Tech notes: Milton likely replacement for I. Johnson

1. Georgia Tech defensive back Chris Milton has made his mark this season with excellent special-teams play. He’ll likely have an opportunity to close out 2012 by starting at safety in the Sun Bowl.

Milton, a redshirt freshman, is the probable candidate to replace the injured Isaiah Johnson, who will not play against USC in El Paso, Texas, Dec. 31.

“He’s earned it,” interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly said. “He’s worked his rear end off.”

Milton, who played at Folkston’s Charlton County High, has taken most of the practice snaps with the first-string defense this week since Johnson’s injury, which coach Paul Johnson described Wednesday as “lower extremity” and “a major injury.” Jamal Golden and Demond Smith have also taken turns with the first unit.

“It’s kind of bad for Isaiah, what happened, but I’m just trying to help my team,” Milton said.

Milton’s special-teams play earned him limited time with the defense toward the end of the regular season, but he played mostly at the opposite safety spot, which has slightly different responsibilities, Milton said.

“The one thing I’ve been very happy with is the way Chris has stepped up,” Kelly said. “He’s making all the calls. He can make plays. It’s been obvious that he can get people down. He’s done it on special teams.”

2. Losing Johnson is particularly costly for the Sun Bowl. The Jackets will have to track USC wide receiver Marqise Lee, who won the Biletnikoff Award, given yearly to the nation’s top receiver. Asked if he had seen many players as good as Lee, Paul Johnson replied, “Not that I’ve seen on film.”

Lee has caught 112 passes this season for 1,680 yards, both Pac-12 records, with 14 touchdown receptions. A sophomore, he was a unanimous first-team All-American, the Pac-12 offensive player of the year and was fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting.

“He’s got great hands, great ability, but when he catches the ball, it’s hard to find one guy getting him down right then,” Kelly said. “Changes direction and then when he catches the ball, he makes plays after he does it. Really, he’s got a complete game.”

Lee starts with Robert Woods, his high school teammate, who merely caught 73 passes for 813 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Said Kelly, “Woods is the real deal.”

3. Johnson was coy about his plan for using quarterbacks Tevin Washington and Vad Lee, saying “Why would I tell the other team what we’re going to do?”

He did acknowledge that both will play, as has been the case for the past seven games. For the past five games, they’ve both played two series to start the game and then coaches determined playing time after that. Tuesday, quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon said the fact that it’s a bowl game will not influence coaches’ thinking.

“The bottom line is, we’re not thinking about next year,” he said. “We’re thinking about winning that game, because that’s a big deal, to win that last game.”

4. Speaking of Washington, he has completed his classes, as he completed his management degree over the summer and took classes this semester as a postgraduate. He said he will give professional football a shot after the season ends.

“Other than that, I came to school to get my degree and be able to go out in the world and make a living for myself without football,” he said. “I’ve got my degree and now I’m ready for whatever opportunity opens itself.”

5. Kicker Chris Tanner will handle field goals and extra points, while David Scully will take the kickoffs. … Safety Jemea Thomas will be available to chat with fans on Twitter on Thursday at 3 p.m. He’ll take questions on the athletic department account, @gtathletics.

82 comments Add your comment

GT Fan

December 19th, 2012
8:19 pm

Chris Milton,
Do you know who Wally Pipp & Lou Gehrig are? Here’s your chance to be LG.

Best of luck!

North Ave Killer Beez

December 19th, 2012
8:58 pm

Hilarious! What position will TW try out for in the NFL holder ?

Todd

December 19th, 2012
9:38 pm

NAKB – water boy :)

GTRanj

December 19th, 2012
9:52 pm

for all the CPJ haters, please read this article before you run the man off.
http://www.elpasoinc.com/whatsup/sports/article_bd2dfbba-49fe-11e2-a0c0-001a4bcf6878.html

some highlights from it:

-”In 2008, he was named National Coach of the Year by CBS Sports.”

-”Under Johnson, Tech has averaged nearly nine wins per season.”

-”Entering 2012, Johnson is 12-4 at Tech in games decided by five points or less, 7-5 at Tech against nationally-ranked opponents, 13-9 in road games, 31-8 when scoring at least 20 points, and 22-1 when scoring more than 30 points.”

And the biggest one of them all

-”No coach in Tech history won more games than Johnson in their first four seasons.”

Guys there is no one we can get who is better than Johnson. I think he’s one of the best in the country. Lets give him one more chance to get the DC right, cause when we get a good defense, its not gonna be pretty for everybody else.

GO Jackets!

Tokyo jacket

December 19th, 2012
10:23 pm

@GTRanj – I like cpj and think he’s the right guy for tech. But let’s keep thing in perspective. As the HC, he’s responsible for all facets of the team. The d has been a major question mark for four years. For cpj to remain at tech for a long period of time the d has got to be better.

I’m really hoping that when Chan Gailey gets fired (again) next Monday, that Tech hires Giff Smith. Look up his résumé. He has had great success at tech with recruiting and stellar defensive line play, both of which tech sorely needs. If tech is going to be relevant again, we have to be at least average in all three phases of the game. That is ultimately the responsibility of the HC.

5150 UOAD

December 19th, 2012
10:25 pm

I hope he plays great and helps the team. He is tall enough to cover WRs for sure.

gtfan

December 19th, 2012
10:40 pm

CPJ is retarded. I guess this means we will see Vad Lee for like 5 snaps, if that.

Ga Tech Old Timer

December 19th, 2012
11:22 pm

North Ave Killer Beez – Don’t laugh at the possibility. Given the play of Steven Hill while at Tech and what he’s done this year in the pros – ANYTHING can happen. Look where Gaily put Nesbitt – in the defensive backfield – when most thought he’d be a fullback type because of his bull like running. You never know – although we can have our doubts which are most likely well founded.

gt40pinhd

December 19th, 2012
11:37 pm

once we get a defense, it should be a LOT more fun!

ibidGT

December 20th, 2012
12:17 am

@GTRanj

First two years he went 20-7

Past three years 20-19 with a chance to make it 20-20 with a loss at the Sun Bowl.

All your stats are heavily influenced by his first two years, and Gailey’s recruits.

He had his success in the beginning but clearly can’t cut it anymore. Time to move on.

GT Fan

December 20th, 2012
12:45 am

N Ave Kilr Beez …

So a kid receives a football scholarship to play D-1 football, and starts for 2 full seasons, and you don’t expect him to “tryout” for the NFL if given the opportunity? I’m sure you’d turn that down too.

Kinda like a guy attending Culinary School, and upon graduation says, “ya know, there’s really no reason for me to believe I could actually get work as a chef, so I think I’ll go sell widgets.”

GT Fan

December 20th, 2012
12:46 am

And …

Good luck to TW, giv’em hell!!

GT Fan

December 20th, 2012
12:56 am

Will Adams, the OT recruit who jumped-ship from GT to Auburn last year. Can anyone tell me how that’s been working out for him?

GTRanj

December 20th, 2012
1:28 am

@Tokyo jacket
I completely agree with you, that’s why I said lets give him one more chance. I just think this team is one piece (Defense) away from being scary good.

@ibidGT
You can keep giving that same lame Gaily’s recruits excuse, but if you step back and look at it, the offensive production has not dropped. Its on par or sometimes better. Look at the B-Back product, since Dwyer and Allen left, we have not had a single B-back get to 1,000 yards. But if you look at the whole B-back position they have.The difference between the first two years and now is the defensive coach that was hired. Again this is on CPJ because he is the head coach, and like Tokyo said he is responsible for all facets of the game. But you have to admit, with the above 30 ppg average his whole time here at Tech, I think we can give him one more chance to make the right decision about the DC.
Besides who else could we get who is have as good?

GTRanj

December 20th, 2012
1:30 am

supposed to be “who else could we get who is half as good?”

Stinger 1

December 20th, 2012
3:15 am

Good luck and more for Milton in covering the best receiver in the nation. Maybe Kelly will come up with a scheme that will give him some help.

Stu

December 20th, 2012
6:31 am

As a fellow Folkston native, it’s always good to see kids from Charlton County doing well on the college level. I’m a big time UGA fan, but I’m a bigger fan of young men from my hometown who are able to be a good example for young boys to follow. Keep up the good work Chris!

ToeMeetsLeather

December 20th, 2012
6:38 am

We need to hand TW’s full quote to future recruits and their parents about being set for life after football with a TECH degree.

With that said, Lee directed most of the sixtyeight points we scored on UNC in November, and they were a pretty solid defensive team. We scored a total of twentyfive points combined in the last two games of the season. Let the kid play so we don’t have any “what ifs” on 1/1/13.

Congrats to Tevin....

December 20th, 2012
7:22 am

UGA = Yawn

December 20th, 2012
7:40 am

How great of Tevin to talk about the importance of getting his degree and realizing that most college athletes to do get careers in sports. I’m proud that he made it such a point and and happy for all that he has done for GT sports. Whoever plays, I think GT is well-represented. THW-USC!

UGA = Yawn

December 20th, 2012
7:45 am

‘don’t get careers’ is what I meant to say

UGA = Yawn

December 20th, 2012
7:46 am

GTRanj – I would not say that ‘6′ is nearly ‘9′

UGA = Yawn

December 20th, 2012
7:47 am

GTRanj – you left our a few; he is 1-4 vs VT, 1-4 vs UGA (4 losses in a row) and 0-4 in bowls.

gt4ever

December 20th, 2012
7:52 am

Johnson was coy about his plan for using quarterbacks Tevin Washington and Vad Lee, saying “Why would I tell the other team what we’re going to do?”

LOL, does it really matter coach! I am betting that the first play we run from scrimmage is the dive play.. How about it any takers… Pitiful..

ramblingbuzz

December 20th, 2012
8:04 am

gt4…..Agree with you on CPJ’s response, any team can look at the film of the past 4 or 5 games and figure out that Johnson is going to start TW. You are probably right about the dive, but ever so rarely CPJ opens with a pass play which almost always is incomplete even if the receiver is open. That’s because it’s usually a long pass attempt instead of a higher percentage pass play.

gt4ever

December 20th, 2012
8:23 am

@ramblingbuzz

I take my 12 year old son to most every home game, and we have a game we play where we call what coach is going to run… It’s not scientific, but we are very close to calling coaches plays based on down and field position.. We are at least having some good bonding time, even if we are subjected to sub par football… lol Hopefully this coach is gone after the bowl loss… Here is to dreaming…

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
8:46 am

Thinking of sub par years, being in the ACC, GT has had plenty.
If we wanted good football, someone should have stopped Dodd from taking us out of the SEC.
I impressed with the job Brian Gregory is doing but the best ballers want to play in the ACC and he also has the new arena.
Johnson has aggravated me a lot too with his poor D coordinators and poor ST coaching.
Either because of his contract or because he deserves a last chance, he is going to get another year.

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
8:54 am

Had there been an internet then, I’d bet the farm Frank Beamer would have been fired during his crummy first 6 years at Virginia Tech. Beamer Ball never would have been invented.
Of course one thing that probably saved him was having Virginia as an arch-rival.

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
8:57 am

We cannot afford to fire Paul Johnson.
End of discussion.
And how about buying an ACC basketball package, at least a half of one, to insure we have a complete home court advantage.

juvenal

December 20th, 2012
8:58 am

if the game is close, TW is the man, he is due, never having won one(wait-isn’t that gambler’s fallacy?)

gt4ever

December 20th, 2012
9:04 am

We can’t afford NOT to fire this clown… End of discussion…

dry dirt road

December 20th, 2012
9:10 am

This SB game is shaping up to be kinde like the Tech-USC game in Atl when Lynn Swan played since Marqise Lee won the Biletnikoff. I recall Swan making an end zone catch in that game on tv with his toes in bounds, an outstanding catch. It’s just too bad that the same BD years yj got replaced by “Buzz”. There might be some from back then like me who like their own BD years yj art and not “Buzz” art. The SB will have no AD associated with “Buzz” for the game, as opposed to how we had BD associated with AD and our yj for the USC games every year we played them.

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
9:15 am

@gt4ever.
And you are going to contribute how much to that cause?
Tech’s multimillionaires will pay millions to put their name on various facilities.
I doubt any will step up to pay off a coach’s salary.
Who knows?
Vad may like his coach and transfer out if he is fired.

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
9:17 am

I respect juvenal’s opinion even though we disagree about Tevin because I know he buys both basketball and football season tickets.

dry dirt road

December 20th, 2012
9:17 am

hey, this “kinde” was not typed by me; the letter e isn’t near the letter a on my keyboard so I could not have typed two letters at the same time; I typed “kinda”; I’m getting discredited on other news sources for first sentence typing when it appears on IE like this, as if it’s some sort of format to discredit me on IE; man’s inhumanity to man, however I’m not inhuman to man and I’m a man

NC Jacket

December 20th, 2012
9:19 am

Its just more of the same ole same ole mediocre qb will be playing as much as coach can allow it. Kind of like the last drive against FSU when TW ran out on the field all us GT fans started putting on our coats. No reason to have hope. Now IJ is out at safety for the bowl game too? We will be torched unless the D drinks whatever they drank in the locker room at halftime of FSU. Let Vad play for goodness sake….we have zero chance with Tevin…this ain’t Duke coach! Come on man….no more contract extensions until this mess is straightened out.

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
9:22 am

BTW, Tech is going to be better at football next year.
We are recruiting better players.
Not to mention, the messiah will be at QB.
One of the two will have to be our football messiah.

BLACK BEE

December 20th, 2012
9:26 am

CPJ Jr. I mean GTRanj I don’t buy that CPJ is all GT can get or the best! He is a good Coach for sure and doesn’ eserve to be fired BUT he is the HC and he has not made the best decisions on hiring a Staff, is that because of his ego or is he just not ready for bigtime football? Can he adjust to Vad and JT talents??? Can he upgrade the recruting program and stop making excuses? The guy would be great at Appalacian State or Army or in the 50’s and 60’s but the ? is can he adjust to be a great D-1 Coach in the landscape today? I hope so and I wish some GT fans would stop selling your school so short!

ahsoisee

December 20th, 2012
9:28 am

This may well be the worst bowl game loss in Tech’s history!

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
9:31 am

If we show u with the defense that played the 2nd half vs FSU, we’ll have a good chance.

juvenal

December 20th, 2012
9:42 am

J D, Taz et al stepped up to pay Chan, but we are still paying cph & folks don’t get rich the hard way throwing their $ around & they think next year is going to be great, hope they are right, but i will be there irregardless….would be in El Paso except for a family wedding(who gets married on 12/31?)…Tevin never having won a game that ended in the 4th qtr. being within a TD is a fact, not an opinion, & no one would be happier than me to see him either break or that streak, or better, get way ahead…come see me sometime at basketball, i sit behind the basket next to the dancers(Super took pix at the uga game)…still, if GTJoe got tired of saying it, i’ll try to shut up. too…….

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
9:42 am

That’s kinda of funny that Reggie Ball quarterbacked our last bowl victory.
Maybe just deserts since few defend his play when he was the best we had for 4 years.
It might have been better for him to be brought along slowly like Vad has been.
I’m curious if Vad can do any better against a top D as so many assume.

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
9:45 am

I bought the ACC package near there in section 106 row 6 so I’ll look for u starting the Miami game.
I may try to find a scalper for the cupcakes though Chattanooga may have a good rebounding team.

ramblingbuzz

December 20th, 2012
9:46 am

I have no idea what to expect in this game, but I’m really interested in watching it. I just hope the GT team that played MTSU, BYU, and UGA doesn’t show up. I really like TW as a student athlete, but not so sure he’s the best option at QB at this point.

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
9:47 am

I’m going to complain to Super for not sending me those pixs.

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
9:50 am

@ramblingbuzz.
I would not have minded a bit having Vad run the last chance vs FSU since he is the better passer.
Nor would I mind him playing half the next game or staying in if he has the hot hand like the UNC game.

juvenal

December 20th, 2012
9:54 am

hard to get to games with the Holy Days, & the end of deer season, but will make most of the ACC games, though it’s a long way home for an old man weekdays…Ken, ever going to chat with Morrow?

ramblingbuzz

December 20th, 2012
9:58 am

JD…..Yeah VL got on CPJ’s bad list for something in the FSU game. Never knew exactly what happened but Johnson was giving him an earful on the side line after his 2nd series and we never saw Lee again after that. Someone speculated that Lee was ad libbing or maybe he made the wrong read.

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
10:01 am

I respect someone making a long drive even more.
Especially for basketball.
At least I’m consistent. (in defending players)
I’ve defended Isaiah Johnson all year (to Super and on here) and I’ve been just about the only one.
Now a number of fans worry who will replace him.

Jacket Detective

December 20th, 2012
10:04 am

@ramblingbuzz.
I’ve heard that account but did not notice it.
Vad may have turned a pass play into a QB draw that failed.
Maybe Johnson concluded Tevin was the one with the hot hand since Vad didn’t do much in his two series.