Five players who started in the season opener against Boston College last Saturday are facing direct challenges to their status this week. On the depth chart released Tuesday night, the starting slots at one A-back spot, left tackle, left guard, right guard and punter had multiple players listed for each.
It’s a reflection of coach Paul Johnson’s displeasure with his team’s performance against the Eagles, when the Yellow Jackets averaged four yards per play, the sixth-lowest average in his tenure.
The potential A-back starters opposite Qua Searcy are listed as J.J. Green, Clinton Lynch and Isiah Willis. Green started in the opener in his first game in a Jackets uniform along with Lynch. Those four players largely comprised the A-back rotation against Boston College, with Lynn Griffin also playing.
At left tackle, Eason Fromayan (the starter in the opener) is listed with Andrew Marshall as co-No. 1’s. Marshall played a significant amount off the bench against Boston College after competing with Fromayan during the preseason. The top line for left guard is shared by Will Bryan (starter against B.C.) and Brad Morgan, a redshirt freshman who did not play against the Eagles. At right guard, Parker Braun, a first-year freshman, is listed with Shamire Devine as possible starters. Johnson has already said that Braun, the younger brother of former Tech guard Trey Braun, will play.
The other player whose starting job is up in the air is punter Ryan Rodwell, who has taken every punt for the Jackets since the start of the 2014 season. A rough day against Boston College – his first punt traveled 24 yards – combined with his inconsistent play in the past was enough to give Grant Aasen a chance at kicking against Mercer. Aasen, a junior walk-on, has never played in a game for Tech.
Three players have evidently secured their spots following the opener. B-back Dedrick Mills, strong safety Corey Griffin and cornerback Step Durham were all listed as possible starters in the depth chart for the Boston College game but were the sole players listed on the top line at their respective positions for this Saturday’s game against Mercer. All started against the Eagles.
Mills led the Jackets in rushing with 68 yards on 18 attempts and scored the game-winning touchdown with 35 seconds remaining. Griffin intercepted Boston College quarterback Patrick Towles on the Eagles’ opening possession and had six tackles. Durham was credited with two pass breakups and was named the defensive player of the week.
Middle linebacker Brant Mitchell, who was listed last week as a backup to Chase Alford last week but started in the game, was in the top slot in the new depth chart.
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