1. The opening practice was the first for Georgia Tech guard Omoregie Uzzi since the end of last season. Uzzi missed spring practice to heal from injuries suffered during the season.
“He did well,” coach Paul Johnson said. “I watched him a lot in practice. He did well, moved around pretty good.”
Having participated in summer workouts with the team after being cleared to practice, Uzzi didn’t feel the need to use caution.
“I was excited, excited to get back out there with the guys,” said Uzzi, a two-time All-ACC selection.
Uzzi is entering his final season at Tech and is already the owner of a degree. He is debating between taking graduate level classes or pursuing a second major in the school of public policy. Regardless, he is eager for the season to arrive.
“Everybody here is expecting big things this year,” he said.
2. Defensive line coach Andy McCollum liked what he saw Friday out of his returners.
“I think (strength and conditioning) Coach (John) Sisk and his staff have done a tremendous job with them,” McCollum said. “You can see the changes in [players’] bodies.”
Nose tackle T.J. Barnes and defensive end Emmanuel Dieke have won widespread praise from teammates for their summer workouts.
Barnes “worked as hard as he’s ever worked,” McCollum said. “You can see his body has changed. He’s ready to go.”
McCollum also has four incoming freshmen – Roderick Chungong, Patrick Gamble, Adam Gotsis and Francis Kallon. McCollum was asked if Gotsis, who played club football in Australia in high school, and Kallon, who has only played one year of football, face a steep learning curve.
“Yeah, but all of them do,” he said with a laugh.
3. Quarterback Synjyn Days practiced a lot at A-back Friday, Johnson said. Coaches want to get the backup quarterback on the field and, with Tevin Washington holding down the starting job, A-back is the most likely spot.
“He’s been [practicing at A-back] since spring,” Johnson said.
Quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon called the management of Days’ position “a day-to-day kind of deal right now.” Johnson has said that Days will continue to get work at quarterback.
“What we’re trying to do, as we’ve always said, is get our best 11 on the field,” Bohannon said.
4. B-back David Sims and guards Trey Braun and Thomas O’Reilly wore gold jerseys signifying their status as injured players. Johnson said they should be back Monday or Tuesday.
“We’re just kind of easing them into it,” he said.
As it was a non-contact workout, Sims took part in the whole practice and said the gold jersey was a precautionary measure. Sims, who had surgery over the summer to repair a shin splint, expects to be fully involved in Monday’s practice.
5. Bohannon had praise for the center-quarterback exchanges from Friday’s practice.
“Usually on the first day, there’s balls everywhere on snaps, but they actually did a pretty good job of that [Friday],” he said.
Quarterback Justin Thomas and B-back Marcus Allen, both incoming freshmen, “both showed some signs of what we expected from them just out there running around,” Bohannon said. Thomas and Allen are at positions where Tech has depth and figure to be redshirted.
6. Tech will hold fan day Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Festivities begin at 3 p.m., followed by autographs and photos at 4 p.m. … Players are again staying in a hotel not far from campus. Roommates were assigned randomly.