Some leftover notes from Monday and Tuesday’s media availability (some of which may resurface in today’s practice notes):
1. Special-teams coordinator David Walkosky isn’t in a hurry to name starters at the specialist spots, just the top two players on the depth chart.
“We’ll do that probably this week,” he said. “Now we get pads on and (start) doing some live reps. You’ve got to narrow it down to a semi-travel squad. That’s what we’re going to get to. I don’t care about the starters.”
For kicker, punter and long snapper, that doesn’t figure to be a major undertaking. Kickers Justin Moore and David Scully are at the top of the kicking depth chart, with Ryan Rodwell and Sean Poole at punter and Sean Tobin and Tyler Morgan at long snapper. The returners are less clear, it would appear.
As I mentioned, Walkosky mentioned Jemea Thomas, Jamal Golden, Tony Zenon and Anthony Autry as possibilities.
“Autry is a kid who looks smooth with the ball in his hands,” Walkosky said. “I’m excited about him.”
2. Walkosky would the redshirt off a freshman for special-teams purposes if he plays on the “big four” units – punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return – but perhaps not less than that.
“There’s no use to have that person just be on one special team,” he said. “There’s enough players on this football team. We can find guys. But if there’s a guy that can start on all four, I’m sure Coach (Paul Johnson) would be more than happy to bring him along.”
3. Johnson said the competition at wide receiver will “go all the way up to the last week, probably” between the four returners – Jeff Greene, Darren Waller, Chris Jackson and Jeremy Moore – and freshmen Travin Henry, Micheal Summers and Autry.
Robbie Godhigh is at the lead of the A-back competition, followed by Deon Hill. Tech will scrimmage Saturday, which could help shake up the depth chart at that position and others. Interesting fact (to me, at any rate) about Godhigh: He interned this summer with the DeKalb Police Department, where his dad is an officer. Godhigh wants to be an FBI agent.
4. Defensive coordinator Al Groh singled out Golden for his football acumen, praising his ability to pick things up last year as a freshman, which is atypical.
“What stands out is the unusual one that indicates very early that it makes perfect sense to him,” Groh said. “For example, last year, Jamal Golden was a player who came in who’d really never played in the secondary. He was a quarterback in high school, but it was very apparent early that football made perfect sense to him. He had a lot of techniques to learn and recognition of offense to learn, but the concepts that were being put before him, he understood them perfectly. Some of those kids, it just does, it makes perfect sense to them and therefore they have a chance to move forward a little bit earlier in their career.”
I say this not to put undue expectations on Golden, but Groh made the same observation of Lawrence Taylor and Chris Long. Obviously, having the game make “perfect sense” is an incredible asset, but it’s far from the only tool necessary to become a pro football hall of famer or a first overall draft pick.
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog