Georgia Tech quarterbacks and B-backs coach Bryan Cook declined to speak about his new job as offensive coordinator at Georgia Southern Monday, but he did reflect upon his four seasons at Tech.
Following the Yellow Jackets’ practice in advance of their TaxSlayer Bowl appearance, Cook called his players “a joy to be around” and said that they are particularly focused on properly sending out the two seniors in the group, quarterback Justin Thomas and B-back Marcus Allen, in their matchup against Kentucky on Dec. 31 in Jacksonville, Fla.
“I think Marcus and JT, I think they’re excited to go play one more time in this jersey,” he said. “I think everybody in the room has resolved to make that the best experience that they can. It does mean something to everybody in the room.”
He said it has been a great experience to be Thomas’ position coach over his four seasons at Tech. Cook arrived in the spring of 2013, at the end of Thomas’ redshirt season. He praised Thomas’ competitive spirit and leadership of the team.
When he was a sophomore in 2014 on a senior-dominated team, Thomas had leaderhip capability, Cook said, “but he couldn’t suffocate all those older guys, and I thought he did a real nice job of knowing his role and how to motivate and how to play that role. And then if you fast forward now to where we’re at, it’s entirely different. He’s the voice, and so it’s been great to see that.”
Cook praised coach Paul Johnson for his example, saying that he has “been awesome to me since the day I got back on campus with my interview.” Cook, who served as a graduate assistant at Tech 2001-03, said that he has learned from Johnson not only football and the offensive scheme, but also how he handles different personalities and acts with consistency.
“I’ve taken a lot of those things from him and hope to carry those forward in my career,” he said.
Cook will be with the team through the bowl game before heading to Statesboro.
“I think Bryan’ll do a great job,” said offensive line coach Mike Sewak, who spent 11 years at Georgia Southern as an assistant and head coach. “He works at it. He’s got an understanding. If they let him do what he wants to try to try to accomplish, I think they’ll do a good job and turn that thing around.”
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