Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Plenty Of Competition Along Yellow Jackets' Depth Chart

Fall practice continues for the Yellow Jackets who are preparing for their season opener against Virginia Tech.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Paul Johnson Discusses Julian Burnett, Upcoming Season

Georgia Tech's season opener against Virginia Tech is just days away, and head coach Paul Johnson gave an update on a variety of topics to beat writer Ken Sugiura.

The Yellow Jackets will play this season without one of their standout defenders from last season in Julian Burnett, whose career was cut short after a neck injury. Johnson acknowledged that losing a talented player like Burnett is difficult but said the team must move on.

Anytime you lose a player the caliber of Julian Burnett, it's certainly a blow to the football team, especially early. Clearly, he was one of the leaders on the team. He led the team in tackles. He was possibly one of our best players, might have been the best player. It'll be hard to fill that role, but that's what happens. You have to move on. We've got some young guys that'll step in, and hopefully they can fill the role and grow into it.

The opener against Virginia Tech figures to play a huge part in the race for the Coastal Division championship but Johnson thinks the race could be much larger, including four or five teams.

I think most everybody's returning their quarterback, which is usually pretty big. I think it'll play itself out. We'll see. Is there a marquee team? Possibly. But it could be four or five different teams. Until you really start playing, you don't really know. That's why I think the polls are useless until about Week 4 or 5. We'll see how it unfolds.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Quayshawn Nealy Looks To Make An Impact Under Groh

Georgia Tech linebacker Quayshawn Nealy is one of the leaders of the Yellow Jacket defense, and he and defensive coordinator Al Groh have created a bond during fall camp. The sophomore is expected to make an impact on the field this season and has taken to the coaching of Groh to be the kind of player that makes an impact on defense according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution :

"He takes all the information you give him and he tries to use it," Groh said. "He sees that it works, so he comes back for more, so he's always looking for more and then he's trying to put it into play. He's fun to go out there with every day."

Nealy seems to have fully bought into Groh's system and the way he prefers his linebackers to play on the field:

He also re-fashioned his physique, putting about 10 pounds of muscle onto his frame, now 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, to make him better able to withstand the collisions along the line. In fall camp, Nealy showed coaches that he had advanced in his familiarity with Groh's defense and his commitment to it. The expectations of significant playing time and improved performance have accelerated his buy-in.

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Georgia Tech Football Depth Chart: Jeremy Moore, Jeff Greene Named Starting WR

With the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets get set to begin the 2012 season next week, the starting lineup is beginning to emerge as fall camp comes to a close. At wide receiver, Jeremy Moore and Jeff Greene look set to start the season opener according to Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The big surprise is Moore, who passed Chris Jackson during fall camp to jump into the starting lineup. Moore has had a string of injuries since arriving to Georgia Tech in 2009, tearing his ACL in 2010 and suffering an injury in the summer of 2011 that limited him to only three games.

Greene played more of a limited role last year as a true freshman, playing mostly on special teams, but has the size and speed that head coach Paul Johnson likes at wide receiver in Georgia Tech's option attack.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Back Orwin Smith Wants To Be All-Purpose Star

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Orwin Smith has a goal. And it's a pretty clear one at that — he wants to lead the nation in all-purpose yards, no matter the hard work that goal might take.

Smith, who is returning this year following surgery to repair turf toe, will have a seasoned offensive line leading the way for him in 2012, and he's set to meet the challenge head on.

"I thought all-purpose was something that was unique," Smith told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "[I] haven’t really heard anyone set it as a goal before, so that’s kind of how it came."

Smith's goal certainly wont be a simple one to attain given the wealth of multi-purpose athletes around the country. His 2011 season might show some potential to do it. Smith provided the Yellow Jackets with 921 yards combined rushing and receiving in 2011 after 711 combined yards in 2010.

He also provided 352 yards on kick returns in 2011.

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Four Yellow Jackets On Senior Bowl Watch List

As the preseason accolades continue to roll in for college football, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets find themselves with four more players getting recognized. On Thursday, a quartet of their players were put on the Senior Bowl watch list.

Included were defensive tackle T.J. Barnes, receiver Orwin Smith, cornerback Rod Sweeting and offensive lineman Omoregie Uzzi.

Uzzi is the most heralded of the group. He was an All-ACC First Team member in 2011 and is on the Outland Trophy watch list.

Smith has proven to be a dynamic offensive talent. He tallied over 1,200 yards as a rusher, receiver and returner last season and scored 11 touchdowns.

Barnes was part of the defensive line rotation last season and recorded 1.5 sacks. Sweeting started all 13 games for the Yellow Jackets last season and had three interceptions.

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Georgia Tech Football Depth Chart: Movement On The Offensive Line

With starting offensive tackle Morgan Bailey still in a walking boot and continuing to miss practice, Georgia Tech may shake up positions on the offensive line before its game against Virginia Tech, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

If Bailey is unable to play in the Yellow Jackets' season opener -- a Sept. 3 trip to Blacksburg, Va., to face Virginia Tech -- coach Paul Johnson said starting left tackle Ray Beno may slide over to the right side to take Bailey's place. With Beno moving to right tackle, Bryan Chamberlin could slide into left tackle and reserve lineman Tyler Kidney could potentially earn a spot in the rotation.

Another backup at offensive line that could see playing time, according to Johnson, is nose tackle Shawn Green. With starting nose tackle T.J. Barnes likely to play no more than 35-40 snaps a game, Green should have an opportunity see the field Sept. 3.

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Georgia Tech Football: Synjyn Days Expected To Play In Opener Vs. Virginia Tech

Georgia Tech quaterback-turned-A-back Synjyn Days is expected to play in the season-opener against Virginia Tech, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Days is behind Tevin Washington at quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach Paul Johnson indicated Days would play. "We’ll see where he plays, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t play in the game somewhere," Johnson said.

For his part, Days was enthusiastic about a chance to showcase his playmaking ability, regardless of what his role will be:

"...we want the best 11 players on the field and they said I’m one of the best 11. If it’s a special package or something, I’m just trying to do the best for the team any way possible, even if it’s special teams or holding the kick or something."

The Yellow Jackets open up the season on the road, facing Virginia Tech on Sept. 3.

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Georgia Tech Football Depth Chart: David Scully To Start At Kicker

After earning a scholarship in the preseason, David Scully will be the starting kicker for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the season opener Sept. 3 against Virginia Tech.

Scully served as backup to Justin Moore last year. Moore handled field goals and extra points while Scully was assigned to kickoffs. This year, Scully will do all three, according to coach Paul Johnson. Moore was perfect on extra points, but converted only 11 of 17 field-goal attempts last season.

Scully has practiced with the first-team kicking unit, and he attributes his improvement to hard work and "becoming comfortable with [his] body, with [his] leg." He doesn't hide his excitement about the starting job. "All summer, that's how I've been planning it," he said. "That's how I've been seeing it. That's what I want."

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Jackets Start Virginia Tech Prep With 'Unacceptable" Practice

Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Yellow Jackets' first day of preparations for Virginia Tech didn't go well - to say the least.

"[Monday] was not very good," coach Paul Johnson said. "It was unacceptable."

While most of the ACC and the nation are preparing to start the 2012 season with non-BCS opponents or FCS teams, the Jackets will face division rival VIrginia Tech on Monday night, September 3. According to the AJC, Johnson's distate for Monday's product came from the speed and effort of the players.

Quarterback-turned-A-back Synjyn Days is continuing to practice at both positions. The former backup quarterback could likely see time at both positions. Meanwhile, B-backs David Sims and Charles Perkins were both on the field for Monday's practice after missing time due to injuries. Cornerback Louis Young, however, did not participate and was seen wearing a forearm cast.

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ACC Odds Preview: Georgia Tech In The Middle Of The Pack

According to OddsShark.com, the Goergia Tech Yellow Jackets don't head into the ACC football season with very good odds to win the conferences Coastal division. The website lists Georgia Tech as a middle-of-the-pack team with 12/1 odds to win the division behind favorite, Virginia Tech and the Miami Hurricanes.

The Yellow Jackets star running back, Orwin Smith, did however make the odds list in two categories.

Smith was listed behind North Carolina's Giovani Bernard as the player with the best odds of leading the ACC in rushing. Bernard's odds were listed at +145 with Orwin Smith's listed at 225.

Smith was also ranked third as the player with the best odds to have the most rushing touchdowns in the conference. Govani Bernard once again has the best odds at +150 followed by Clemson running back Andre Ellington at +40 and Orwin Smith at +250

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Rod Sweeting Takes Control Of No. 1 Corner Spot

It's not as if veteran cornerback Rod Sweeting suddenly shot all the way up Georgia Tech's depth chart in the secondary, but the senior from Luella, Ga., is no longer the co-No. 1 corner -- he is the top guy, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Ken Sugiura.

Sweeting started all 13 games for the Yellow Jackets last fall and tied for the team lead with three interceptions on the way earning Honorable Mention All-ACC honors. He saw action in 14 games as a true freshman and in 13 contests during his sophomore season, so the 6-foot Sweeting knows his way around the Tech secondary.

Georgia Tech secondary coach Charles Kelly said Sweeting's summer work is paying off thus far in fall camp:

He has been sharp coming out of his backpedal, quick in his breaks and his man coverage ability has improved from spring practice, according to Kelly.

He'll be tested right off the bat, as the Jackets travel to Blacksburg in Week 1 to face quarterback Logan Thomas and the Virginia Tech Hokies.

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Georgia Tech Depth Chart: Vad Lee, Synjyn Days No. 2 QB Competition Is 'Fluid'

Georgia Tech's No. 2 quarterback position battle is described as "fluid" by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Vad Lee and Synjyn Days are competing but, after Lee's struggles in the first week of preseason practice, Days seems to have the edge for now.

The AJC report notes that Days has been trying to earn a spot in the A-back rotation, and how much Days figures to play at A-back will be a factor in where he lands on the depth chart.

Lee was much better in the second scrimmage than in the first. He led the first- and second-team offenses on touchdown drives Saturday and had flashy highlights running the ball as well.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: T.J. Barnes' Summer Work Paying Dividends

Georgia Tech nose tackle T.J. Barnes stands at 6'7" and weighs close to 340 pounds. The issue in his four years on the Flats has never been his massive size or natural physical ability. Instead, it's been his ability to stay in shape and stay in football games.

That may no longer be much of an issue after a summer that saw the Enterprise, Ala. native dedicate himself to conditioning work as he readies for his senior season, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Ken Sugiura.

In defensive coordinator Al Groh's 3-4 scheme, Barnes' size is ideal. With few options at the nose tackle spot, his stamina is crucial to Tech's defensive success this season.

This summer, Barnes worked with strength coach John Sisk in the afternoon after the team's morning workouts, according to Sugiura, and teammates noticed the difference.

Barnes "kicked it into gear," Nealy said. "I can't honestly say what made him kick it into gear, but I'm just glad that he did."

Asked that question, Barnes pointed at a finger at Nealy and other teammates.

"You're just looking to your left and to your right and behind you," Barnes said. "You're fighting for those guys."

Georgia Tech opens the season Sept. 3 against Virginia Tech.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Francis Kallon Is 'Still Green'

Georgia Tech fans have been wondering about Francis Kallon since the Yellow Jackets took a flyer on the London native before he ever played a down of organized football.

The media wants to know if and when he'll see playing time as a freshman this season, but Tech head coach Paul Johnson is reminding everyone that there is an important developmental process to go through. Here's what he had to say about the defensive end earlier this week:

"He's green. He's learning how to play the game, but he's every bit as athletic as we thought. He's big, can run but he's also playing against bigger, stronger, faster guys than in high school, so you can't get by on just being able to be big and run."

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Georgia Tech Football Fall Camp: Unproven WR's Hope For Best

Georgia Tech is returning four WR's -- Jeremy Moore, Jeff Greene, Chris Jackson and Darren Waller -- without a single career catch.

For most programs, such a lack of experience would be disaster, but for the Yellow Jackets, it's nothing that unusual. That's what happens when you run a triple option offense that rarely passes the ball, and when it does, usually looks for one or two main targets.

And with Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton gone, coach Paul Johnson will have to depend on his four unproven WR's to give his offense a deep threat to stretch the field. The coaching staff, however, is optimistic, as WR coach Buzz Preston indicated in a conversation with reporters on Wednesday:

"This group will develop at its time," Preston said. "I can't tell you when that's going to be, but I'm seeing things start to come [together]."

They certainly have experience developing WR's quickly. Hill had only 15 career catches before his breakout 2011 season, which ended with him being drafted in the second round by the New York Jets.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Starting A-Back Position Up For Grabs

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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College Football Top 25: Georgia Tech No. 20 In Sports Illustrated Poll

Georgia Tech checks in at No. 20 in Sports Illustrated's Preseason Top 25 Poll.

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Georgia Tech's Zach Laskey To Switch From Defense To Offense

Georgia Tech Sophomore Zach Laskey was not advancing up the depth chart at defensive back, one of the team's deepest positions. Now he's trying to make the switch to offense, where he will vie for a starting job at B-back, according to the Macon Telegraph's Stan Awtrey.

Laskey is a 6-foot-1, 208-pound native of Starr's Mill, who has been turning heads since making the switch. He has impressed coach Paul Johnson, who said "He's got a really good chance." Laskey will be looking to press David Sims, the returning starter, for playing time, having already surpassed Charles Perkins on the depth chart.

In a scrimmage last week at Bobby Dodd Stadium, Laskey had runs of 16 and 25 yards.

Laskey played eight games last year as a true freshman, and was the team's primary punt returner for the first two months. In that time, he returned 11 punts for 94 yards, and had a long return of 28 yards.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Injuries Cause Movement on Offensive Line

There might have to be some improvising with the Georgia Tech offensive line this season. It's like a revolving door on the line because of injuries and the ensuing preseason competition. Here are some notes on the offensive line with insight from OL coach Mike Sewak, via the Atlanta Journal Consitution.

Basically, Tyler Kidney and Bryan Chamberlain worked with the first team this week while Ray Beno and Morgan Bailey have been sidelined recently. This allowed Nick McRae to slide over to right tackle, while Trey Braun also saw some reps at the position.

Sewak said Chamberlain is "coming along nicely" and will play this year, according to the AJC report, which also suggests his progress over the next three weeks will determine how much he'll play against Virginia Tech.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: David Scully Takes Lead At Kicker

The roles have been reversed for the kickers on the Georgia Tech depth chart. David Scully has now surpassed Justin Moore as the lead placekicker, though he handled most of the kickoff duties in 2011.

Moore ranked fifth in the ACC in points per game last season and was a perfect 56-for-56 on PATs. But Moore's field goal percentage ranked eight in the league, so perhaps the Yellow Jackets see more potential there from Scully, the redshirt junior.

Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that a lot of these moves could be made to get the attention of the players demoted. So Scully and Moore could very well go back and forth in terms of primary kicking duties this season.

Take a look a the full depth chart here.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Running Backs See Depth Chart Shuffle

Incredibly, the college football season is less than three weeks away.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are expected to make noise this year in the ACC, thanks to a nice stable of talent that gets out to the test right out of the gate against Virginia Tech on September 3.

One area to watch on the team is the running back position. The backfield has an unquestioned starter in David Sims, but Zach Laskey has moved ahead of Charles Perkins on the most recent depth chart, according to ajc.com.

Head coach Paul Johnson feels good about the way Laskey has been performing.

"He’s had a really good camp," Johnson said. "He breaks a lot of tackles. He’s done some good things in the hole, shown some good feel."

Laskey could prove to be valuable as a change-of-pace for Sims, who's just entering the role of full-time starter. Last year, Sims racked up 698 yards on 5.2 yards per carry as a compliment to Tevin Washington.

"[Coaches] just want me to keep my pad level down, make sure I hit the holes hard,” Laskey said. “I’ve kind of just been working on that.”

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SB Nation Preseason All-Americans: Omoregle Uzzi Named Top Offensive Lineman

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are known for having one of the best running games in the nation. At the front of any running game is an offensive line that can get that push against defensive lines. Georgia Tech offensive lineman Omoregie Uzzi was named an honorable mention All-American according to SB Nation.

Despite missing all of spring practice with an injury, Uzzi started all 12 regular season games for the Yellow Jackets last season. In that season he helped the Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in rushing offense, total offense, fewest sacks allowed and third down conversion percentage.

Uzzi was named first-team all-ACC last year, third-team All-American by Rivals.com and second team All-American by Sports Illustrated. The only concern with Uzzi should be his durability, given that he missed the Sun Bowl last season and all of spring practice.

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Georgia Tech Football Fall Camp: Pistol Formation Joins Triple-Option

Georgia Tech is looking to expand its triple option attack, apparently - the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that in addition to the shotgun formations the Yellow Jackets experimented successfully with during spring scrimmages, the team is also incorporating the pistol:

The offense worked on pistol stuff, which it did in the spring. Coach Paul Johnson had mentioned that the offense was "was pretty good at what we do. When we started in the auxiliary stuff, not so good."

Johnson also hasn't issued official injury updates, but several key players were out, including Synjyn Days, cornerback Rod Sweeting, offensive tackles Ray Beno and Morgan Bailey and B-back David Sims. Only Sims' condition (a concussion) has been disclosed to the media, but all the players mentioned are expected to return to practice this week.

Of the group, Days is likely the biggest concern, as he's considered a front runner to play quarterback or A-back, or possibly both positions.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Yellow Jackets Complete First Practice In Pads

Georgia Tech practiced in full pads on Tuesday for the first time during fall camp. The team didn't go full tilt into contact opting instead to work on formation recognition. Most of the contact work came in an option drill.

Some of the freshman had a good showing in their first day in pads. Quarterback Justin Thomas had a couple of long runs for touchdowns according to Paul Johnson. Thomas is likely to redshirt this season given the depth of players in front of him but Johnson was pleased that he is already flashing the athletic ability that the coaching staff saw when they were recruiting him.

"He's lost right now," Johnson said. "But he's very quick and fast. He's got ability like we thought."

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Synjyn Days Practicing At Quarterback And A-Back

Georgia Tech's Synjyn Days might have the early award for most grueling preseason practice schedule: The Georgia Tech quarterback is operating in the Yellow Jackets' unit practices as a QB, only to then switch over and have private practices as an A-back in Tech's triple option scheme.

The move is an effort to best utilize Days, a redshirt sophomore who had limited but promising action in 2011, averaging 4.9 yards a carry and scoring four touchdowns. Days was considered the backup to Tevin Washington last year at quarterback, but his specialty running the ball has Paul Johnson's staff exploring a dual threat role. According to the AJC, Days is going full tilt into life as a running back:

"I was asking the A-backs, like, How do you cut (block), because I’ve never really had to block anybody," Days said. "I’ve been doing some cut blocking on dummies. It seems like it’s working. We’ll see [Tuesday]."

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Paul Johnson Happy With Team's Depth

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson met with the media during Saturday's Media Day activities and took the opportunity to tout his team's depth for the upcoming season.

"I think this is the most depth we've had since we've been here, if you can just go position by position,"

Johnson indicated that the team's depth may be strongest particularly along the offensive and defensive lines. The offensive line returns four starters and the top seven players have a combined 82 career starts. The defensive end position is another particularly deep position with the top four players all returning. That will provide the Yellow Jackets the opportunity to rotate fresh players into the game without losing much production wise.

"There's going to be plays when we literally can't give our all because we're going to be exhausted, so we have somebody who's fresh who can come in and who can play just as productive,"

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Louis Young Reportedly Faces Suspension For Selling Tickets To 2011 UGA Game

Although it has not been confirmed by the school or head coach Paul Johnson, reports indicate that cornerback Louis Young will be suspended to start the season for selling tickets to last seasons game against Georgia. Johnson acknowledged that there were "players" that woudn't be playing in the opening game due to suspension but declined revealing who those players might be.

"We've got some guys that will be sitting out the first game," coach Paul Johnson said. "We'll let you know who they are about a week from the game."

However the AJC reports that Young sold complimentary tickets to a friend. He was suspended from the Sun Bowl and it is likely that the season opening game is a part of that suspension. Johnson is in no hurry to reveal to Virginia Tech who the Yellow Jackets will have or not have in advance of their season opening game so an announcement isn't likely until the week before the season begins.

The Yellow Jackets have already announced a game and a half suspension for linebacker Daniel Drummond after he plead guilty to boating under the influence back in April.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Synjyn Days Working At A-Back

On the first day of preseason football practice, quarterback Synjyn Days spent most of his time practicing with the A-backs and quarterbacks coach Brian Bohannon indicated that Days status would be a day-to-day situation. Head coach Paul Johnson recently said that Days will continue to get work at quarterback but the Yellow Jackets will also look at him at the A-Back position in an effort to get the best players on the field.

"What we're trying to do, as we've always said, is get our best 11 on the field," Bohannon said.

Barring an injury to incumbent quarterback Tevin Washington it would be hard to see Days unseating him as the starter. Vad Lee's presence at backup quarterback could also alleviate some of the coaching staff's concern about having Days at another position should Washington go down for any length of time this season.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Omoregie Uzzi Healthy, Primed For Big Season

It had been a long time since Omoregie Uzzi had taken part in Georgia Tech Football practice. It was actually the end of last season as he sat out all of spring practice recovering from injuries. Uzzi reported no problems on Friday as he took part in Tech's opening practice of the preseason.

"I was excited, excited to get back out there with the guys, everybody here is expecting big things this year."

Earlier this summer Uzzi was named to the Outland and Lombardi Trophy watch lists and was the Yellow Jackets' only selection for the preseason All-ACC team. He is expected to anchor what should be a good offensive line unit that acts as a bulldozer for the triple option offense.

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Georgia Tech Preseason Football: Paul Johnson Optimistic About Season

Fall camp begins for Georgia Tech begins on Thursday and each and ever team feels that they are going to have a good season. Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson spoke with the Atlanta Journal Constitution on the eve of fall camp to talk about the upcoming season.

Johnson was asked about how optimistic he was about the 2012 team, and if it was better than prior teams:

I'm always optimistic. I think that this is a good group. They seem to have worked really hard in the offseason. They've got a good attitude. We've got a big challenge early, but I think we've got a good nucleus of guys that we've played and they're providing pretty good leadership and (I'm) really excited about some of the young guys. I think we've got some real athletic kids.

Johnson was also asked if he felt his team cold win the ACC and he feels that they can win the league since he felt they were close last year. There was also talk about getting Orwin Smith the ball more this season as well as how playing time could work out for Vad Lee and Synjyn Days.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: The Sporting News Ranks Yellow Jackets No. 21

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets begin fall camp gets underway this week and are projected to finish second in the ACC Coastal Division. As for a composite of top 25 preseason rankings Georgia Tech is on the outside looking in at No. 28

However, ovar at The Sporting News they have come out with their preseason top 25 rankings and they place Georgia Tech ranked at No. 21:

If the passing game develops with the newbies and the defense improves for third-year coordinator Al Groh, the Yellow Jackets could definitely push Virginia Tech in the Coastal Division. The schedule is a bit odd, with ACC contests in three of the first four games. If nothing else, the Yellow Jackets will know pretty quickly where they stand.

Coach Paul Johnson is encouraged by the improvement of individual players, including quarterback Tevin Washington. Right guard Omoregie Uzzi is likely to be an early-round draft selection.

One reason for the optimism is that running back Orwin Smith has declared himself 100 percent healthy and will be ready to have a big season.

For more on the Yellow Jackets check out From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Synjyn Days Getting Acquainted With A-Back Position

Backup quarterback Synjyn Days has been one of the more talked about players for Georgia Tech entering preseason camp because of his playmaking ability and his versatility. While Days still prefers the quarterback position he may have a hard time beating out incumbent starter Tevin Washington. Therefore he has been meeting with A-Backs coach Lamar Owens regularly to get more acquainted to that position.

"To be able to switch positions and be able to make plays on the field is kind of the way I was raised,"

Rather than have Days standing on the sideline, Tech coach Paul Johnson has indicated that Days could be used at A-Back or some other position. During summer workouts Days has been used at multiple positions including A-Back, B-Back and wide receiver. Days rushed for 237 yards last season with four touchdowns in mostly mop up duty.

For more on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets check out From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Orwin Smith Finally Healthy

Georgia Tech running back Orwin Smith suffered a toe injury early last season and battled through it for the rest of the year. Smith had surgery in January and missed spring practice but has declared himself 100 percent and ready for a big season for the Yellow Jackets.

"I feel like I'm good to go, 100 percent," said Smith, an A-back. "I don't feel any pain. ... [The injury] will always be there, but it's definitely easier to do some quickness and planting things."

Despite the injury, Smith put up a pretty good season in 2011 carrying the ball 61 times for 615 yards (10.1 avg) and 11 touchdowns. Smith set a school record with a 95-yard touchdown run against Kansas. His speed and big play ability figure to be a key part of Georgia Tech's offensive attack in 2012.

For more on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets check out From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.

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VIDEO: SB Nation Studios Previews ACC Football Season

Georgia Tech isn't exactly expected to take the ACC by storm this season, but the Yellow Jackets are playing in what SB Nation Studios considers to be the first big game on the conference schedule when they take on Virginia Tech on Sept. 3.

In fact, the big games are all about Virginia Tech and Florida State - whether or not these teams can live up to preseason expectations of being on top of the ACC. Here is a list of some of the big names going into the season:

QB Tajh Boyd - Clemson, JR

QB Logan Thomas - Virginia Tech, JR

WR Sammy Watkins - Clemson, SOPH

RB Perry Jones - Virginia, SENIOR

RB Gio Benard - UNC, SOPH

Take a look at the video here:

For more on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets check out From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page. Also, be sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel for video commentary.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Tevin Washington Entrenched As Quarterback

The opening days of preseason camp for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets could see a spirited competition at the quarterback position but backups Synjyn Days and Vad Lee face an uphill battle if they are to unseat incumbent Tevin Washington.

"It's pretty clear to me he's the leader on the team. I can see that," head coach Paul Johnson said.

Losing out on the quarterback position doesn't mean that Yellow Jackets fans won't be seeing a lot of Days however. The backup QB could play any number of a variety of positions including A-back, B-back and wide receiver. Days athleticism is just too big a weapon for the Yellow Jackets to leave on the sideline.

Days move could be made easier by a strong preseason camp from Vad Lee who is a better passer than Days. If Lee can solidify his position at backup quarterback then Johnson shouldn't have as many worries about getting Days on the field more. At any rate expect Georgia Tech to work Lee into some games this season as they continue to prepare for the future.

For more on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets check out From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.

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Omoregie Uzzi Only Georgia Tech Player On All-ACC Teams

If Georgia Tech makes a run at an ACC football title this year, it won't be because they have the best players, at least according to the media who vote on the preseason All-ACC teams.

The Yellow Jackets were one of four teams, along with Duke, Miami and Wake Forest, who had only player selected.

Senior OG Omoregie Uzzi, already on the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award watchlists, was the one Georgia Tech player who made the cut. He'll be expected to be a lead blocker for the Yellow Jackets triple-option attack next season, and he's considered at least a mid-round draft pick by most NFL draftniks.

As you would expect from a conference that has been mostly defined by parity over the last decade, no one school dominated the voting for the preseason teams. Florida State, Clemson and North Carolina all had four selections while Virginia Tech had three.

For more on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets check out From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.

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Georgia Tech Football Preseason: Early Schedule Could Tell Tale For Jackets

The early part of Georgia Tech's 2012 schedule will go a long way in deciding whether or not the Yellow Jackets will be in contention for a spot in the ACC Championship game. SB Nation's Bill Connelly points out during his detailed review of the Yellow Jackets that a strong start could lead to a very satisfying season.

Georgia Tech's schedule over the first half of the season is fascinating. The Yellow Jackets start the season at Virginia Tech on Labor Day, play four straight home games (including interesting tilts versus Virginia and Miami), then play at Clemson on October 6. Any start between 6-0 and 2-4 is at least somewhat feasible, but if the Yellow Jackets can figure out a way to slip up only once in that span, then they will enter mid-October as the division favorites.

Virginia Tech is a tough way to start the season but the Yellow Jackets will likely be favored in each of the four straight home games. Which leads to the matchup with Clemson on October 6 where the Tigers no doubt will be looking for revenge after last season.

For more on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets check out From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.

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College Football Playoff: Paul Johnson Supports 16-Team Playoff

Paul Johnson is happy that college football will soon have a playoff to decide its national champion, he just thinks the field should be much larger than four teams. How big? Try 16 teams just like its FCS counterpart with automatic bids going to 11 conference champions and five wildcard spots.

After all Johnson successfully navigated a 16-team playoff twice during his stint as head coach of Georgia Southern so he has experienced the format first hand.

"You take 11 [conference champions] and then you add five at-large [teams], give 'em a chance. If your conference hasn't done well, you become the 16th seed. You have to go play against No. 1, but at least you had a chance."

With just four teams in the current playoff none of the so called "power conferences" are guaranteed a spot in the playoff. Among those power conferences the ACC could find itself on the outside looking in more often than not when it comes to getting a team in the playoff. So even expanding to an 8-team playoff and guaranteeing spots to the power conferences could help Johnson and Georgia Tech.

For more on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets check out From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.

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Georgia Tech 'To Look Into' Potential Penn State Transfers

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson says that the Yellow Jackets will look into the possibility of Penn State transfers.

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ACC Media Days 2012: Yellow Jackets Picked To Finish 2nd In Coastal Division

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are picked to finish second behind Virginia Tech in the ACC's Coastal Division. Florida State is the overwhelming favorite to win the conference grabbing 60 of 95 votes. Virginia Tech is a distant second and Clemson came in the third. Georgia Tech received three votes as conference champion.

Clemson's Sammy Watkins narrowly beat out Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas as preseason player of the year in the ACC. E.J. Manuel and Tajh Boyd finished third and fourth. No Georgia Tech player received any votes for preseason player of the year.

Here is a look at the projected conference standings as voted on by the ACC Media:Atlantic Division

1. Florida State (72)
2. Clemson (17)
3. N.C. State
4. Wake Forest
5. Boston College
6. Maryland

Coastal Divison

1. Virginia Tech (83)
2. Georgia Tech (10)
3. North Carolina (2)
4. Virginia
5. Miami
6. Duke

For more on Georgia Tech head over to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.

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2012 ACC Media Days: Synjyn Days Could Move To A-Back

A change of position could be in the cards for Synjyn Days if he is unable to overtake incumbent Tevin Washington as quarterback in the opening few weeks of camp. Davis is a dynamic athlete and could move to A-Back according to Yellow Jackets' head coach Paul Johnson.

"If he doesn't beat Tevin (Washington) out in the first two weeks of fall camp, I don't want him standing over there (on the sideline) in a baseball cap." Johnson affirmed Days' playmaking ability and his desire to get him on the field but noted also his habit of fumbling.

Barring injury it seems that Days would be unlikely to beat out Washington given his firm grasp of Johnson's offense. However, Days playmaking ability would do the offense well by being on the field. Lining up with both Washington and Days together could also bring a multitude of options for Johnson.

For more on Georgia Tech head over to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.

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ACC Media Days 2012: Paul Johnson Optimistic As Preseason Approaches

Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson sounds optimistic as preseason camp rapidly approaches. Johnson took the podium at ACC Media Days and praised new strength and conditioning coach John Sisk.

"I think they've really bought into what he's asking them to do,"

Johnson also talked about new special teams coach David Walkosky and expects a lot of progress in that department this season. Walkosky is the first full-time special teams coach ever hired by Johnson. The added attention to detail is paying dividends for the players who seem excited. Johnson said that before Walkosky came along players weren't that excited about playing on special teams.

"it's kind of like they've done it because I think they knew I kind of wanted them to and it was expected," he said. "Now they're more excited to do it than they have been in the past."

For more on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head over to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football news and notes check out SB Nation's College Football page.

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Orwin Smith On Doak Walker Watch List

The Yellow Jackets junior RB could have a breakout season on the national stage.

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Omoregie Uzzi Named To Outland Trophy Watch List, Ready For 2012 Season

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Omoregie Uzzi has been out of action since the teams Sun Bowl appearance and also sat out spring practice due to various injuries. On Thursday, Uzzi announced that he is back and will be ready to play this season, and during his time off Uzzi has dropped down to 307 pounds and is looking good.

Uzzi was also named to the 2012 Outland Trophy watch list that is handed out to the nation's best interior lineman:

"I really appreciate the attention and support that people give me for [awards]," he said, "but I'm a guy that tries to take things step by step, little by little, one drill at a time, one play at a time, one series at a time and hopefully that'll turn into winning games, championships, all the things that we all want to get."

Uzzi earned a spot on the watch list for being a two-time All-ACC selection, and of the 71 players nominated he is one of 20 guards to be nominated.

For more on Georgia Tech head on over to From the Rumble Seat. Visit SB Nation's college football hub for even more news as the season approaches.

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