Opportunity to catch on

At least one spot is squared away. Darren Waller will start at one wide receiver slot for Georgia Tech. The other spot and the backup spots are a little more gray.

Wide receiver may be perceived to be an afterthought in the run-heavy Yellow Jackets offense, but receivers are crucial for blocking on the perimeter and for streching the field on deep balls.

How did Tech get in this spot, where only one healthy player had any career catches (Waller, with eight)? Jeff Greene, last season’s top wide receiver, was kicked off the team after the regular season and transferred to Ohio State as a walk-on. Jeremy Moore decided not to return for his senior season. Anthony Autry, who showed promise as a freshman last fall, tore his ACL in the Boston College game in October and tore it again in a non-football accident in the spring, putting him out for the season.

As camp began, there were six contenders, only one of whom has logged any playing time for the Jackets — Corey Dennis, Travin Henry, Ricky Jeune, Antonio Messick, DeAndre Smelter and Micheal Summers. Dennis, a junior, has mostly played special teams. Henry and Summers are redshirt freshmen, the former coming back from his own ACL tear. Jeune and Messick are freshmen. Smelter is joining the football team after three years playing for the Tech baseball team.

“(Smelter) is very athletic,” coach Paul Johnson said. “I think the two freshmen (Jeune and Messick) are athletic. Corey Dennis has been on the team and played special teams. … There’s guys there. We’ve just got to do it on the field.”