We all found out how important a college team’s spring football game was two seasons ago when Georgia Tech had 14 fumbles and a muffed snap on a field goal and went on to have pretty remarkable first season anyway under coach Paul Johnson. In other words, it’s not that important.
But this spring just took on added interest for the Yellow Jackets. Quarterback Josh Nesbitt is out after ankle surgery. And now it appears his backup, Jaybo Shaw, will be out, period.
Although there is no confirmation yet from Georgia Tech, according to our Doug Roberson, all indications are that Shaw, presumably tired of mostly sitting and watching behind Nesbitt, is going to transfer to Georgia Southern. In Statesboro, he can start and run the same option offense for former Tech assistant Jeff Monken.
Even if this isn’t perceived as a huge deal for Georgia Tech, it’s no minor concern, either. A few reasons why:
♦ Quarterbacks take a beating in the option offense. Nesbitt’s a tough kid and even he got beat up last season. There’s no guarantee he’ll make it through 12 to 14 games next season. The fact he’s coming off surgery just adds to that. (I know the school labeled the surgery “minor.” But I’ve got this thing about calling any ankle surgery minor when it comes to an athlete, let alone a 215-pound option quarterback playing Division I football.)
♦ Even Nesbitt will tell you it took a while for him to get a feel for this offense. Shaw obviously wasn’t at Nesbitt’s skill level. But he could run the offense and figured to get a bulk of the work this spring, which would have better prepared him for potentially more playing time next season.
♦ The three quarterbacks behind Nesbitt are Tevin Washington, Jordan Luallen and David Sims. Of those three, only Washington took snaps as a redshirt freshman. He went 1-for-1 against Jacksonville State. (It was a 21-yard pass, giving him an efficiency rating of 276.4.)
So how big of a concern do you think this is?
Photos from AJC.com: Jaybo Shaw’s QB career at Ga. Tech