Notes from the news conference, formatted for the print edition. It’s mostly stuff that was in the earlier post.
1. When Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson dropped B-back Charles Perkins to third on the depth chart midway through the preseason, he offered a word of caution to not read too much into it. The depth chart is fluid and remains subject to change, he said.
It turns out Johnson knew what he was talking about. When the depth chart for Monday’s opener against Virginia Tech was released Friday, Perkins was first among B-backs and will make his first career start against the Hokies.
“He’s done better than the other guys,” Johnson said at his Friday news conference. “That’s why he’s the starter.”
In his redshirt freshman season in 2011, Perkins was third on the depth chart behind David Sims and Preston Lyons. He played special teams and ran 28 times for 95 yards.
The three competitors for the job, Zach Laskey, Sims and Perkins, have all missed practice time in the preseason with injuries. It muddled the picture, but, Johnson said, Perkins’ performance in practice this week earned him the starting honors. He and Laskey are neck and neck, Johnson said, and may rotate in the game by series. Sims, recovering from stress fracture surgery on his shin, will likely also play.
“I would imagine that it’ll sort itself out pretty quick in the game,” Johnson said.
2. Safety Fred Holton was not on the depth chart and almost certainly won’t play. Holton has been held out with an undisclosed injury. With cornerback Louis Young also missing the game due to a one-game suspension, it leaves the Yellow Jackets shorthanded in the secondary. Sophomore Jamal Golden, who mostly played special teams last season, will get the start in Holton’s place.
Defensive backs Coray Carlson and D.J. White, a former walk-on and true freshman, respectively, could see time in sub packages.
“Even though the young ones don’t have a lot of experience compared to me and Rod (Sweeting) and Lou, we’ll still be able to hold our own,” safety Isaiah Johnson said. “I feel like they’re ready to play.”
3. Wide receiver Chris Jackson will not make the trip because of what Johnson called an eligibility issue regarding his credit hours. Johnson said that Jackson may have to miss a couple games.
“Our academic people and our people who are in charge of that thought that he had [the credit hours] he needed and it turned out he didn’t,” Johnson said.
As a result, true freshman Anthony Autry will move up the depth chart at wide receiver. Most likely, starters Jeff Greene and Jeremy Moore will be in a three-man rotation with Darren Waller.
4. Georgia Tech has seven players who could make their first career start – A-back Robbie Godhigh, defensive end Emmanuel Dieke, inside linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days, Golden, Greene, Moore and Perkins. A redshirt freshman, Hunt-Days will be playing in his first college game.
The Hokies also have several players who will be making their first career starts, including running back Michael Holmes, a redshirt freshman. Guard Brent Benedict, a transfer from Georgia, could also be a starter in his first college game.
“Nobody’s going to play perfect,” Johnson said. “We’re not and they probably won’t, either. You hope that they don’t create big plays for the other team, huge plays, and then you move on.”
Preparing for those players is a bit of a challenge. Defensive coordinator Al Groh said that “we try to dig for all the information that we can get” on such players, including looking at high school video clips.
5. Quarterback/A-back Synjyn Days has made progress at A-back in the preseason and knows his assignments, Johnson said. He expects Days to play, but said the role would depend on circumstances of the game. He is listed as a co-No. 2 at quarterback with Vad Lee behind starter Tevin Washington.
Kickoff returns will be handled by Orwin Smith and Tony Zenon. Jemea Thomas will take the punt returns. Offensive tackles Ray Beno, Tyler Kidney and Bryan Chamberlain will probably be in a rotation.
6. Quotable: Johnson on how long it will take for younger players to settle down from the adrenalin rush: “Probably about the first time you get snot-bubbled.”
Defensive end Izaan Cross on possible new uniforms: “We don’t know nothing. I just work here.”
In case you missed it…
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog