1. The prognosis for Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith is unclear for Saturday’s ACC title game against Florida State. Smith was held out of practice again Wednesday because of his ankle injury suffered in the Duke game Nov. 17.
He was joined by center Jay Finch, also held out after leaving Tuesday’s practice with an undisclosed injury.
“I think Finch will (play),” coach Paul Johnson said after Wednesday’s practice. “I don’t know about Orwin.”
Smith has 14 plays from scrimmage of 20 or more yards, most of any running back or receiver on the team, on 92 touches on offense. Finch has started every game and been an integral member of the offensive line, which has improved over the season as it’s kept the same starting five for the past five games.
“We’ll know (Thursday),” Johnson said about Smith. “If he doesn’t practice (Thursday), he won’t play.”
2. Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu said he will seek an evaluation from the NFL draft advisory board to get feedback on where he might be selected were he to declare for the draft. Attaochu, a junior, said he’s mostly looking for an expert opinion on his game. The action does not require him to enter the draft.
“You never really know if you’re good or you’re decent,” he said. “I just want to assess my game from professionals and not listen to what (other) people have to say.”
Attaochu said declaring for the draft “is an option,” one that would be subject to the feedback. Draft expert Tony Pauline pegged Attaochu, who has finished the season strongly, as a mid-to-late round pick.
Last year, wide receiver Stephen Hill and guard Omoregie Uzzi requested draft evaluations as juniors. Uzzi has remained for his senior season. Hill was told that he didn’t have the potential to be drafted in the first three rounds, but ended up being selected at the second round by the New York Jets after a strong showing at the NFL combine.
3. Speaking on a teleconference with news media Wednesday to address Louisville’s addition to the ACC, commissioner John Swofford expressed confidence in member schools not jumping to other conferences based on conversations with ACC school presidents in the last 10 days. Asked about conversations with Tech president G.P. “Bud” Peterson, Swofford said that “the nature of our conversations has been emphatic in terms of their commitment to the ACC and Georgia Tech’s future.”
Tech has been rumored as a possible target for the Big Ten, which plucked ACC charter member Maryland last week.
4. Kickers Justin Moore, David Scully and Chris Tanner competed Wednesday to handle kickoffs and field goals in the title game.
“I’d love for one guy just to be heads above everybody else, but it’s not that way right now,” special-teams coordinator David Walkosky said.
Tanner has taken field goals for the past three games and has made three of four attempts. Scully and Moore were a combined 5-for-11 before coaches gave Tanner an opportunity. Scully has taken most of the kickoffs this season.
“Scully’s been the most consistent on kickoffs this season, but they’ve all had their share of not good enough’s,” Walkosky said. “We’ve got to put it all together at one time.”
5. Attaochu has been plenty impressed watching Florida State game video. The Seminoles are No. 8 in the country in scoring offense (41.5 points per game) and No. 19 in total offense (477.4 yards per game).
“Great at the skill positions,” he said. “They play hard. That’s the biggest thing, they play very hard. Running backs who get those extra yards. They grind it out.”
6. Johnson’s reaction to Louisville joining the ACC: “They’ve got a pretty good program. I think they’ve had a good couple years. I’m sure that they’ll be very competitive in the league.”
Louisville will play in the Atlantic Division, taking Maryland’s spot.
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Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog