Five Tech freshmen who have impressed in practice

They will carry the banner for Georgia Tech in autumns to come. This year, most of Georgia Tech’s 2012 signing class carried out scout-team assignments to prep the first- and second-string Yellow Jackets.

A handful have made an impression on their teammates with their ability and promise. Four of Tech’s 17-member class played this season – wide receiver Anthony Autry, defensive lineman Adam Gotsis, punter Ryan Rodwell and defensive back D.J. White. Of the other 13, the following five redshirting freshmen were repeatedly identified by players and coaches for having stood out on the practice field.

  • B-back David Sims described safety Lynn Griffin as “a physical specimen” who can hit with power and has speed. Sims holds the same hopes for Griffin that teammates have had for safety Fred Holton, another big hitter who has been out the past two seasons with injuries. Coach Paul Johnson said in November that, if not for an injury early on, Griffin (6-foot-0, 197 pounds) would have played this season.

Said quarterback Tevin Washington, “He’s going to be a real special player.”

Both starting safeties, Isaiah Johnson and Jemea Thomas, will return next season, although Thomas could return to corner. Holton and Griffin will be in the mix with Chris Milton, Demond Smith and Coray Carlson.

  • Defensive end Patrick Gamble was named the defensive scout-team player of the year. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 262 pounds and probably heavier, he is expected to be able to play both inside and outside on the line. Quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon particularly noted Gamble’s attitude and effort.

“Pat sticks out more just because he’s strong, he’s quick,” A-back Orwin Smith said. “He flies around.”

Like all the freshmen, Gamble will begin his first full offseason in the strength and conditioning program and figures to add weight and strength. Smith said that if he and fellow freshman lineman Francis Kallon can develop a more tenacious style, “they can bring some damage to some teams.”

With nose tackle T.J. Barnes and end Izaan Cross graduating, spots will be open in the line rotation for Gamble, Kallon and others.

  • Wide receiver Micheal Summers, one of three wide receivers signed in 2012, caught the attention of outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu.

“Mike, he has great hands, he can catch the ball really well,” he said. “I can’t wait till he starts playing.”

Summers (6-1, 190) and fellow freshman receivers Travin Henry and Autry, both rehabilitating knee injuries, should be ready to compete with Darren Waller and Jeremy Moore next season.

“He might not look like it, but Mike is an athlete,” Sims said.

  • Center Freddie Burden, Summers’ teammate at Statesboro High, was the offensive scout-team player of the year.

“I don’t go against Freddie a lot, but he’s quick for his size,” Cross said. “He needs to get a little bit stronger, but he’s very quick for his size. Quick feet.”

Burden (6-3, 292), who figures to back up Jay Finch next season for Finch’s senior season, could have played this season, Attaochu said.

“He’s a competitor,” Attaochu said. “He’s pretty legit.”

  • Quarterback Justin Thomas has split time with the second-string offense and the scout team. When he has run the scout offense, he has given the Tech defense trouble with his speed.

“I really don’t know who’s fastest (on the team),” Attaochu said, “but he’s pretty quick, elusive.”

Thomas (5-11, 169) has been impressing teammates since he arrived last summer, back when he stung receivers’ hands with zipped passes in seven-on-seven drills. He’ll compete with quarterback Vad Lee in the spring for the starting job.

“I actually think (Lee) and Justin are going to be fun, watching them in the spring next year,” Sims said, “because Justin is electric.”

In case you missed it…

Sun Bowl gifts include hair dryer (again)

Notes: Johnson, Barkley out for bowl

Some highlights, but special teams still lag

After forgettable season, Young can start fresh

Tech 2008 signing class delivers in classroom

Tech blows past Citadel

USC’s Barkley reportedly unlikely to play

Notes: Successful career for Tech long snapper

Orwin Smith tries for strong finish

35 football players make dean’s list

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

138 comments Add your comment

cw

December 28th, 2012
3:00 pm

www

December 28th, 2012
3:19 pm

^ pointless comment. anyway, glad to see there is some talent in the pipeline.

Let the Message Board Hype Machine Begin...

December 28th, 2012
3:31 pm

[...] about these guys all season on different boards. Now the players are talking about them publicly: 4 Tech freshmen who have impressed in practice | Georgia Tech Spring scrimmages should be fun… Reply With [...]

BigGTMike

December 28th, 2012
3:41 pm

Can we check the tape measure that Gamble used for that 6′5″ measurement?

Paddy

December 28th, 2012
3:48 pm

BigGTMike………Just checked that Gamble tape, it is off. He is now 6′6″. Good eye, Mike!

BigTimeTECHFan

December 28th, 2012
4:02 pm

here they come, National championship is in Tech’s future.
Tech’s scout team was rated no 1 scout team in the country by insiders, they said that 70% of them could start for any other team in the country.

Nobody will be able to handle Gotsis, Gamble, Kallon. DJ While, M Allen, Jamal Golden, D Noble, Hunt-Days, McNair, Menocal, – will be best defense in the country

Buzzed

December 28th, 2012
4:33 pm

Seriously? We’re ranking scout teams now? They couldn’t start for 70% of the teams, you mean.

Ignition

December 28th, 2012
4:40 pm

Lol where did you make that up from ???

Flak Jacket

December 28th, 2012
5:13 pm

Pointless is correct.Jackets got to roll with it,don`t think about it too much,just win and go with it.

GTBob

December 28th, 2012
5:29 pm

Tech will beat USC !! Yeah….who would believe that..not even Paul Johnson! This is the worst Tech team in decades and the worst is yet to come!!

Wrecker

December 28th, 2012
5:35 pm

Didn’t take this one too long to go negative. It is good to see that there are some standout players on the way.

gt4ever

December 28th, 2012
5:53 pm

lol at bigtimetechfan… Started drinking early have we….

OldGold1964

December 28th, 2012
6:00 pm

Always a good sign to see that teammates (and current team leaders) with experience recognize the up-and-comers,,,,GT has potential talent, but it has to be developed and displayed under game conditions. And, did you notice how many have had progress slowed by injuries.

Alabama Jack

December 28th, 2012
7:38 pm

Bob – you no longer can use GT. Just go by dawgie poo.

kevrock

December 28th, 2012
8:06 pm

Ken,
any info on former player of the year QB Timmy Byerly?

Ignition

December 28th, 2012
8:12 pm

Bah
The game is played on the field versus an opponent.

Joe

December 28th, 2012
8:59 pm

If those kids are the most talked about scout teamers, then 2013 will be Paul Johnson’s last season at Tech. I am shocked that a couple of those guys got D1 schollies, much less to an ACC school, and to see that they are among the most talented Jackets speaks volumes for just how poorly Johnson has recruited.

Ho hum

December 28th, 2012
9:06 pm

I would have expected the youngsters to shine a bit – after all they are going against a somewhat weak group of starters that won only 6 games in a terrible conference. Most anybody would look good going against a bunch that lost to some pretty weak opponents. But keep your chins up techies – it can’t get any worse :-)

Ho hum

December 28th, 2012
9:08 pm

On second thought I guess it actually can get worse :-(

Booze Hound

December 28th, 2012
9:28 pm

Please bring back George O’Leary while there’s still time.

how far we have fallen

December 28th, 2012
10:14 pm

It is really hard to fathom how far and how quick Tech has sunk, as far a players are concerned, I just got through with dinner as we were eating the bowl game with Va. Tech and Rutgers was on, my son and me made the same comments, Rutgers was throwing QB Logan Thomas around like a rag doll, the same Logan Thomas that was running down the field with 3,4 and even five jackets hanging on for dear life last time they were in Atlanta, I love Tech, always have, always will, but we look like a high school team on the field, rag dolls, we are so far below the size speed and strength of Uga, Clemson, VA Tech,, etc… as we conclude the 2012 season we can no longer compete with real football programs, we are in the batlle with Middle Tenn. State UAB et.al for recruits, the Paul Johnson experiment has all but concluded, I really had hoped he could do it, but alas he cannot,, It pains me to say it, but if you take away the Chan Gailey players, look at what CPJ has brought to Tech, and do not get me wrong, I like and respect any young man that comes to Tech, but it is about winning, and Ga. Tech is just plain pitiful…. I loath Uga, for what they stand for, or more to the point what they do NOT stand for, but we will be hard pressed to ever beat them again, I used to look so forward to watching the game and thinking that Tech could pull an upset, but I can no longer even watch, it is sad, we could give up 75 points to USC…… we should run the white flag up the flag pole, and apply to the Ivy league..

John Wayne

December 28th, 2012
10:30 pm

I honestly can’t believe what I’m hearing from you “fans”. Wave the white flag? Good grief. I don’t stand talking in the wind! Quit playing worlds smallest violin! Tech isn’t a bad football team. PJ has disappointed us, sure. But to say he can’t recruit is really ignorant. Look on rivals or scout, check out his recruiting classes and then Gailey’s. Besides 2007, PJ has done better. Please be my guess. He just needs to get better Defensive players.

GT fan

December 28th, 2012
10:41 pm

Go Jackets, got to win this Bowl game….

how far we have fallen

December 28th, 2012
10:50 pm

we lost at home to BYU, we lost at home to MIDDLE TENN. STATE, THEY SCORED 49 POINTS ON US, UGA SCORED IN 2 OR 3 PLAYS, THEY COULD HAVE SCORED 80 POINTS AGAINST US…..

Supersize that order, mutt

December 28th, 2012
10:52 pm

@ John Wayne…..THANKS. FINALLY a voice of reason These sore-loser fans are sickening both in the way they have totally given up and their absurd way of thinking in general.

how far we have fallen

December 28th, 2012
11:08 pm

you hire a new coach, you give him the reins, total control, players, coaches, his system, and in his 5th, year, the year that should show the world what he can do, he now owns the program, all the players are his, they have all been recruited to play his system, this is his first redshirt senior class, and this is the best he can do, you keeps hiring these defensive coaches, PJ does, who offers these kids a free ride PJ does, if you did not see enough of the toss sweep against UGA and Fla State, with the tackles in the backfield. this system will not work against top teams, with really good players. it is not that we had a bad year, every body has those from time to time.. we got blown out by Middle Tenn. State, not that they beat us, they whipped us, from start to finish, .we for the most part are signing three star talent….. that will not cut it, just watch the sun bowl, and keep a record of the 5, 6, seven yard losses on that toss sweep, we are wretched……. and Tevins end over end passes, I went to see them play Duke at Duke in 1978 on the start of my honeymoon, Pepper Rodgers had a white hanky under his hat to protect from the sun, I was at the Notre Dame game in late 70’s when the fish came a flying out of the east stands upper deck, and Dan Devine pulled the irish off the field, I have seen it all, I have been around the world twice and seen everything but the wind, and I have seen Tech this outmaned, against real football teams…. IT IS OVER….

Coach

December 28th, 2012
11:11 pm

Exactly! A handful of malcontents dominate the blog. We’re in good shape and will be better.

5150 UOAD

December 28th, 2012
11:32 pm

I want to see Gotsis, Gamble and Kallon no the field all together. I think they will make a pretty good D-line. I would still prefer to go to the 4-3 too.

billyho55

December 28th, 2012
11:35 pm

Some of you guys sound like whiney little girls! If you knew anything at all about the sport of football you would be able to see the talent on this team for next year. This was one roller coaster year I admit, but there is HOPE people. All the “fans” who have jumped ship need to find another team to root for. This proud Institution needs not fans like you, neither do the players who bust their ass so “we” can have something to feel good about and poke our chests out a little more!

Supersize that order, mutt

December 29th, 2012
12:11 am

Actually, the toss sweep is probably the most consistently productive offensive play we run. Some of the options don’t always work, especially the dive play, but the toss sweep almost always gets yards.

Supersize that order, mutt

December 29th, 2012
12:12 am

As far as the number of stars our recruits have, we have NEVER been loaded with 4 and 5-star players. NEVER NEVER NEVER !!!!!

5150 UOAD

December 29th, 2012
12:42 am

Omoregie Uzzi
Must say… El Paso has to be one of the most hospitable places in America.lol
Like · · Share · 4 minutes ago via mobile ·

Errin Joe
I Can’t Begin To Explain The Love & Hospitality That’s Being Shown Out Here In El Paso! Wonderful City With Wonderful People!!!!
Like · · 4 minutes ago via mobile ·

T.j. Barnes
Never met so many nice people ever in my life. Great fan base here and were 100’s of miles away.
Like · · 18 minutes ago via iOS ·

The guys are having a good time I guess.

Ignition

December 29th, 2012
2:37 am

3-4 have proven to be stronger defenses statistically and they are better able to adjust to spread offenses.

Buzz 2011

December 29th, 2012
3:58 am

@GTBob……………….Is this guy a real bulldog or just aN artificial leghumper?
Go feed your dogs.. Bobby..

Iluvnutella

December 29th, 2012
7:49 am

Love my Jackets, but these guys couldnt break into starting lineup behind the T*U*R*D*S we have there now…….one more year of high school O, then the new AD will get a Big Boy football coach.

chas_jacket

December 29th, 2012
9:01 am

I was also there for the ND game with the flying fish and also the year where a putrid Florida team beat us for their only win of the season. This team is not the same, they could easily be 9&4 and heading back to the orange bowl with just a few plays. Vad should be solid next year and I see us trending up with a better offense and hopefully an improved defense.

5150 UOAD

December 29th, 2012
9:16 am

If TECH can get a great/good DEFENSE we will be winning the ACC. We need D speed and size like every team but with the right coach recruiting will happen and the play on the field will put TECH at the top of the ACC.

Smyrna Gold

December 29th, 2012
9:19 am

Yes, and with a decent schedule, we could have gone 3 – 9. Any way you spin it this team is pathetic.

5150 UOAD

December 29th, 2012
9:27 am

Taking Dad to the GT Bball game tonight. We just want to go see the new McCammish and see tech play a good game.

5150 UOAD

December 29th, 2012
9:33 am

Smyrna Gold go buy you some Bama Crimson or UGa Red & Black or Gator Blue & Orange to cheer for those Win At All Cost SEC teams. Better yet go enroll your child in UGa and let said child study Family & Child Development on your dime. You can be a Proud Parent of a Grad with no job prospects. I will cheer for a 6-6 tea of young men I can respect over a 10+ win team full of players I wouldn’t let cut my grass.

Ho hum

December 29th, 2012
9:38 am

5150 you my friend are delusional..

VT, N.C., NC St., Miami, Clemson are recruiting big fast players – Tek is recruiting small slow players and hoping to “coach them up”.

Winning the ACC on a regular basis (just winning one ACC title really) is nothing more than a fantasy.

Face it Tek is a second class program in a weak conference – stop hallucinating and simply enjoy your 6 or 7 wins each year Tek is irrelevant in the big picture of major college football.

Reading this article is nonsense. Measuring future players against what you have is laughable at best. Sure they look like studs – they are going against Div II type players everyday.

Let me also point out the futuility of your last comment – “If TECH can get a great/good DEFENSE” – are you off your meds. Tek (CPJ & staff) CAN’T get great / good DEFENSIVE players.

5150 UOAD

December 29th, 2012
9:56 am

hum a HO………….and you assessing the players with all of your playing experience makes me believe your opinion is better?

Ho hum

December 29th, 2012
10:03 am

Hey 5150 hw about we look at a few players from Tek that have recently made NFL teams.

Anthony Allen, Keith Brooking, Morgan Burnett, Tashard Choice, Kevin Cone, Mike Cox, Jonathan Dwyer, Andrew Economos, Keyaron Fox, Andrew Gardner, Gary Guyton, Will Heller, Stephen Hill, Calvin Johnson, Michael Johnson, Dawan Landry, Derrick Morgan, Daryl Smith, Demaryius Thomas, Vance Walker, Philip Wheeler.

I always read about the dumb UGA players and their weak majors but you are missing a big point. The ones that you label dumb etc have a higher than most chance to make it in the NFL. They have a future outside of the classroom. Many of them leave early (as did your stud players) and never finish school. What’s the shame in moving on to a chosen field?

Now back to the list of GT players that had NFL shots – HOW MANY OF THEM ARE ENGINEERS or ARCHITECTS? How many of them took the easiest curriculum at Tek? And most important how many of them GRADUATED?

Stop with the nonsensical arguments about the dumb football players (for a real eyeopener see Tek basketball) – you have more than a few “dumb” ones too. Fact is you have fewer simply because not many stud players want to attend a school that can’t even sell their football tickets,

Think about throwing rocks and living in glass houses :-)

how far we have fallen

December 29th, 2012
10:07 am

the most sad part to all this is that we no longer expect to beat Uga, we no longer expect to recruit with the big schools, let me ask you a sincere question would you be ok with this type of expectation level in any of level of a rich full life, would you allow your kids to year in and year out have low C;s and D’s and then one class a year get an A, would you allow your employees to have this kind of sucess rate at their job, name any other area in life where you would be ok with this level of so so. georgia tech asking for a bowl wavier. when you accept this 6-7 and try to look for the bright spots, aka the future, you are not living in as rush would say realville, years ago when Dave Braine said we should be happy with sporadic sucess on the football field I was livid, but in hindsight I guess he could read the pulse much better than I could, we are the walking dead, without the good sense to just fall down, watch what happens monday and keep dreaming………………

Ho hum

December 29th, 2012
10:10 am

5150 I never said I assessed players. Your assumption that I have no basis for an opinion may be way off the mark – you know nothing about me or what I have or haven’t done.

You missed my point completely. I said it is difficult to judge player talent when they are going up against no talent. Ever hear the expression – “hard to soar with the eagles when you are grounded in a flock of turkeys” it might be applicable :-)

Jacket Man

December 29th, 2012
10:15 am

Why are you Tech fans “engaging” in “conversations” with people posing as Tech fans who are having conversations with themselves posting with other aliases? It’s VERY obvious what’s happening. Very disappointed in you guys; don’t feed the trolls.

Happy Holidays.

yellowfever

December 29th, 2012
10:17 am

Hey,how far we have fallen, I would rather be GT than freaking Auburn any day. Go pick on a team that has truly fallen.

Supersize that order, mutt

December 29th, 2012
10:18 am

@ Ho hum……and that describes the UGA mutts to perfection. They are a bunch of turkeys trying to fly with the eagles of Bama and LSU and South Carolina. THWG !!!

5150 UOAD

December 29th, 2012
10:21 am

hum a Ho…………HOW can you assess TECH players you have NEVER SEEN and you are not at practices? Practices are CLOSED so how can you judge a kid you have NEVER SEEN play a college game?

Ho Hum

December 29th, 2012
10:27 am

Like any good dog, I drink out of toilets, h u m p legs, and eat poo. But only when I’m drunk.