Georgia Tech competition breakdown: A-back

Who’s involved: Junior Robbie Godhigh, sophomores B.J. Bostic, Synjyn Days, Deon Hill, Tony Zenon, freshman Broderick Snoddy.

Who’s starter: Orwin Smith at one A-back spot, the other is undetermined. Godhigh and Hill are in the lead. Roddy Jones was a four-year starter.

What coach Paul Johnson says: Godhigh and Hill “were a little bit ahead (after spring practice), so if we had to start tomorrow, [Smith and Godhigh] would probably start.”

What Orwn Smith says: “You have to be able to run and block. Obviously you are going to be better at one or the other but, in our offense, we can check the play at any given time. You can’t just be a one-element guy. The A-backs are just athletes. We are the guys setting the edge to block and we are running routes. We do it all.”

Comment: Three or four players will likely rotate, so starting doesn’t carry as much meaning as other positions. There’s a lot of playmaking speed in this group, notably Snoddy, who won the state Class AAA 100- and 200-meter dashes at Carrollton High. Bostic got some time at A-back as a true freshman in 2010 but missed 2011 with a broken thumb suffered in the preseason. Johnson has said he’s looking for “more of a role guy,” i.e., someone who can block for the dynamic Smith. That could play into Godhigh’s favor. Days, who has been taking snaps at A-back and quarterback, is an X-factor.

Other breakdowns

Offensive tackle

Wide receiver

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

97 comments Add your comment

Gojackets

August 8th, 2012
9:13 pm

Marine Jacket

August 8th, 2012
9:19 pm

As long as the other A-back makes plays I don’t care who it is.

Go Jackets!!!

Tokyo jacket

August 8th, 2012
9:23 pm

Marine jacket, much of the A-back position is about helping the other guys make plays. That’s why CPJ stresses blocking so much. Ever notice that most of the big O’s runs came when Roddy was on the other side?

GT GRAD

August 8th, 2012
9:40 pm

A-Back is very deep……..let’s start playing some football!

Frustrated

August 8th, 2012
9:47 pm

I don’t like the idea of 3-4 guys coming in at A-back. I know CPJ has always done this but if Orwin is the best, he needs to play more. I got so frustrated last year when he was running all over the other team when he got the ball but was only given the ball a few times. The best player needs to be out on the field til he wants to be subbed out to rest.

Ol'JacketFan

August 8th, 2012
9:48 pm

Godhigh sounds like he’s tough as nails but I love the size and speed of Hill. Add Snoddy, Bostic, Zenon and Days you’ve got depth and speed to burn. Nice problem for the coaches!

For Dawg fans visiting

August 8th, 2012
9:57 pm

I have bad news.
Saban is so much better of a coach than Richt and the pathetic thing is u know it.
Saban had restored Bama back to where they were with Bear Bryant; a national champ contender every year with 2 out of the last three.
Imagine that.
Richt cannot deliver a NC but that is not his worse failing.
His worse failing is lacking the stones to get in the face of his problem players.
I had a Ga fan as a real estate office manager and he could get in your face (as he did mine a time or two) a ton better than Richt can.
We do not like to admit it but most of us could use someone getting in our face now and then.
The person who does it is actually showing they give a damn what happens to you.
They want to help u get out of the course u r on even if u might get angry about being told the truth.
Richt is not that type of person and his players who wind up in trouble and not graduating pay for his lack of guts.
Some of u think the Athens police are tougher on your players than the Birmingham police are on Bama’s.
That’s not it though u probably will never admit it.
Bama’s players have some fear of breaking the rules because Saban is the type of coach u do not want angry with u.
Few if any Uga players feel that way about Richt.
That is pretty obvious.
Your fan Herchel Talker, I’d bet, agrees with most of this.
You need to run the table this year because u won’t get to play the SEC’s sisters of the poor forever.
Robert Barron

ole yeller

August 8th, 2012
10:04 pm

For Dog Fans? WTF are you doing here? Did you get mixed up? This is a Tech blog, where did UGA and Alabama speak to the Tech issue? Go over to your own blog.

TW

August 8th, 2012
10:10 pm

In is important to remmeber, TW has to pick the ball. Last year he held it to much–look at his total for carries. The more he pitches, the more it spreads the defense. Then it opens it up for everybody. Remember pich it more benefits everyone.Spread the love.

Hayseed Dixie

August 8th, 2012
10:20 pm

@ole yeller
He’s just being honest- the most belligerent mutt fans are on the tech blog constantly. That’s who he’s addressing.

@Frustrated
Yeah, I think Orwin could run a bit more- it’s kind of the Leo Mazzonne thing: you limit their playing trying to protect them from getting hurt and it actually can *contribute* to them getting hurt.

However, so much of CPJ’s offense comes from the defense keying on who they fear the most and then a relatively anonymous guy like Zenon or (in his Freshman year) Roddy Jones just burns you out of nowhere.

Still wouldn’t mind seeing Orwin getting the option run to his side when he’s playing a hot hand.

Hayseed Dixie

August 8th, 2012
10:24 pm

@TW

Tevin did a good job of reading more often than not last year. The defense *does* decide who gets the ball, and I think most DCs were fine with having our QB risk getting hit in the open field.

I don’t really blame Tevin for alot of his snafus last year. I’ve watched most of last season several times, and I see blown blocking assignments on the OL, guys just getting flat out beat on the OL, and Stephen Hill dropping some wide open or man-coverage looks.

You eliminate those, like I think we will this year, and it’s a different TW.

yeller bug

August 8th, 2012
10:35 pm

O. Smith only played a half season last year at near 100%. He will get more touches this year. He should avg 10 carries a game. It appeared that teams keyed on the B back and the pitch man and forced our QB to run and thus take punishment on every play. We may need both Days and Vad Lee this year at QB to keep TW from getting too beat up.

Big Crimson 75

August 8th, 2012
11:22 pm

@9:57 …… I hear ya bro.
Couldn’t have said that better my-self.
I believe even dwag homer extraordinaire B. King addressed the same subject earlier this week.
Richt looked like a Football Coach his first 5 yrs in Athens, now he appears to lack the necessary energy.
He’s sick everyone else that matters in the SEC is winning National Championships — except him!!!

ToeMeetsLeather

August 9th, 2012
6:21 am

Orwin sounds more like an A-Back coach, he should provide tremendous leadership for this group. Also, notice how young we are at this position. Bodes well for the future.

I sure hope we see this group more involved in the short passing game this year. I think that is the area that would make this offense truly unstoppable!

Jimmy

August 9th, 2012
6:45 am

Robert Barron,

What a load of total crap. So it’s Richt’s fault that his players can’t take responsibility for their own actions?! That’s what’s wrong w/ this country today, personal responsibility – or lack thereof.

Let’s not fool ourselves, these MEN (and they are men, not boys as many say) know right from wrong, they just refuse to play by the rules. That’s on them, NOT on the coaching staff.

Jimmy

August 9th, 2012
6:46 am

BTW, I’m neither a Dog or Tech graduate. Just a fan of both teams, so I have no dog in this fight (no pun intended).

GT Rich

August 9th, 2012
8:19 am

I like the A-backs rotating — puts fresh legs in play after play. It wears out the DBs & LBs who have to chase them down the line or on routes or fight off the A-backs blocks. Ideally, we’d have 4 good players to rotate through. Agreed that Tevin wasn’t piching nearly as much to the A-backs as he should’ve.

5150 UOAD

August 9th, 2012
8:27 am

WHY the HELL are some of you on here talking Bama and the MUTTS? Go to the Mutt blog.

Snoddy needs to get the blocking down cause he can BURN when the other A-back blocks for him.

WnE

August 9th, 2012
8:54 am

This is one of CPJ’s biggest weaknesses.

He has a heckuva lot of schollies invested in A-backs, yet he has only ONE proven player at A-Back and that’s Orwin that had only 61 rushes last season.

When your top A-Back has 61 rushes, roughly 5 per Game and you have as many schollies invested as CPJ does, then at some point you need to get better production from all those schollies.

With the numbers of schollies we have invested at A-Back we should have more than Orwin plus a “role guy” going into year FIVE of the CPJ Era.

After 5 years of CPJ recruiting at a-back we have no CJ Spiller type, an explosive RB type, nor do we have a Percy Harvin type, an explosive WR-type that will take our A-back production to that “next level”.

This might be one of the biggest weaknesses of CPJ’s “system “, at the lower levels it works fine and he can get away with recruiting “tweeners” at A-back, not really true WRs, and not big enough to get significant carries as a RB on the BCS-level..

But at the BCS-level the A-back position has a huge disappointment at GT, and that is including Orwin’s very good play at A-back, the fact is, is that A-backs just haven’t been the game changers that we need them to be.

In summary, lot of schollies invested, but after five years we have Orwin, plus a “role player”.

Meanwhile we have depth issues at NT and at safety, and maybe among our DEs that have legit DE size, not tweeners.

Once again, heavy on analysis, no trolling at all!

GTVegas

August 9th, 2012
9:08 am

Heavy on analysis and consistent with respect to intent. I am taking your word for the analysis because the last line was all that received any focus,

You are worse than MSNBC trying to analyse a republican.

GTVegas

August 9th, 2012
9:14 am

I admit, I am assuming he was consistent with respect to intent. I try not to read anything past WnE, but I did see the last line.

When is he going to realize that the only people that read his diatribes are, well I really don’t know who they are.

This guy has such a thing against CPJ that he has ruined any credibility he may have otherwise had.

wes

August 9th, 2012
9:33 am

A-back has been a weakness?

Anthony Allen, Roddy Jones, Orwin Smith, Deon Hill, Godhigh (who was a preferred walkon=not on scholarship until his 2nd year).

If our A-backs are disappointments to you then our quarterbacks should definitely be labeled as colossal failures.

wes

August 9th, 2012
9:33 am

@ WnE…

Don’t forget to kill yourself!

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
9:35 am

Add in there Marcus Wright and Emory Peeples

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
9:39 am

And didn’t Coach RIcht just move ELITE RECRUIT Ray Drew from DE to LB or LB to DE???? Could it be he is a CLASSIC TWEENER who can’t help D1 program?????????? Are RICHT and Grantham LOUSY RECRUITERS??????????

WnE

August 9th, 2012
10:23 am

Embry Peeples career stats:

FOUR YEARS worth of Games

138 rushes — 1035 yards

16 receptions — 453 yards.

that’s FORTY-SEVEN (47) Games played

Understand that most of his Stats came vs. cupcake city, as he tended to disappear vs. big time teams.

Let’s see 138/47 = 2.936 carries per game for his entire GT career.

Let’s see 16/47 = .340 Receptions per game for his entire GT career/

Not exactly what I would call an impact player, this is why the skill guys that GT gets, we end up having to beat out Elon and Furman for them because really talented HS Recruits can project what kind of career they’ll have at GT in CPJ’s system even IF everything goes well.

CPJ’s system is killing GT’s recruiting.

GTfan 2012

August 9th, 2012
10:24 am

I actually read WnE’s most recent diatribe. I like to keep myself informed on what UGA fans are saying about GT. Since I read it I can honestly say that he knows very little about the GT program, he doesn’t understand CPJ’s offense, and he has no sense of what’s happening in the upcoming year. His criticisms of GT have typically focused on the wrong things, A-back and QB? instead of the clear issues we’ve had on the OL. He has insulted the ability of Stephen Hill and Synjyn Days, he has mocked Bobby Dodd. And he has rightly criticized the DL recruiting in the past without pointing how that has improved. He has wrongly criticized our overall recruiting for the 3-4, without acknowledging the positive steps made in getting LBs in in 2011 and DLs in 2012 and 2013. In short its perfectly clear to me that he has no sense of GT, its history, or its future. But then I wouldn’t exect anything less from a UGA fan. I’ve known for sure that he was a UGA fan since the day he responded to a post about Orson Charles and assured everyone that Orson Charles’ 40-time at his pro day was just an aberation and that he’d run faster. Really, WnE?!? From a self-proclaimed GT grad (hey we’ve all seen the ring right). And you are assuring me that Orson Charles can run a faster 40?!!? You’ve never assured me that you think Tevin can improve his passing. You’ve never assured me that you think the young WRs have a good combo of size and talent and can step up this year. You’ve never assured me that Jabari Hunt Days has all the physical tools to be a dominant LB in the ACC and that this year marks his first step on that journey. But you did assure me that Orson Charles could run a faster 40 time. Pathetic that WnE still maintains this charade after so many years.

WnE

August 9th, 2012
10:32 am

re:
Ol’JacketFan
August 9th, 2012
9:39 am

And didn’t Coach RIcht just move ELITE RECRUIT Ray Drew from DE to LB or LB to DE???? Could it be he is a CLASSIC TWEENER who can’t help D1 program?????????? Are RICHT and Grantham LOUSY RECRUITERS?????????
____________

Ray Drew has grown to 6-5 284 lbs. with no fat on him, he OUTGREW his OLB position.

The guys that CPJ is recruiting aren’t out-growing their positions, the problem is, is that they AREN’T GROWING INTO THEM!

He Recruits DEs that are 6-3 245 out of HS, and after 3 years in GT’s development program they end up at 6-4 260lbs. that are too small to play DE and then too slow to play OLB, that what a Tweener is.

Ray Drew has outgrown the OLB position just 1 year out of HS, and since he’s already 6-5 284lbs. he projects to be a “very quick” 3-4 DE at 295 to 305lbs. in another year or so.

He had the Academics for GT, and these are the types of Recruits that GT & CPJ has been missing out on.

In summary, out-growing a position and then being “extra-quick” for your new position is not considered being a “tweener”.

If there’s anything else you’d like to “learn” about CFB, I’d be happy to help you out.

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
10:34 am

and we notice that wrexie ignore A.Allen and R.Jones’ stats. Cherry picking as usual and, besides, what good is a back like Peeples and Wright who were superior blockers as well. What a freakin moron and self loathing creature.

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
10:39 am

Hey moron you couldn’t teach me anything other than what a UGA lover you are. So Cross and Cummings are “too small” to play DE?

WnE

August 9th, 2012
10:39 am

re:
wes
August 9th, 2012
9:33 am

A-back has been a weakness?

Anthony Allen, Roddy Jones, Orwin Smith, Deon Hill, Godhigh (who was a preferred walkon=not on scholarship until his 2nd year).

If our A-backs are disappointments to you then our quarterbacks should definitely be labeled as colossal failures.
____________

How can you put Hill & Godhigh in the same grouping as guys that have started?

Guys like A. Allen, Roddy, and Orwin shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence or grouping as Hill & Godhigh.

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
10:41 am

Of course having not started has nothing to do with playing behind those very players for the last 2 years. Yet another moronic statement from wrexie,

WnE

August 9th, 2012
10:44 am

re:
Ol’JacketFan
August 9th, 2012
10:39 am

Hey moron you couldn’t teach me anything other than what a UGA lover you are. So Cross and Cummings are “too small” to play DE?
_____________

Cross has worn down at the end if each of his 1st three seasons, and has had problems playing WELL and carrying 295+ pounds.

Cross played better as a Tr. fr. when he was lighter, but has had problems playing well and carrying more weight in his Soph. & Jr. years.

Cummings hasn’t done anything yet and IMO is too small to be a 3-down player at DE in a 3-4.

GTfan 2012

August 9th, 2012
10:50 am

WnE, you just made a claim that a 6′3″ 245 lb recruit out of HS would only grow to 6′4″ 260 in the GT S&C program after 3 years. Please cite even one example of someone CLOSE to this. YOU CAN’T DO IT! THAT IS A BOLDFACED LIE!!!! We have three DEs right now (Cross, Cummings, and Dieke) that have gained at least 40 lbs since coming to GT, and I’ll note none of those guys were originally recruited as 3-4 DEs. That’s the biggest reason why your comment is a BOLDFACED LIE! Because none of our 3-4 DL recruits have even been in the S&C program for 3 years, because we’ve only had AL Groh since January 2010.

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
10:51 am

In your opinion, well we all know how much that is worth. Just wander on back over to the GA blogs where your loyalties lie and where they welcome you with open arms. You contribute nothing here that is meaningful, all Tech fans know who and what you are.

5150 UOAD

August 9th, 2012
11:01 am

Ht…………..Wt
6 ft 2 in 265 lb
I think David Pollack did OK

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
11:01 am

BTW both Cross and Cummings have added 40 plus pounds since they were in HS.

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
11:02 am

Dieke has added 50 plus

WnE

August 9th, 2012
11:02 am

re:
GTfan 2012
August 9th, 2012
10:50 am

WnE, you just made a claim that a 6′3″ 245 lb recruit out of HS would only grow to 6′4″ 260 in the GT S&C program after 3 years. Please cite even one example of someone CLOSE to this. YOU CAN’T DO IT! THAT IS A BOLDFACED LIE!!!! We have three DEs right now (Cross, Cummings, and Dieke) that have gained at least 40 lbs since coming to GT, and I’ll note none of those guys were originally recruited as 3-4 DEs. That’s the biggest reason why your comment is a BOLDFACED LIE! Because none of our 3-4 DL recruits have even been in the S&C program for 3 years, because we’ve only had AL Groh since January 2010.
____________

A. Williams had to be moved to OLB because he couldn’t get big enough to play DE, I think he’s about 255 pounds IIRC.

At the end of the day we don’t have the #’s of 295 to 310 pounders at DE that will make our 3-4 work.

Our 3-4 looks nothing like the 3-4 that Muttville or Bama is playing.

Yet when all is said and done, we are expected to compete for the same Crystal Trophy.

WnE

August 9th, 2012
11:07 am

re:
5150 UOAD
August 9th, 2012
11:01 am

Ht…………..Wt
6 ft 2 in 265 lb
I think David Pollack did OK
____________

#1……….we don’t have any Dave Pollacks on this GT roster!

#2………….Pollack played in a 4-3 while at UGA and had 3 other future NFL guys on his DL to take attention away from him and allow him to make plays.

#3 ……………Pollack was a former FB and was initially recruited as a FB, so he had “freakish speed” for a DE, none of GT’s DLs have anything about them that one might consider “freakish” or make them stand out in a positive way.

#4 ……………….CPJ apologists like you are always looking for some “obtuse exception to the rule”, when the facts show that those exceptions rarely apply to our reality here at GT.

GT Lee

August 9th, 2012
11:13 am

Gollum(aka WnE). who are you stalking on twitter this year?

GT Lee

August 9th, 2012
11:14 am

WeeeeniE, why don’t you recruit an ELITE MilkBone to chew on……

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
11:15 am

So after getting his head handed to him on the A backs, wrexie has switched to DEs. Moron

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
11:17 am

“compete for the same crystal trophy”. I’ve not seen any realistic Tech fan on here claim we are going to go undefeated and compete for the MNC on 2012. Another moronic statement from wrexie…….

GT Lee

August 9th, 2012
11:19 am

Football Guru Gollum are you going to meet us real Tech fans at a pregame and enlighten us with your vast knowledge of all things football?

GT Lee

August 9th, 2012
11:22 am

or will you be smack dab in the middle of 70 tons of trash over at Sanford and Son stadium with your dwag buddies?

Hayseed Dixie

August 9th, 2012
11:35 am

Orwin Smith was a typical 3-star coming out of HS with offers from UAB and Vandy.

Now he’s a legitimate home-run threat every time he touches the ball. Guess the recruiting services blew that one, huh?

No reason to believe that any of our other guys can’t step in and do the same. My vote is on Zenon.

Speaking of DLs: got to meet Gotsis and Kallon in person last Saturday. Both were very bright, articulate and huge. I really like the future of our DL.

Ol'JacketFan

August 9th, 2012
11:48 am

@ Hayseed, I love Hill’s size and speed. He is a Smith clone :-)

William Casey

August 9th, 2012
11:58 am

@WnE: I believe that CPJ is building a solid program at GT. You, whatever your motivations, believes the opposite. WnE, you do some interesting analysis at times. Have you ever wondered why you inspire such a negative reaction? It’s simple: you have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you do not have the best interest of the GT football program at heart. I wonder why you persist. Face it: CPJ will be the Head Football Coach at GT for the foreseeable future. Face it: CPJ knows more football than you or I ever will. That doesn’t mean that we can’t make observations. However, when you assert such things a “A-back has been a weakness,” you simply reveal your animus against the GT program. I doubt that a single opposition defensive coach would agree with you. BTW: I don’t know your background but it seems to me that you place far too much emphasis on “measureables” (height, weight, speed.) These things ARE important. However, as a retired high school coach, I’m here to tell you that they aren’t EVERYTHING. Football isnt track and field.

Hayseed Dixie

August 9th, 2012
11:58 am

Hill hasn’t caught my eye as of yet. But 3 or 4 Smith clones would be ideal. I have no doubt CPJ wants the same.

Guess the Biomed Dept. had better get busy.

I get what CPJ is trying to do, an anonymous army of 3-stars who are very disciplined, and hard to key on.