Said Johnson, “Let me know if they tweet you.”
It is not an uncommon practice. Men’s basketball coach Brian Gregory doesn’t permit players to send
No news, but just wanted to clarify a couple things and share some thoughts from the ever-quotable Roddy Jones.
1. The “GT” logo will be added to the helmet when it will be prepared for game use. The Buzz logo is unlikely. The school has sought to use the “GT” mark as its primary brand over the Buzz logo.
2. The helmet and whatever alternate uniform accompanies it almost certainly won’t be used on an ongoing basis. Expect the standard look – gold helmet, white jersey, gold pants at home, gold helmet, white jersey, white pants on the road – to continue.
3. Yellow jackets, or yellowjackets, do build nests with hexagonal cells. It’s not only honey bees. According to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program website, “commonly build nests in rodent burrows, but they sometimes select other protected cavities, such as voids in walls and ceilings of houses, as nesting sites.”
4. Schools besides Oregon that have used or will use alternate uniforms –
1. Georgia Tech may have new headgear to show off for its nationally-televised season opener on Monday. It’s possible new uniforms are coming, too.
Said Tech spokesman Wayne Hogan, “We’ve got a lot of things in the pipeline.”
Wednesday, multiple Yellow Jackets players posted a photo of a new helmet on their Twitter accounts that drew instant reaction, positive and negative. The photo and messages hinting that it would be worn in Monday’s game against Virginia Tech were taken down soon after they were posted.
Hogan acknowledged that the helmet – white with adjoining hexagonal cells outlined in gold, suggesting a yellow jacket nest – was legitimate, though he didn’t know if it would be worn against the Hokies. The helmet will have the interlocking “GT” logo applied when it is used for a game. Monday, Tech will wear its white road uniforms with blue trim.
The team and outfitter Russell Athletic have worked on new designs for a uniform, Hogan said, with many different combinations
Multiple Georgia Tech players posted Twitter pictures of a helmet that may see action on Monday night in the season opener against Virginia Tech.
“We do have a second helmet that we have to wear a few times in practice in case we want to wear it during the season,” Tech spokesman Dean Buchan said.
Quarterback/A-back Synjyn Days tweeted a photo of the helmet with the message “New helmets … Lets Get It 9/3.” (The photo below is from his account.)
The helmet is white with adjoining hexagons, creating a yellow jacket nest motif. It is a rather significant departure from Tech’s traditional gold helmet and is an answer to the cries of many fans and some players for a fresher look. Tech will wear its white road uniform with blue trim.
“I just feel like we need to come up with some Russell combat uniforms or something,” Days said last week.
It’s unclear how much playing time he’ll see Monday, or this season, for that matter, but B-back Broderick Snoddy has made a distinct impression on his position coach.
“Anytime you can get a guy that can change the game in one snap, that’s huge,” quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon said. “Obviously, we’d like to get him in a position where he can help us.”
Snoddy is a redshirt freshman from Carrollton High and possibly the fastest player on the team. He won the state Class AAA 100- and 200-meter dashes as a junior. Snoddy’s track background is partly why Bohannon figured Snoddy would adapt well to B-back, where the back typically runs up the middle on a straight line. Snoddy had worked at A-back before moving to B-back just after the start of fall camp.
“When he gets into the open field, you can hear all the other guys,” Bohannon said. “They’re like, Oh, there he goes. He’s gone.”
What is holding Snoddy back from the field, besides David Sims and Zach Laskey, is