Georgia Tech Camp Updates
By David England
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As Georgia Tech prepares for its huge season opener with Virginia Tech, the Yellow Jackets have looked very impressive thus far in camp.
All throughout camp, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets' mantra has been "9/3". While it may just be a simple date on the calendar, it holds the key to Tech finding their way to Charlotte for the ACC Championship Game. You hear coaches say, "We need to take it one game at a time and not look ahead". That is very easy to accomplish when the biggest game of your season is the first one on the schedule. Unlike seasons past, Georgia Tech will not play an FCS opponent to open the season.
So far the Jackets have been sharp in camp, which is important because preparations for Virginia Tech will begin next week. Quarterback Tevin Washington is ready for the season to start, stating, "We've been hitting each other for two weeks, and all summer doing drills against each other. Guys are just ready to go and get some new faces in front of us."
As always, camp is a place for new faces to emerge and hidden talent to climb up the depth chart. B-back Zach Laskey has had a great camp and shown his ability as a player, pushing incumbent starter David Sims. Competition will always make a football team better. All camp long Synjyn Days has proven why there was a battle for the QB position early on in the camp. With elite speed, Days makes for a human highlight reel in the option offense. With more than three touchdown runs over 50 yards in camp expect to see more of Days in 2012.
While Georgia Tech has become known as a dominant running program, the wide weceiver corps has displayed its talent over Johnson's tenure in the Flats. There has yet to be a standout at the position this camp, but don't be surprised if Jeff Greene turns heads once real football starts in September. With a big frame, good hands, and speed, Greene has the makeup to fill-in nicely where Stephen Hill left off.
The A-back positions have stayed fairly steady throughout camp. Orwin Smith and Robert Godhigh have shown they truly understand the offenses and all of its intricacies. If Orwin Smith can continue to steadily improve, he may be in the running for ACC Player of the Year at the end of the season.
The battle in the trenches played out as most thought it would. The starters will be Ray Beno, Will Jackson, Jay Finch, Omoregie Uzzi, and Morgan Bailey. A preseason All-ACC player, Uzzi could prove to be one of the elite interior lineman in the nation. The offensive line comes into the campaign with a lot of experience and should anchor the potent Tech option offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, there were not many surprises. The Jackets' 3-4 defense looked quick and sharp towards the end of camp. The defensive line is highlighted by senior end Izaan Cross, who showed he has the potential to be a dangerous edge rusher. The middle of the defensive line will be led by T.J. Barnes, who finally has learned to get his body in the middle of the pile. The 6'6" Emmanuel Dieke showed flashes of brilliance with his jaw dropping speed and strength.
The linebackers were led by junior Jeremiah Attaochu, who had a great camp and showed why he is one of the premiere edge rushers in all of the ACC. The surprise of the camp was Jabari Hunt-Days, who is proving to be an intelligent, hard-hitting linebacker who could see a fair amount of playing time in 2012.
In the secondary, the talent level is extremely high. The cornerback group is led by Rod Sweeting, Louis Young, and Jemea Thomas. Known as the "iPod", Thomas has shown his ball-hawking skills in camp and has steadily improved. The safety group is talented and will make plenty of big plays in 2012, with Isaiah Johnson patrolling the middle of the field.
As the 2012 season is right around the corner, the Jackets appear to be talented and ready to play. A conference championship is the goal in 2012, and the talent and potential is there. It is now simply a matter of having that collection of talent translate into significant production on the gridiron.