Receiver injuries prompt James Graham’s position change

Georgia Tech freshman wide receiver Adonicas Sanders has been impressive through four preseason practices.

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Georgia Tech freshman wide receiver Adonicas Sanders has been impressive through four preseason practices.

Georgia Tech wide receiver Adonicas Sanders is out with a broken collarbone, an injury that has led to the move of freshman quarterback James Graham to wide receiver.

Graham moved to wide receiver Thursday, coach Paul Johnson said following the Yellow Jackets’ seventh practice of the preseason. Sanders’ injury occurred before the team began training in full pads Tuesday.

The depth at receiver also was depleted by an injury to Stephen Dolphus, who had performed well in practice to that point. Johnson said that Dolphus’ injury should not keep him out of the season opener against Alcorn State on Sept. 1.

As for Sanders, Johnson said that “he’ll miss the first week, for sure.”

Johnson moved Graham as he was highly unlikely to play quarterback this season (he was behind TaQuon Marshall, Lucas Johnson and Tobias Oliver, and is just learning the offense) and he also has the athletic ability and size (6-foot-1, 185 pounds) for wide receiver.

Graham was a four-star prospect out of Fitzgerald High and the No. 38 recruit in the state of Georgia. Before committing to Tech, he had been committed to Virginia Tech to play wide receiver. In an interview this summer, his high-school coach called him a "crazy dynamic athlete."

Johnson said Graham’s move is for this season only. In 2015, Marshall began his career as an A-back before moving to quarterback – his position in high school – in the following spring practice.

Said Johnson of Graham, “He’s very athletic, and we’ll put him out there at receiver and give him a chance, see what he can do.”

Sanders has been competing to get a spot in the wide-receiver rotation behind expected starters Brad Stewart and Jalen Camp. He redshirted last season.

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Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall rushed for 1,146 yards and passed for 927 in 2017, accounting for 27 touchdowns. Tech B-back KirVonte Benson rushed for 1,053 yards in 2017, averaging 5.2 yards per rush. Tech A-back Qua Searcy had 40 touches on offense in 2017, gaining 347 yards (8.7 yards per play). Tech A-back Clinton Lynch had 31 touches on offense in 2017, gaining 252 yards (8.1 yards per play). Tech A-back Nathan Cottrell averaged 8.2 yards per rush in 2017, gaining 271 yards. Tech B-back Jer

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Georgia Tech linebacker Victor Alexander led the Yellow Jackets in tackles in 2017, with 60, and had two sacks. Tech linebacker Brant Mitchell recorded 51 total tackles in 2017, the second most among players returning for 2018. Tech linebacker Bruce Jordan-Swilling recorded 34 tackles as a freshman in 2017. Tech defensive end Anree Saint-Amour ranked second in sacks (2.5) and tackles for loss (5.5) in 2017. Tech defensive lineman Desmond Branch produced 3.5 tackles for loss in 2017, the third most on the