Notes from Thursday.
1. It appears that Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson will give a few young players a shot in the starting lineup for Saturday’s home opener against Presbyterian.
B-back Zach Laskey and wide receiver Darren Waller, both sophomores, and offensive tackle Bryan Chamberlain, a redshirt freshman, will make their first career starts, according to the depth chart released Thursday.
At his Wednesday news conference, Johnson deemed the play of the wide receivers in the loss to Virginia Tech on Monday “not great.” Waller is projected to replace Jeff Greene and start opposite Jeremy Moore. Laskey takes the top spot claimed last week by Charles Perkins, who started against the Hokies but gained five yards on three carries. Chamberlain is slotted at left tackle and Ray Beno, who started in that spot on Monday, is flipped to right tackle. Tyler Kidney started at right tackle Monday.
No changes were made among defensive starters.
“Saturday night’s about Georgia Tech,” Johnson said Wednesday. “It’s about us moving forward and improving in a lot of areas we need to improve in.”
Safety Fred Holton is the only player listed as out for the game. B-back David Sims is doubtful while offensive tackle Morgan Bailey and A-back Orwin Smith are questionable. Johnson said Wednesday that Bailey, who suffered a high-ankle sprain before the opener, has been cleared to play and that Smith, who hurt his shoulder against the Hokies, is available. Inside linebacker Daniel Drummond and cornerback Louis Young, whom Johnson said Wednesday probably wouldn’t play because of injuries, are expected to play. Drummond is suspended for the first half.
2. For Young, it will be his first game since the Georgia game last November. He was suspended for the Sun Bowl and the Virginia Tech game for selling tickets to the Georgia game, a violation of NCAA rules. He addressed the matter with a post on his Facebook page this week.
“Last year I made a terrible decision & I was suspended for the bowl game last year & this past Monday night game vs. VT. I disappointed my family, friends, coaches, but most of all I disappointed my teammates,” Young wrote. “I’m blessed they forgave me & I’m just ready to be a dependable teammate for my team & train every day to be a playmaker. The past is the past, now let’s go get this [ACC championship].”
3. Quarterback Tevin Washington’s 10 completions to the A-backs and B-backs Monday were the most reception in a game by Tech’s backs under Johnson. However, no Tech wide receiver caught a pass in the same game, only the second time that has happened since Johnson became coach for the 2008 season. The other occurrence was in the 2010 Orange Bowl against Iowa.
A-back B.J. Bostic had seven touches in the game, including one pass attempt. Of those seven, four produced first downs, including three on third or fourth down. Bostic had 54 all-purpose yards in the game.
4. The Brock indoor practice facility will be open to the public Saturday 4-6 p.m. before the game. Also, the athletic department will offer family-friendly activities on Fowler Street and Callaway Plaza, including a live band, face painting and inflatables. Free shuttle service to and from the stadium is again available from Atlantic Station, which will also hold a free event Friday night with live music, the Tech marching band and spirit squad and Buzz.
5. Presbyterian coach Harold Nichols coached at Georgia Southern 1992-95, before Johnson’s term as head coach there from 1997 to 2001. Nichols was an assistant under Tim Stowers, who also was on the Southern staff with Johnson as assistants. The two are acquaintances.
“All I’ve ever heard about Harold has been positives and good things from people that have worked with him,” Johnson said.
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog