- We've known this for a couple months now that Tech commit Quarterio Morgan, a RB from Mt. Zion, doesn't have the grades to get into school & has opened his recruitment back up. The staff was very hesitant to initially take Morgan's commitment due to his grades and did so on the contingency he improve them. No such luck. Morgan will be a fine player for someone & we wish him well. Better to find this out now than closer to signing day when many kids have already committed. We now have 9 commitments for what I anticipate to be 22 or 23 spots. I expect we'll land a couple more in the next month or so.
- Early practice reports have been positive. Freshman QB Synjyn Days has looked very good, displaying a good knowledge of the offense (which he ran in high school) and a stronger arm than expected. Rod Sweeting is really pushing Dominique Reese for the starting corner spot opposite Mario Butler & I expect we'll see him as a starter against South Carolina State.
Notes from CPJ's presser at Media Day:
- Isaiah Johnson will play as a true freshman. He & Cooper Taylor are running with the first team while Mario Edwards & Jarrard Tarrant are the second unit. Jemea Thomas looks to be the odd man out & after playing as a true freshman last season may redshirt this year. While CPJ didn't specifically mention Thomas, he did allude to such a move saying he was willing to redshirt players who played as freshman last year.
- RS freshman Jay Finch is pushing returning All-ACC center Sean Bedford and "Bedford has his hands full" with the competition. Finch evidently got much stronger over the summer & is becoming a physical force. This may be coach speak intended to motivate Bedford but that would be a bit out of character for CPJ. It certainly bodes well for the future that Finch is emerging.
- On offensive line depth: "either we have depth or no one's any good". CPJ says he expects to use two units on the O-line against SC State.
- One thing CPJ seemed very pleased with is the level of competition across the board for playing time: "Brad & Joshua are pretty solid, other than that there is competition". A great sign for us as this is how you develop a program; younger guys pushing veterans.
- CPJ is pleased with the depth at B-back with Allen as the starter & three capable back-ups in Lucas Cox, Preston Lyons, & Richard Watson. I expect Cox to play a bigger role this season after his tremendous spring. He'll spell Allen but I also see him as a viable short-yardage option in place of Nesbitt, thus limiting the pounding Joshua takes. With four guys that can all play here, expect freshman Charles Perkins, who CPJ called "maybe the best back in Atlanta last year" to redshirt.
- The staff is trying to find a way to get freshman athlete BJ Bostic on the field because of his "speed & elusiveness". He's dangerous with the ball in his hands....
- CPJ continues to preach realistic expectations, using his famous "we could play better & lose more games" line.
- I'll pat myself on the back for championing the cause of RS freshman LB Brandon Watts. I've been touting Watts all off-season & if the season started today Watts would start at Will LB next to Brad Jefferson. CPJ clearly thinks highly of Watts, saying: "of all the players we've had since we've been here, he may have the most potential." Strong praise for a young player and I'm feeling good about my man crush on Watts.
From Coach Groh's presser:
- Isaiah Johnson is physical, smart & has good instincts. He'll play this year.
- True freshman Jeremiah Attaochu has "shown some very positive things early" and looks to have a chance to play at Jack LB this Fall.
- While he didn't come out & say it directly, Tarrant looks slated to play nickel back this year as we've maintained. Groh praised his play "on the ball" and it's not hard to figure he'll get on the field on passing downs.
- Expect multiple substitution packages depending on down & distance. Groh will show plenty of variations this year.
We'll start the position by position breakdown tomorrow.....