Thomas, Godhigh, Uzzi share team honors

While Georgia Tech guard Omoregie Uzzi  has won wide recognition for his play, neither safety Jemea Thomas nor A-back Robbie Godhigh received a single vote from coaches or media for All-ACC selection. All three, though, earned plenty of respect and acknowledgement of their teammates.

Fifteen Tech players were asked for their choices for the Yellow Jackets’ top offensive and defensive players for the season, selected the two playmakers. Thomas won by a wide margin as the top defender, while Godhigh and Uzzi tied for having the best seasons on offense.

Even during the rockier moments of the season, “people don’t really realize this, but Jemea, he always played at his peak,” outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu said.

Said Thomas of Godhigh, “Robbie’s phenomenal. Robbie just does things when he gets the ball.”

Said guard Shaquille Mason of Uzzi, “Most people don’t see how effective he is, but as a one-on-one blocker, he’ll win the battle every time.”

Going into Monday’s Sun Bowl against USC, Thomas is second on the team in tackles with 82, tied for first in pass breakups with Rod Sweeting with five and first in interceptions with four. He maintained his status as one of the Jackets’ fiercest hitters, meting out a number of punishing tackles. Playing corner at the start of the season and then switching to safety, he has delivered consistent play and the occasional highlight.

“Just that whole (switching positions) thing, it’s not easy, but Jemea makes it easy,” Attaochu said.

Most memorably, playing with a bruised right shoulder in the ACC championship game that prevented him from raising his arm, Thomas made a diving one-handed interception of Seminoles’ quarterback EJ Manuel late in the fourth quarter to keep Tech’s hopes alive.

“Non-stop motor, he’s always flying around, not giving up,” A-back Orwin Smith said. “We could be down as a team 30 points and he’s still out there hitting people and making tackles and interceptions.”

Uzzi was a first-team All-ACC pick for the second consecutive year, a locomotive force in Tech’s spread-option attack. A three-year starter, he has been a linchpin as Tech has ranked fourth or better in FBS in rushing each season. A team captain, Uzzi started every game this season. He’ll finish his career dueling with a line that includes defensive tackle Leonard Williams, the Pac-12 defensive freshman of the year.

Said Mason, “Our offense runs through him.”

Godhigh has been one of Tech’s brightest spots in its 6-7 season. A former walk-on, Godhigh earned a starting position in fall camp and proved to be Tech’s best perimeter blocker and also a capable playmaker with the ball in his hands. He had 10 plays of 20 yards or more on 51 carries and 15 receptions, almost identically the same rate as A-back Orwin Smith.

He was at his best against North Carolina. On three consecutive touches in the third quarter, Godhigh scored on a four-yard run, a 27-yard run and a 32-yard reception from quarterback Vad Lee as the Jackets put up 30 points in the quarter to roll to their 68-50 win over the Tar Heels.

The three touchdowns in one quarter was one shy of the NCAA record. For the season, Godhigh’s 51 carries have gained 416 yards, an 8.2 yards-per-carry average. His 15 receptions have netted 227 yards, for a 15.1 yards-per-reception average, and four touchdowns. He is fourth on the team in all-purpose yards.

Coming to Tech as a walk-on from Harrison High in Cobb County, “I’ve had that chip on my shoulder and just wanted to go out there and play hard and show everyone what I could do,” he said. “I hope that what I did proved people wrong.”

Godhigh’s ascension was no surprise at all to wide receiver Darren Waller, another Cobb product. The two have played against each other since middle school.

“Coming here, people are like, Wow, Robbie’s doing all this,” Waller said. “I’m like, it’s just the same Robbie I’ve grown up playing with.”

In case you missed it…

Five freshmen who have impressed in practice

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

52 comments Add your comment

SoCal_GT_Fan

December 29th, 2012
9:28 pm

Glad to see that Jemea Thomas and Robbie Godhigh are getting some recognition for their efforts this year.

1 4 GT

December 29th, 2012
10:09 pm

It’s always good to be appreciated and well thought of by one’s peers. From what I saw at the games, all 3 earned it. I think they all could end up playing on Sunday’s.

Supersize that order, mutt

December 29th, 2012
10:13 pm

@ 1 4 GT……go to bed. You have a long day tomorrow. LOL

5150 UOAD

December 29th, 2012
11:00 pm

Robbie has been impressive. I never thought he would play much cause I figured he couldn’t get it done Blocking. Boy was I wrong. The lil spark plug can do it all and is fun to watch. Thomas has worked hard all year to get better. He is not happy unless he is doing it 100% on every play. Uzzi we all have seen be great. Hope he get a good team to go to next season.

Jacket Detective

December 29th, 2012
11:13 pm

It is impossible to evaluate our D players because we have not had a D coor who knew when to blitz.
It is always a gamble.
Sometimes Tenuta won with it and sometimes he lost.
Groh refused to do it much and that allows the other team’s QB to get real comfortable and make his throws.

Jacket Detective

December 29th, 2012
11:30 pm

Some evaluating CPJ say the cupcakes wins don’t count.
If we use that criteria, Bobby Ross, the coach so many love, went 0-9 in 1987.
That season included an away loss to Duke by the score of 14 to 48.
And followed that with a home loss to Wake by the score of 6 to 33.
The cupboard may not have been full but it wasn’t bad.
Back to back losses to ACC weaklings in games that were not close.
Attendance for the Wake game was 21,114. (half empty Bobby Dodd Stadium nothing new)
The following year Ross went 3-8, once again beating two cupcakes and also South Carolina.
So against real competition, Ross started his coaching career at Tech with a record of 1-17, losing to both Duke and Wake two years in a row.
Had we had the internet back then, I wonder what all us geniuses would have said.
“Fire the jerk” comes to mind.
Even as Ross started to learn how to win at Tech, he still managed to lose to Duke for the third year in a row.
Curry lost his first 4 to Duke and then Ross lost his first three.
So during the eighties, we had a losing record vs weakling Duke.
Tevin is so terrible?
Well dummies.
Tevin can at least beat Duke.
Why not compare Tevin to our QBs of the eighties?
What were they?
One stars?
Maybe half a star.
If we have fallen now, what about the 2-9 and 3-8 of the great Bobby Ross.
Take away his 11-0 season and he was 21-26.
Somehow we forget the bad years because of one great year.

Flamboyant Sun Bowl

December 30th, 2012
1:54 am

Stinger 1

December 30th, 2012
5:53 am

Jacket Detective: John Dewberry was as good as Washington. He did beat UGA
at least once in the eighties.

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
6:24 am

1984: GT 35 GA 18 (WL: 6-4-1)
1985: GT 20 GA 16 (WL: 9-2-1)
After a seemingly breakthrough season for Curry in 1985, instead it was followed by a 17 all tie with Furman to start the 1986 season.
The 1986 season ended 5-5-1 and, typical of the Curry years, included a win vs Tennessee and a loss vs Wake.
One problem with the schedule in the eighties is we kept the SEC powerhouses Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia and sometimes Alabama and Florida as well while dropping the SEC weaklings.
I’m curious if Curry ever defeated Auburn in his head coaching career.
He never did at Tech in 7 tries and I think was fired at Bama after three straight losses to them. Seems unlikely he ever beat them at Kentucky.
We might have defeated Auburn with Curry’s best team in 1985 except they had Bo and we lost at home 17-14.

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
6:41 am

I was in California and missed Pepper’s 6 years at the helm.
Why was he fired?
He used the Wishbone I’ve heard.
He went 34-31-2.
His schedule was possibly the toughest any Tech coach ever faced.
He went 3-3 vs Auburn.
They must have greatly approved the Pepper firing and Curry Hire.
In additon to Auburn, Tenn, and Uga, Tech played Notre Dame 5 times, winning against one of the two ranked Irish teams we faced.
The 1979 season when the record was 4-6-1, we played Bama, Florida, Norte Dame, Tennessee, Auburn, and Georgia and went 0-5-1.
His record vs Uga was 2-4.
His 1974 team beat Uga 34-14.
The 1977 team did also at 16-7.
However his best team lost to Uga in 1978 29-28 when Ivery was injured and did not play in the 2nd half.
Also of note, Pepper was 2-0 vs Miami but before they became the team of the nineties.
My point with this Tech history lesson: What is the point in getting rid of one decent coach if u r going to replace him with someone like Curry?

Augusta Buzz

December 30th, 2012
6:55 am

J Detective, Duke was no pushover under Steve Spurrier and was ACC champs at least once in the 1980s.

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
7:04 am

Because of the conference we are in, the Tech basketball head coaching job is considered a plum while the football job may be considered a career killer.

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
7:05 am

How long was he there?
3 years at the most.
Spurrier can just show up at Duke and beat us.
He must be the best coach ever.

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
7:09 am

I delighted to learn VT fired Seth Greenberg.
A top recruit on Louisville was going to VT before the firing.
I hated him which meant he was a formitable coach and defeated us fairly often.
More good news for the basketball program in my opinion.
I also think, as I mentioned, that Auburn was delighted to learn when Pepper was fired.
Curry had two close losses by 17-14 but the other 5 games were blowout wins for them.
Nothing close to Pepper’s 3-3 record.

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
7:37 am

Did you buy a copy of Dodd’s Luck?
Dodd’s first year was crummy at 4-6 and alums were snooping around trying to find a reason to fire him. (source – Bobby Dodd and the captain of the 1945 team) The alums were too dumb to know he was the main reason behind the 9-2, 8-3, and 8-3 seasons that preceded his first.
Alexander was in poor health.
Giving Dodd a raise and a promise of the head coaching job when Florida came calling was the best thing Coach Alec did at Tech.
Well there was 10-0 1928 team but that was followed by a number of losing seasons.
Dodd and Heisman were Tech great coaches.
Alexander and Ross were good coaches.
Alexander and Ross both had one great year which has allowed fans to forget some real stinkers.

fan

December 30th, 2012
8:09 am

anyone notice the option teams (Air Force + Navy) lost yesterday…Perhaps johnson
can change that trend.

BigTimeTECHFan

December 30th, 2012
8:13 am

Jemea Thomas is the best DB in the south if not the country

Supersize that order, mutt

December 30th, 2012
8:28 am

Augusta Buzz, I am from Augusta too. Do we know each other? We need to meet sometime.

Anyway, sitting in the Atlanta airport now, waiting for 11am flight to El Paso.

GO JACKETS !!!

Lee

December 30th, 2012
8:41 am

It’s great to see Jemea get some recognition for his excellent play. Go Jackets!

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
8:49 am

Jemea saved the 2011 Clemson game with a pick in the endzone.
We would have a lot less gripping if some of his teammates knew how to make game-saving plays too.
Sometimes just a tackle (which wasn’t made) like in this year’s VT game.

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
8:53 am

There sure was a lot of whinning on our blog yesterday and the worse part was, most of it appeared to be by Tech fans and not trolls.
Things are looking up.
Way up for basketball.
For football too as I have been instructed all year that the messiah was coming.
It would be funny if Justin Thomas beats him out though.

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
8:54 am

I recommend that GT Joe change his blog name to John the Baptist.

GTBob

December 30th, 2012
10:38 am

6 and 7 season! No light at the end of the tunnel!

5150 UOAD

December 30th, 2012
10:41 am

Justin Thomas has a lot of upside as well.
The QB that can make the read and the PITCH the best will start.
Passing needs to be a bigger part of the O but the pitch IS a HUGE part of the O as it is.
Custis & Thomas in the backfield would be Thunder & Lighting for damn sure.

Jon Koncak

December 30th, 2012
10:45 am

Best DB in the south if not the country??? Bwahahahahahahahah!!!!!

MTSU just scored again………

John T

December 30th, 2012
4:42 pm

Ken are you in El Paso, so no one from the Journal covered the GT basketball game?

Supersize that order, mutt

December 30th, 2012
5:33 pm

Enter your comments here

Supersize that order, mutt

December 30th, 2012
5:34 pm

Greetings from El Paso. Go Jackets!!!

GTBob

December 30th, 2012
7:22 pm

I ate all of my greens, mommy! Why can’t I have a Popsicle?

GTBob

December 30th, 2012
7:23 pm

My zipper itches but when I rub it my pants get wet

Supersize that order, Mutt

December 30th, 2012
7:25 pm

I’m from Augusta!! I’m going to El Paso! I went to Georgia Tech!!
Enter your joke here.

Supersize that order, mutt

December 30th, 2012
8:22 pm

Contact the name thief at derekdooley@aol.com

Highly Respected Southern Troll

December 30th, 2012
9:09 pm

@Jacket Detective – You and Supersize are intellectual twins.

Bobby Ross inherited a team essentially in shambles (remember Curry?). Four years later he won a national chamionship. On the other hand, Paul Johnson inherited a team loaded with about ten future NFL players on it. Five years later, Tech is mediocre at VERY best.

Since the Jackets clinched the ACC Coastal title in November 2009, Johnson is 21-21. During that time period, his record against Georgia, Virginia Tech, Miami, Clemson, and bowl opponents combined is 2-15! That includes ZERO wins against Georgia, including games against the two worst Bulldog teams since 1996 (2009 and 2010).

Quit making excuses for Paul Johnson.

Exterminator

December 30th, 2012
9:24 pm

Kudos to these guys. That Godhigh kid can really play. He is not good enough to be the best player on a real D1 team though. This is telling

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
9:28 pm

Then quit making excuses for Ross.
Could not beat Duke, seriously Duke, his first three tries.
And lost to both Wake and Duke his first two tries.
The cupboard was not that bare.
Terrible Tevin (other’s opinion) has beaten two of Duke’s better teams.
But Ross couldn’t in three tries.
Duke and Wake are the weak sisters of a weak football conference.
BTW, Ross’s NC was in the back door.
He did not have to win a BCS bowl game.
Hewitt would have won a NC too if he got to play a weaker team in the final and not UConn.
But for those of u who want to fire him, fine.
Just do not ask me for a contribution.
No one at Tech likes to pay ex coaches to do nothing.
The way to be thought highly of by Tech fans is to dump Tech after your one great year in five.
Both Curry and Ross used Tech as a stepping stone to better jobs.
Got out if town before they went back to form.

Jacket Detective

December 30th, 2012
9:39 pm

If Johnson wanted to be popular at Tech, he should have gone elsewhere after 2009.
Treat Tech like a stepping stone to better things and they still love u more than the loyal coaches who stay and risk failing. (and usually do).
Most of Tech coaches would have done poorly against the schedule Pepper had in his last year (1979).
Had Ross had to face Pepper’s 1979 schedule instead of the weak sister ACC in 1990, then he would have lost too many games to be considered for NC.

wrecked

December 30th, 2012
9:42 pm

Godhighs a good kid , but he’ll have to buy a ticket to see an NFL game.

Highly Respected Southern Troll

December 30th, 2012
9:57 pm

@Jacket Detective – I’m not making excuses for Bobby Ross. No excuses are needed for a coach that went 25-6-1 over his last thirty-two games, won an ACC Championship, and won a National Championship. He also beat the number one team in the country, won two bowl games, and whipped Georgia twice in the process.

It’s really sad that supposed Tech fans would denigrate Bobby Ross to try to cover for someone like Paul Johnson.

BIrmingham Jacket

December 30th, 2012
10:54 pm

Bobby Ross was a great coach. Ditto for O’Leary and Fridge.

But in fairness, they didn’t face the “SEC PROBLEM”, the way Paul Johnson and Gailey have.

Every Blue Chip in the Southeast that has NFL aspirations want to play in the SEC; and Georgia’s resurgence to a national power has made it much harder for Tech to attract quality In-State talent.

Don’t look for things to get better on The Flats regardless of who is coaching until if/when the SEC drops off like the Big 10 and The Richt era at UGA comes to an end— hopefully they will hire a Derrick DoLittle!

Highly Respected Southern Troll

December 30th, 2012
11:20 pm

@Birmingham Jacket -The problem with that is that Johnson faced the two worst Georgia teams in the last fifteen years and lost to both of them. In 2009, the Yellow Jackets were 10-1 and headed to the ACC Championship Game (and Orange Bowl) and got beaten 30-24. This was against a 6-5 Georgia team that lost to Kentucky the prior week!. In 2010, Georgia Tech faced a 5-6 Georgia team with a chance to keep them out of a bowl and avenge the prior year’s loss. Same result – they lost.

That's cute...

December 30th, 2012
11:45 pm

having to use beating duke as a barometer for a good QB. Tevin was not an ACC caliber QB. He was weak, slow, had a noodle arm, and was a terrible leader. The team often looked bored and frustrated with him in there, and there was a noticeable improvement in attitude whenever Lee came in. Johnson sticking with Washington after 2010 set GT back two years. Oh well, one more day and that loser, Washington, will be behind us.

Jacket Detective

December 31st, 2012
7:03 am

How many quarterbacks, during Tech’s 50 year dirge since Bobby Dodd, were this supposed ACC calibre?
Very few.
Attaochu singlehandily blew the 2011 VT game because, like Darwin Holt, he took a swing at the other team’s QB because he could not bring him down.
All that was needed to win that game was to tackle him low and wrap him up.
That play fired up VT.
Most who were there agree with this.
Who, btw, was the loser kicker who could not make the exra point when Tevin, in just his 4th game, had us tied with Uga with a few minutes to play.
Oh I forgot.
With a good chance to beat Uga by keeping the pressure on, some loser kicker missed the extra point.
Keeping the pressure on would increase the chances of an Uga mistake.
Here are two huge mistakes by teammates of Tevin’s that few have gotten on their backs about.
I could go on.
The QB of every team we play realizes in the 2nd half that we have no rush and he can sit back there and pick us apart.
That’s Tevin fault too?
Tevin has gotten the maximum out of his skills.
He’s a pretty tough dude not to get injured as Nesbitt did 3 or 4 times.
Each time Nesbitt got injured, we lost or came close to it.
Without the great fumble causing tackle vs FSU in 2008, we lose that game.
Nesbitt was saved by his defense again and again.
Ross defenders.
Were u among the 21000 who attended Tech losses to Wake and Duke during Ross’s first two years?
Why not?
With contracts as they are, we cannot afford to fire Johnson.
I am not a big fan of Johnson.
Or Ross.
Ross talked Swilling into turning down the money to stay another year to his detriment and then Ross skipped town as soon as the big money came his way.
I don’t like people like that.
Had Hewitt dumped us for the larger pay, most of u would have imagined his future years great and blasted the AD who let him go.

Jacket Detective

December 31st, 2012
7:13 am

Season ticket holders should get a vote on the next AD.
I criticize Homer Rice for hiring Curry and then all his buddies show up to defend him because he got something or other built.
It is ADs, who maybe are great at gladhanding the top alums or making speeches but who stink at picking football coaches, who are responsible for the last 50 years of mediocrity.
Tech has had two great coaches: John Heisman and Bobby Dodd.
But the possibility is, once out of the SEC at Dodd’s insistence, we were done as a football powerhouse.
Being in the ACC means we will be better at basketball than football.
We should get a vote on the AD.

Jacket Detective

December 31st, 2012
7:26 am

Notre Dame finally made a good hire by taking another school’s (Cincy) coach.
That is how we hired Heisman, stealing him from Clemson.
Dodd got to be the acting head coach for 3 years before being hired though the good won loss numbers of those years went to the mediocre Coach Alec. (check the record)
Dodd was the brains behind the late success just as Freigen was for the mediocre O’Leary.
The AD needed to push O’Leary out sooner so we could promote Freigen the same way we promoted Dodd.
Tech’s offense has not looked as good as it did with every year of Freigen since Dodd.
As opposed to one year of Ross (which still did not achieve a BCS bowl game).
Probably because we had SUCKED for so long and still could not beat the Heels with our best team in decades.

[...] Thomas, Godhigh, Uzzi share team honors [...]

Georgia Tech gameday | Georgia Tech

December 31st, 2012
9:28 am

[...] Thomas, Godhigh, Uzzi share team honors [...]

GT Joe

December 31st, 2012
10:07 am

I’m back after a few weeks away. And JD still talks about me. I’m flattered!

Well folks, we have just one more Tevin Washington game to endure. The only question is this: will he seal yet another game with an INT?

Wow...

December 31st, 2012
11:06 am

Make the claim that Tevin’s not responsible for the defense, while saying Attaochu single handily cost us the VT game where our offense literally had negative total offensive yards in the 4th quarter.

I find it funny you bring up 08 FSU, because we were up by 11 with Nesbitt. It was his back up who came in, fumbled, stagnated the offense, and threw the INT that set up FSU’s final drive. That back up was Jaybo Shaw. The guy who beat out Washington.

Why don’t you mention 09 FSU? You know, the game where Josh accounted for 270 yards of offense and on the key drive of the game, it was Nesbitt rushing the ball 8 times and literally ripping the ball from the hands of an FSU LB to preserve the win? What about the following week against #4 VT. Game on the line, up by 5 with 3 minutes left. 3rd and 7? What’s the outcome? 39 yard TD run by Nesbitt. How about 3 weeks later against Wake Forest. OT, 4th and 1. FG ties, TD wins. What do we do, give the ball to Nesbitt. He gets the first, gets the TD, and wins.

What about the clemson games where Nesbitt first carried us into range for the game tying FG, and then set up the game winner later. Or the ACC CG where down by 1 Nesbitt led a game winning drive, including a 4th and 1 conversion not unlike the, among many, the one that Tevin got stuffed on against Miami.

In contrast there is Tevin. His first game, VT, down by 7, 15 yards away from a game tying TD, throws and interception. Against UGA, down by 1 chance to drive for a game winner, instead 4 and out. However, has a second chance, down by 8, can still drive to tie the game, instead throws an INT. In the same game, it was a Washington fumble for a TD that made a close game into a two possession one. Against Air force, down by 7, 21 yards needed to tie the game. INT. Against UVA in ‘10, down by 3 three chances to drive for a tie or a go ahead. Punt. Punt. Punt. Gets pulled against UGA yet for some reason plays every snap against Utah. Anyways another chance, 3rd and 2 in OT. We call the same play that won us the game two years prior against WF. Stuffed. That’s okay, 3rd year starting senior QB coming off an 8 win season. Sets up well right? Against VT. Game 1. OT. INT. Against miami, OT. 4th and 1. Game on the line. We call the same play that won us the game against WF. Tevin checks out. Defense adjusts. Tevin decides to check back without telling anybody. Stuffed. That’s okay. Despite all of that. GT makes the ACC CG. Defense plays great. Forces a fumble which we cash in to get the game within 5. Get a beautiful INT to give us a chance to drive the field for a game winner. An ACC championship would redeem Washington and prove that he can be a winner. Converts a key 4th and 1 to keep the drive alive and… INT. Game over. 0-3 against UGA. No ACC championship. Losing record as a starter. 5 game icing INTs.

I mean, am I the only one who sees how poetic an ending the FSU game was? It’s like a Greek tragedy. One final chance at redemption in a situation so like those that defined his career. Only to have his same tragic flaw bring him down. It’s almost a shame that we have to play the bowl game. About the only ending more fitting than the one against FSU is if Tevin, with GT down by 7 at the end of the first half, throw an INT and breaks his arm making a tackle, bringing the story around full circle, but instead of the back up coming in and stalling the offense, Lee comes in and inspires GT to a bowl victory marking a new age in GT football.

Unfortunately, we’re more likely to see a repeat of ‘11 UGA. We’ll get blown out and Washington will get pulled after the game is decided. Not going out with a win, or even a dramatic last second loss. Just a whimper into the sunset, the only lasting impressions being his futility and his forced TD record, likely to be broken in the upcoming years by his replacement.

where have you gone bobby ross

December 31st, 2012
11:08 am

I would say we have only one more game to endure the man that brought us Tevin Washington, sometimes it pays to evaluate the evlauator….. don’t u think……………….

GT Joe

December 31st, 2012
11:26 am

Wow: in a nutshell, you have just posted everything I ever wrote about Tevin. Except for one thing: you don’t post the solution (which is Vad Lee).

Ross: you are absolutely right. I said after the UNC game that if Vad Lee doesn’t start the rest of the season, it’s a fireable offense. I like CPJ. I like is offense. But not playing Vad Lee after the UNC game is enough to get fired.