Georgia Tech is looking for a successor to Roddy Jones at the A-back position, and it's not going to be an easy thing to find. Right now, senior Orwin Smith occupies one of the starting spots, but coach Lamar Owens has the task of picking another player to start opposite. It's a fairly big position for Georgia Tech, who requires their A-backs to do everything on the field - and then some.
As noted, Smith is set, and he's poised to have a big season. Outside of him, there's guys like junior Robbie Godhigh and sophomore Deon Hill, as noted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Coach Paul Johnson has noted that those two are ahead of the rest of the players, at least at the beginning of camp. Plenty can change in that time frame, of course. Johnson had this to say:
"They are looking good," he said. "I got to watch them during the spring and all of them have improved. I'm really looking forward to what they are going to do and seeing who is going to step up this year."
One of the bigger challenges with evaluating players at the position is that it requires blocking. An A-back will be counted on to do things like a running back, a wide receiver, and that hybrid tight end position with the blocking. In the early stages of training camp, it's easy to see who's got the most improved routes or who has the explosiveness to make things happen on the ground.
But without pads on, the blocking is a big mystery. When it comes down to it, the blocking might just decide who gets the main playing time. Smith is that explosive playmaker at one of the A-back positions - perhaps the most talented offensive player on the team. The guy opposite of him should be a guy with solid blocking skills. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as we reach the later stages of camp.
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