Tech wide receivers planning to surprise

It was everything to put a Georgia Tech fan at ease and perhaps even raise hope. Quarterback Tevin Washington unleashed a pass from about the 40-yard line to the corner of the end zone.

Wide receiver Jeremy Moore outmaneuvered a cornerback and dove headlong. With one outstretched hand, Moore captured the ball and brought it back to his body while touching down inbounds with both feet.

“‘Tev’ put it right there for me to get it,” Moore said. “It was a perfect play — perfect pass, perfect catch.”

The only niggling detail would be that Washington and Moore connected in Monday’s practice at the Brock indoor facility, not at Lane Stadium against Virginia Tech in the season opener Labor Day night. Only the season ahead will reveal how much the Yellow Jackets wide receivers — perhaps the least experienced wide receiver group in FBS — will contribute to the mix.

“This group will develop at its time,” wide receivers coach Buzz Preston said. “I can’t tell you when that’s going to be, but I’m seeing things start to come [together].”

Tech has four returners — Jeff Greene, Chris Jackson, Darren Waller and Moore. As has been noted, none has a single career reception. It’s the result of Tech attempting and completing the third fewest number of passes in FBS last season (82-for-167) and having two departed receivers (Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton) dominate playing time last season. The returnees’ contributions have largely come on special teams.

“You’re always a question mark when you haven’t really proven yourself,” Preston said.

Preston has seen encouraging signs. In the preseason, his group has made plays, both in the passing and running game, which it hadn’t previously. Players have paid more attention to detail. With starting jobs open following Melton’s graduation and Hill’s early departure to the NFL, Preston sees players who are more locked in and hungry because a starting position is within grasp.

“We’re all just competing and pushing each other,” Jackson said.

Coach Paul Johnson said that he doesn’t worry too much about his receivers not having any catches, pointing out that Hill didn’t have many catches in 2010 (15) before breaking through last season. Hill, though, did gain the experience of nine starts in 2010.

“I don’t worry too much about that,” he said.

There is potential. Greene and Waller, both sophomores, have size and can run. At ACC media days in July, Johnson said that Waller had “unlimited ability.” Jackson, a senior, stood out in spring practice and may have the deepest knowledge of the offense in the group. Moore, a junior, has fought injuries but has demonstrated the sort of flash on the practice field that he did Monday. Melton’s scouting report: Smooth stride, natural pass catcher, quickness, speed.

“If he’s healthy, he’ll be the surprise of the year,” Melton said Wednesday from Houston, where he’s training and hoping for a call to join an NFL training camp.

They’re being pushed by freshmen Anthony Autry, Travin Henry and Micheal Summers. It appears that Autry has taken the lead in the race to avoid a redshirt.

“Right now, I’d say he’s on the probably-going-to-play bubble,” Johnson said.

The players are well aware of the perception.

“We’re going to keep a smile on our face and go out there and compete, and people are going to be surprised by what we as a receiver group can do,” Jackson said.

Less than three weeks remain before they line up against the Hokies and possibly the best defense in the ACC. Greene and Moore are at the top of the depth chart, though Greene has been out this week with an injury.

Said Waller, “I feel like we’re going to be perfectly fine when the season comes.”

Thanks for reading.

Interview with Paul Johnson from Wednesday practice will go up around 11 a.m.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

149 comments Add your comment

Sov

August 16th, 2012
7:23 am

HighTech

August 16th, 2012
7:29 am

“Melton’s scouting report: Smooth stride, natural pass catcher, quickness, speed.”

9/3!

Ignition

August 16th, 2012
7:36 am

I wish CPJ would become more balanced with his offensive philosophy it makes no sense with all this talent not to use it more effectively.

billybuzz

August 16th, 2012
7:42 am

Lets hear something about the matchups with Va Tech. Is it possible to know who they will be going against size and speed-wise? I hear that VT’s secondary is very young and in experienced. It should be a weakness to exploit if Washington can get the pass off and keep his nerves under control.

Reebok

August 16th, 2012
7:52 am

I like the attitude, just hope Tevin can throw it where the receivers can get to it, and the receivers don’t develop Stephen Hill Disease.

Freddie Blassie

August 16th, 2012
8:03 am

We have more wideouts than VPI has db’s. Johnson will find a couple of receivers who can play, but nobody knows what will happen until game day action.

Old Blind Dawg

August 16th, 2012
8:03 am

Mornin Techies long time no see. We are just around the corner from my favorite time of year – all of us filled with “Hope & Change”. My Dawgs could be very good or …………….. same thing can be said for the Bee’s.

Both GT and UGA have what I consider pretty manageable schedules – If CPJ can get a better passing game in place GT could really surprise if UGA can mount a decent running game they could surprise.

Enjoy the season – I’ll check in frequently to stir up the Bee’s :-)

Alabama Jack

August 16th, 2012
8:06 am

Yo dawg, come on over anytime. Unlike the trolls, you know about which you speak.

WnE

August 16th, 2012
8:24 am

re:
Coach Paul Johnson said that he doesn’t worry too much about his receivers not having any catches, pointing out that Hill didn’t have many catches in 2010 (15) before breaking through last season. Hill, though, did gain the experience of nine starts in 2010.

“I don’t worry too much about that,” he said.
_________________

I cannot help but wonder how CPJ defines “breaking through”?

Hill went from 15 catches as a Soph. to making 26 catches (for over 700 yds.) as a Jr., many of those big yardage games came vs. cupcake city in weeks 1-6, he basically disappeared over the last half of the season vs. legit competition.

Maybe CPJ doesn’t really understand what breaking through means.

Going from 15 catches to 26 (12 gm regular season) is hardly breaking through.

I can’t believe what the CPJ apologists allow CPJ to get away with, without any demand for any accountability.

BTW Travin Henry is behind the 6-2 180 lb (rail thin) Autry among the T-Fr. WRs, I guess he isn’t the next Bey-Bey like all the CPJ apologists proclaimed when we signed him very late in the Recruiting season last yr.

You won’t recruit too many “polished HS WRs” by proclaiming that 26 catches in a 12-game season is breaking through.

Ol'JacketFan

August 16th, 2012
8:27 am

HighTech

August 16th, 2012
8:32 am

LOL

UOAD!!!!!!

9/3

THWG!!!!!!!

Hayseed Dixie

August 16th, 2012
8:43 am

Stephen Hill was always NFL bound, so he played with something to lose.

These kids won’t.

And since Tevin won’t feel the pressure to throw to the 6′5″ athletic freak, maybe he’ll make better reads and spread the ball around.

That being said, I wish we had Tyler Melton for another season.

Tech Dropout

August 16th, 2012
8:50 am

I can’t wait to see who emerges among the group of young wide receivers. Waller is huge. I hope he has talent to fit the look.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
8:52 am

juvenal

August 16th, 2012
9:07 am

drat CPJ for recruiting an NFL calibre WR & leaving us in this pickle! go Jets! & neener…

WnE

August 16th, 2012
9:07 am

re:
Tech Dropout
August 16th, 2012
8:50 am

I can’t wait to see who emerges among the group of young wide receivers. Waller is huge. I hope he has talent to fit the look.
_____________

Most recent depth chart has Waller behind Jeremy Moore a 6-3 183lb RS-Jr. (after 3+ years in a college strength program).

The fact that the competition is that close with Moore shows that Waller has a lot to learn before he can be counted on in games vs. legit BCS Teams.

WnE

August 16th, 2012
9:10 am

re:
juvenal
August 16th, 2012
9:07 am

drat CPJ for recruiting an NFL calibre WR & leaving us in this pickle! go Jets! & neener…
__________

Now that the NY Jets are no longer in Helmets & shorts and are now in full pads, there are rumblings out of NY that the Jets are wishing they would have drafted Alshon Jeffrey out of USCe, who happens to be playing like a Vet in the Bears Camp.

Old Blind Dawg

August 16th, 2012
9:13 am

I don’t think the receivers will be the problem. The problem will be in TW’s throwing abilities. Developing a great passing attack requires practice and repetition – two things that apparently are not high on CPJ’s to do list. Any of you Techies know the percentages of run to pass CPJ uses in practice?

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
9:24 am

juvenal

August 16th, 2012
9:32 am

W, not sure why you get so bitter, so i try to make you chuckle, it’s only a game, man, he will show if he can play & i doubt anyone’s opinion will influence that…maybe you should get a job at the red&black…just wait till you see Days throw from a pitch-out!

Wes

August 16th, 2012
9:34 am

@ WnE

Don’t forget to kill yourself!

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
9:35 am

@ juvenal……you’re not ignoring him.

U O A D !!!

SansWorld

August 16th, 2012
9:44 am

I have developed a habit to not even read WnE’s post. Kind of nice.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
9:52 am

@ SansWorld……same here. It’s much easier not to post something when you don’t read what he says to begin with. After all, in my opinion, he’s never posted anything worth taking the time to read anyway.

yo

August 16th, 2012
9:53 am

Stephen Hill must have learned all of that underachieving where most of those Decalb kids learn it from. Shame they can’t be taught better at a early age starting in high school. So much talent and so much of a waste of it.

JM

August 16th, 2012
9:57 am

Hope is eternal. I can’t wait to see what happens on the field.

FL Jacket

August 16th, 2012
9:57 am

yo…

How is receiving over 50% of your team’s passing offense and most of its passing TDs, and leading the NCAA in YPC, considered underachieving?

juvenal

August 16th, 2012
10:12 am

sorry, Super, sometimes just pity folks that are so negative…1st year i had season tix, we beat ‘Bama on the road—& then we lost 10 straight, including of course every home game-i was there for the Ross 2-9, the game we tied the Irish, but only won 1 other game, the bl debacle, have missed only a handful of home games, mostly Thursdays i had to work…& i still have trouble sleeping the night before the home opener kick-off, i’m so pumped…hope IS eternal, we are still undefeated…

DRjacket

August 16th, 2012
10:14 am

Gosh WnE, you just have so much great knowledge to share with us.

Jacket Man

August 16th, 2012
10:20 am

Right now, Autry looks like he may be tough to keep off the field as a Freshman.

CT_Jacket

August 16th, 2012
10:27 am

I think the WR will be fine. With this offense, you only need one WR threat, but they all need to block well. If they can’t catch, the passes will go to the A backs, who are like slot receivers anyway.

juvenal

August 16th, 2012
10:32 am

besides, i see they really do have openings at the redd&blak…

H20

August 16th, 2012
10:44 am

Gotta do it in games. Sounds nice but it’s practice

Yeller Bug

August 16th, 2012
10:49 am

@Hayseed Dixie: I hope TW does make better reads and will spread it around in the passing game and that we throw a little more often. I also hope TW’s experience will enable him to view the field—last year he often stared at his primary receiver the whole time.

Mock 1

August 16th, 2012
10:56 am

Sorry but I can’t get excited with TW coming back another season. I didn’t see much change from the end of the 2010 season to all of last year. In fact, I saw regression in the later games of last season, especially uga, miami vt and utah

GTVegas

August 16th, 2012
10:57 am

UOAD !!!!!

I would personally like to see the short passing game start to develop a bit.

GTfan2012

August 16th, 2012
11:33 am

GT fan

August 16th, 2012
12:31 pm

Mock 1

August 16th, 2012
10:56 am
Sorry but I can’t get excited with TW coming back another season. I didn’t see much change from the end of the 2010 season to all of last year. In fact, I saw regression in the later games of last season, especially uga, miami vt and utah
—————————————-

vs Utah — 11/15 passing, 137 yds, 1 td, 0 int. Doesn’t look like regression.
vs VT — 5/10 97 yds 0 td, 0 int. 24 rush, 77 yds, 3 TD

Miami & Utah were the bookend opponents of the last half of the season. Funny how some people cherry pick the games, and notice TW’s stats above, and even get that analysis wrong.
Nice how you left out Clemson (played the week AFTER Miami) and Duke (sandwiched between VT & UGA).
vs Clemson, 4/9 60 yds 0 td, 1 int … 27 rushes 176 yds, 1 td (ugly passing, but somehow got a convincing W)
vs. Duke 6/13 185 yds, 0 td, 0 int … 17 rushes 136 yds, 1 td
—————-

Tell me, Mock 1, how TW’s play cost GT the VT & Utah games?? And don’t forget the 3 Missed FGs vs Utah, and “the penalty heard around world” vs VT.

1 4 GT

August 16th, 2012
12:36 pm

Now GT fan–you’re being a bit hard on Sneezy with your “penalty heard around the world” comment. But, I did chuckle.

[...] abounds at wide receiver and A-Back in the ATL. Early on, incumbent kicker Justin Moore has been passed by David Scully on [...]

GT fan

August 16th, 2012
12:52 pm

1 4 GT …

I feel horrible for JA b/c I know he’s not that type of player. Just get a sick feeling every time I think back to that play…screaming in section 222 b/c GT’s D just stuffed VT on 3rd & long, only to watch VT get bailed out by a PF for the 2nd time vs. PJ & the Jackets. (Cooper Taylor’s BS call in 2008 was the other one).

1 4 GT

August 16th, 2012
1:09 pm

Yeah, I know GT fan. It was “the” turning point. I feel confident in saying the game’s outcome was reversed on that one play. I realize that’s a heavy load to put on Sneezy, but, IMHO.

1 4 GT

August 16th, 2012
1:38 pm

BTW—-my calling Jeremiah Attaochu “Sneezy” is in no way to be construed as being disrespectful to the young man. It’s just that someone else used it on here. I got a good laugh out of it and it just kinda stuck in my head. I like his enthusiasm for the game & the way he ways it.

1 4 GT

August 16th, 2012
1:42 pm

plays instead of “ways” after he & b/4 it—-I don’t have the excuse of drilling myself in the index finger to fall back on—in fact I have no excuse—-except my fingers outrun my brain from time to time————believe it or not

Mock 1

August 16th, 2012
1:43 pm

Gt fan did we win any of those games? Nuff said. Good qb’s win tough games. Not that utah should have been a tough game. Their d was bad last year. As for TW, he hasn’t won any big games aside from the clempson fluff and we all know they were long overdue for a collapse. And I wouldn’t bragg at all about beating them after the way their season ended barely beating wake and getting thrashed by wv.

As for the vt game, puhlease. His td rushes were from 2 yards, 1 yard and 1 yard. My grandma could rush in from there. If you think he has progrssed, then all i can say is that’s your opinion. But the facts speak for themselves. He lost to vt miami and uga in 2010 along with the bowl game against a weak opponent. He beat dook in 2010. Flash forward to 2011. He lost to the same opponents and beat dook again!! Now that’s improvement! But yeah racking up those numbers against kansas sure was good!

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
1:53 pm

@ Mock 1……so the QB on a team wins or loses every game that is played, huh? The running backs, receivers, and all the defensive players will, I am sure, be glad to know that it wasn’t their fault they got tackled on a run, dropped a gimme pass, or missed a tackle. It’s ALL the QB’s fault. So why even have anybody else on the field? TW has good days and bad days, but when he has a good day, and the team still loses, it is NOT HIS FAULT!!!! If you believe it is, then you are just plain stupid.

Mock 1

August 16th, 2012
1:53 pm

gt fan
Are you saying that JA personal foul was bs???? Cause that call was easy to make. Thought it was obvious if you swing at a players head, even more so a qb, a flag is coming.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
1:59 pm

@ Mock 1…..that PF on JA was NOT BS, but it WAS the turning point of the game.

Mock 1

August 16th, 2012
2:00 pm

SS–Where did I say he himself lost the games? I didn’t. You made that up. The qb is the leader of the team. He controls and manages a game so a large part of a games outcome does fall on that player just like in baseball, a pitcher usually takes responsibility. Of course the defense has a part too but it’s the qb who directs a team to score points and last time i checked, that’s what is needed to secure a win.

Yes TW has great games against weak comp. The fact he lost to the same teams in 10 and 11 speaks volumes and I wouldn’t be surprised again to see losses to vt miami and uga again. In fact, I’d put money on it. But you keep looking for that’s fools gold.

Mock 1

August 16th, 2012
2:02 pm

Where did I say it wasn’t the turning point SS? You love to put words in others mouths. I was commenting to his remark that CT’s personal foul was bs and assumed since he compared the two pf’s, that he believe that was against JA was bs. Glad you are level headed on that play at least.