Eagerly awaited by Georgia Tech fans as a potential solution to the team’s kicking-game struggles, freshman Harrison Butker is closing in on the starting job.
Following Wednesday’s practice, Johnson said, “Harrison’s probably right now starting.”
Butker has been engaged in a competition in the preseason with David Scully, who had the job last year but was hampered by a hip injury. Last season, Tech was 11th in the ACC in kickoff coverage and 10th in field-goal percentage. Butker, from Westminster, was ranked by ESPN as the No. 3 kicking prospect last year.
Johnson said Butker could possibly handle both the placekicking and kickoff roles.
“We’re excited with what Harrison brings,” Johnson said. “David’s had a good camp, too. David’s got a strong leg. So it’s a good situation.
Johnson also said that punter Sean Poole is “probably clearly No. 1 right now” in his competition with Ryan Rodwell. Both punters played last season, both averaging 39.7 yards per punt.
“He’s had a good camp,” Johnson said of Poole.
Among other specialists, Jamal Golden and Broderick Snoddy top the depth chart at kickoff returners. Golden, who returned two kickoffs for touchdowns last year, is a lock. Johnson said coaches have tried “a bunch of guys” to pair with Golden, including Jemea Thomas.