Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Georgia Tech.
Spring Practice Starts: March 26
Spring Game: Friday, April 20
Three things to look for:
1. Competition up and down the depth chart at quarterback. Tevin Washington's 986 yards rushing in 2011 was second-most ever by a Georgia Tech quarterback, but he failed to complete 50 percent of his passes for the second straight season. Washington is expected to start his senior season this fall, but the coaching staff will have a sharp eye on the competition for all positions on the depth chart. Sophomore Synjyn Days saw limited action in six games last season, and will be pushed by redshirt freshman Vad Lee for the first backup spot. Lee was a dual-threat star in high school, rushing for 1,300 yards and passing for 3,223 while leading Hillside to the North Carolina state championship in 2010.
2. Who steps up at wide receiver? Georgia Tech's offense does not need a handful of threats at wide receiver to be successful. However, a little bit of depth and experience at the position is needed to maintain balance. With Tyler Melton graduating and Stephen Hill leaving for the NFL Draft, the Yellow Jackets do not return a single any wide receivers with receptions in 2011. Senior Daniel McKayhan saw limited action in 2009 and 2010, while sophomores Jeff Greene (6-foot-4) and Darren Waller (6-foot-5) will try to fill in Hill's role as the physically dominant pass catcher.
3. Improving special teams. Paul Johnson has only finished with a losing record twice in his 14-year career at head coach, and one of the big reasons for Georgia Tech's 6-7 finish in 2011 was special team miscues. From botched field goal attempts to fumbled returns or muffed punts, the Yellow Jackets' special teams lacked consistency for most of the season. The result was Johnson hiring the first special teams-only assistant coach since his arrival in Atlanta. Special teams coordinator Dave Wolkosky joins the staff from Toledo, where Eric Page earned All-American honors for his kick returning.
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