Ready or not, Jabari Hunt-Days to start vs. Hokies

A few old notes. Some more stuff going up later.

1. There will be no dipping Jabari Hunt-Days’ toe into the water. The Georgia Tech inside linebacker is getting tossed into the lake.

Ready or not, redshirt freshman will be starting in his first career game, beneath the lights of Lane Stadium at Virginia Tech in two Mondays. Hunt-Days will be subbing for Daniel Drummond, who has been suspended for 1 ½ games.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Hunt-Days, the younger brother of quarterback Synjyn Days. “But ultimately, it’s just a team effort. That’s my thoughts.”

Tech has six more practices this week, Monday through Saturday, to try to prep Hunt-Days as much as possible.

“He’s doing real good,” said inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy, who will be playing alongside Hunt-Days. “I think he’s going to be ready for VT.”

He will be the first redshirt freshman to start in the season opener since guard Will Jackson in the 2010 opener. He is the first defensive freshman to start the opener since linebacker Kyle Jackson in 2008. The last true freshman to start in an opener was wide receiver Tyler Melton, also in 2008.

“He’s still making progress,” inside linebackers coach Joe Speed said. “We’re trying to get him where he needs to be come Sept. 3.”

2. Safety Fred Holton is also expected to make his first career start. Holton has been held out of practice and did not participate in Friday’s scrimmage, but is expected to play. For Holton, it will be his first game since the 2010 season after he missed the 2011 season with a torn Achilles.

Holton has received widespread praise from teammates for his powerful tackling and his improvement in playing pass defense. That said, secondary coach Charles Kelly acknowledges he’s going to make mistakes his first time out.

“All I know is this,” Kelly said. “If you will play hard, physical football and get to the football, good things are going to happen to you eventually.”

3. Tech’s two true freshman offensive linemen, Freddie Burden and Chase Roberts, are likely redshirts. Since offensive line is one of the deepest, if not the deepest, position group, there isn’t much pressure to play either. Burden has worked at center, Roberts at tackle.

“I absolutely like ’em both,” offensive line coach Mike Sewak said. “They were good gets in recruiting and they were what we were looking for as athletes and mentally, too. They’re very smart.”

Thanks for reading.

In case you missed it…

Quayshawn Nealy buying in to Tech defense

Jeremy Moore’s opportunity arrives

Orwin Smith setting bar high

Days to play ’somewhere’ for Tech

David Scully wins kicking job

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

70 comments Add your comment

AtWork

August 27th, 2012
10:16 am

I can’t wait for Monday!

I think this is going to be one of college football’s best game of the year.

Go Jackets!

Holy Guacamole

August 27th, 2012
10:27 am

These are Al Grogh’s players. Time to step it up or re-evaluate the hire.

old dog

August 27th, 2012
10:29 am

One good thing for y’all…..deep offensive line. We are just the opposite, which is why we may have a decent season, but not on par with ‘Bama or LSU at all. Hopefull next year will see major line improvement for us. Good luck at VT.

Jacket Man

August 27th, 2012
10:31 am

DON’T FEED THE TROLLS.

Keepin it classy

August 27th, 2012
10:39 am

Thanks old dog. I wish there were more fans like you instead of the trolls we always see. Good luck on your season too. If you guys can beat USC then you know your team is the real thing and I think they have a good shot.

sean jones

August 27th, 2012
10:40 am

Al Groh will cost us this game. im tellin yall that!

GTfan2012

August 27th, 2012
10:48 am

JHD will be just fine. He has all the skills and physical attributes necessary to play the position at a high level. He’s just young and inexperienced. He only played one year of LB in HS. But even in that one year, he was a dominant player at the HS level. I expect JHD will come very close to leading this team in tackles this year.

Brave Hokie

August 27th, 2012
10:54 am

Looking forward to one week from today / tonite… looks like it might be a wet one

{hopefully too early to forecast}…

FL Jacket

August 27th, 2012
10:55 am

If JHD messes up…at least he’ll mess up with 6′3″ 252 going in some direction with power and bad intentions.

ToeMeetsLeather

August 27th, 2012
10:57 am

sean, so you think Groh may run out on the field and hit Thomas up side the head when we can’t take him down this year?

All kidding aside, I can’t wait to see these LBs in action Monday night. Fingers crossed for an injury free week heading into the opener.

Sounds like Holton can really “lay the wood”, maybe at some point on 9/3 he will introduce himself to Thomas from the blindside!

Yeller Bug

August 27th, 2012
11:07 am

Which Tech gains the advantage if the weather is rainy and the field sloppy? Usually a running offense does better in rain than a passing offense, but an option offense…..eh maybe not so much…perhaps even more risky of putting the ball on the ground. TOs and field position will be key if the weather is bad.

Delbert D.

August 27th, 2012
11:09 am

“These are Al Grogh’s players.”

I think we have discovered a problem. The wrong guys are suiting up.

GTVegas

August 27th, 2012
11:13 am

Good luck to GT, just hoping for good execution.

If it’s wet, who does that really favor?

As for JHD, I am sure he will be fine, make a few freshman mistakes, but overall be fine and continue to improve. Ultimately, every one of these players have to have a “first game”, some are just bigger than others.

I think the same thing goes for the team as it does for JHD, do your best execute to the best of your ability and strive for week over week improvement. Everything alse will take care of itself.

UOAD !!!!!

1 4 GT

August 27th, 2012
11:18 am

Baptism by fire. From such are heroes born. Sgt Alvin York. Audie Murphy. And many, many more. Go get’em Jabari. GOOOOO JACKETS “9/3″ THWVT THWGeorgie

HighTech

August 27th, 2012
11:22 am

He will be ready.

9/3!

OkieDawg

August 27th, 2012
11:25 am

I can’t wait for next Monday night. Basically, the season is over for the loser of this one while the winner may be headed to Charlotte. I’m afraid it’s going to be a reality check for “some”.

SansWorld

August 27th, 2012
11:26 am

I don’t care about the calls for more passing,

I will be perfectly satisfied if the Triple option, and our deep O-Line, repeats multiple series of 8 minute drives and wears down VPI’s experienced defence.

This will keep the defence fresh, and the new starters there a great chance to perform.

Paddy

August 27th, 2012
11:31 am

Delbert D…….Holy G. does not like Al Groh’s players. No problem! To keep Holy G. a Tech fan, we just start several players from Oregon & TCU for awhile. End of problem.

ignition

August 27th, 2012
11:32 am

He’s a physical specimen… If anything his athleticism will compensate for some of his mental mistakes..

Yeller Bug

August 27th, 2012
11:36 am

Not really Okie Dawg—kinda like your puppies last year lost to SC and went on the SEC champ game. VT has Clemson and FSU on their schedule so there is potentially 2 losses and either Miami or UNC may step up and have a good game as well. If GT loses, they will have to win the rest of their ACC games to have a shot. I don’t see VT going 5-3 in the ACC.

old tech grad

August 27th, 2012
11:41 am

I am not too worried about the inexperience. This is part of College football. I am sure there will be mistakes on both sides. How each capitalizes on the mis cues will make the difference and I like our chances with our offense. I will say again, if Tevin can deliver the ball on the 10 or so passes we will throw during the game and if the new recievers catch it we will be like the “Golden Tornado” of old. LOL

yellow britches

August 27th, 2012
11:44 am

Wouldn’t it be funny if the game came down to special team play? Has in the past.

yellow britches

August 27th, 2012
11:45 am

Never too early: “To Hell With Georgia”

GT fan

August 27th, 2012
11:45 am

Best of luck to JHD! Hope he shines.
He must be doing something right to be named the starter over all the incumbent LBs on the roster.

gt4ever

August 27th, 2012
11:52 am

Wouldn’t it be funny if we went into their home stadium and blew them out…..

GT fan

August 27th, 2012
11:54 am

Yeller Bug,
Don’t be surprised if VT goes 5-3 and finishes 3rd or worse in the Coastal. As I’ve said before, both GT and Clemson lost TONS of offensive talent from their 2009 teams, and each went 4-4 in ACC play (6-7 overall) the following season. GT 3rd in Coastal, Clemson 5th in Atlantic.

WnE

August 27th, 2012
12:01 pm

re:
2. Safety Fred Holton is also expected to make his first career start. Holton has been held out of practice and did not participate in Friday’s scrimmage, but is expected to play. For Holton, it will be his first game since the 2010 season after he missed the 2011 season with a torn Achilles.

Holton has received widespread praise from teammates for his powerful tackling and his improvement in playing pass defense. That said, secondary coach Charles Kelly acknowledges he’s going to make mistakes his first time out.

“All I know is this,” Kelly said. “If you will play hard, physical football and get to the football, good things are going to happen to you eventually.”
_______________

This worries me greatly.

If Holton is 100% and ready to go then he shouldn’t be getting held out of any practices, it is already hard enough to simulate game conditions, and holding him out won’;t help at all.

Are my critics ready for former walk-on Coray Carlson to play Safety vs. Va. Tech at 6-0 180lbs soaking wet?

We are very thin at safety behind our Starters and this is why I felt this would be a good spot for Days at 6-2 215lbs and athletic.

Here’s hoping that Holton can go for 60 or so snaps and we won’t need Carlson or any of the other dubious back-ups on the Safety depth chart.

GT fan

August 27th, 2012
12:03 pm

gt4ever,
Wouldn’t be the first time. But I’ll be smiling with just a good’ole W.

GT Dude

August 27th, 2012
12:08 pm

A distrubing tidbit from the inside…
Scout team O has been doing some damage to the first team D
Let’s hope the D correct things before Monday

DIT

August 27th, 2012
12:09 pm

No doubt in my mind. Tech by 10! I called the Clemson game last year right after you lost the week before. I said tech will win by 21…… OK, so you won by 23(I think) I was off by a couple. VT is way overrated and start slow. If your O-Line is ready, it will be a long and embarrassing night for VT. Good luck Tech!

DIT

August 27th, 2012
12:12 pm

OK, I caught myself. I should have said GA Tech by 10!

Jorge O'leary

August 27th, 2012
12:18 pm

old dog
August 27th, 2012
10:29 am

One good thing for y’all…..deep offensive line. We are just the opposite, which is why we may have a decent season, but not on par with ‘Bama or LSU at all. Hopefull next year will see major line improvement for us. Good luck at VT.

Thanks Old Dog! Ultimately, its about the kids getting a free education or becoming millionaires in the NFL.

Paddy

August 27th, 2012
12:19 pm

GT Dude…..all that means is that there are some fine players on that scout O team.

909

August 27th, 2012
12:21 pm

After GT beats VaTech, we wont hear anymore form WnE.

GT Dude

August 27th, 2012
12:27 pm

@ Paddy, i hope your correct.

Brave Hokie

August 27th, 2012
12:29 pm

@ DIT

& how many points did you claim the Jackets would beat VT last season?

You probably forgot about that prognostication, I bet.

sean jones

August 27th, 2012
12:36 pm

we cant win a game like this on a big stage. Groh’s defense will wear down and tap out in the 4th qtr like always.

sean jones

August 27th, 2012
12:37 pm

@Brave Hokie

yall will likely beat us, but yall aint gonna do anything this year. Nobody fears VT anymore

sean jones

August 27th, 2012
12:40 pm

@GT dude

so the first team defense sucks again this year? what a shocker!!!1 Al Groh is a bum

DIT

August 27th, 2012
12:54 pm

@Brave Hokie – I don’t recall making a prediction about the VT game last year. What made me make one against Clemson is that most GT fans were pretty down on their team. Just a gut for me to say they were going to beat Clemson becuase they have had Clemson’s number for awhile and I did not see that changing. Clemson could not stop the run and if you can’t stop the run the chances of beating Gt is slim and none.
Of course I did predict the last time UGA played VT in the bowl game that we would win by a TD…….. Tah Dah… UGA by 7 points!

Brave Hokie

August 27th, 2012
12:58 pm

@ DIT

I think goof-balls who post prediction spreads on public message boards, didn’t have any friends as a small child,

Big Crimson 75

August 27th, 2012
1:03 pm

Big year for GT!!
It may not be make or break for Johnson, but 9 wins including one over the dwags might be a necessity to shut the WnE crowd up!!
These are his players in his system. Time to make some noise.
Saban would have the crystal trophy on display @ the Flats by now.
I like Tech Monday over Tech 31-24.

Ken Sugiura

August 27th, 2012
1:33 pm

Big Crimson, I predict Tech will lose to Tech 31-24.

Hold On!!!

August 27th, 2012
1:34 pm

I always liked Jabari, and always thought he was going to be good. Thought he would be more of an OLB, bc of his pass rush ability though. Good luck on Monday vs Va Tech. This a huge game for yall, but I think yall have a really good chance of winning. Yalls D will be the key. Good luck again and Go Dawgs!!!

fuzzybee78

August 27th, 2012
1:55 pm

Ken, you are a clever man! That’s why ya get the big bucks:)

fuzzybee78

August 27th, 2012
1:57 pm

My concern for JHD would be pass coverage if inside backers have any? Not worried about run support. I would assume outside backers have tight ends and the falts, right?

fuzzybee78

August 27th, 2012
1:58 pm

blazer

August 27th, 2012
2:17 pm

Please tackle Their QB around the feet instead of high because we can’t get him down like that!

The New ACC

August 27th, 2012
2:41 pm

I don’t get the Al Groh bashing.

Anyone that knows anything about football know that he has a great defensive mind. He has proven success in college and pro.

Maybe some POSITIVE remarks are in order? Bashing a Tech person is left for those that prefer puppies!

The New ACC

August 27th, 2012
2:43 pm

I predict GA Tech by 3. It should be a lot more, but playing in Blacksburg is tough.