April 20, 2018 Atlanta - A cheerleader waves a Georgia Tech flag at the 2018 Georgia Tech spring game at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Desmond Branch brings the love for Georgia Tech kicking game

Georgia Tech defensive end Desmond Branch pays attention to the team’s kicking game. And he appreciates what happened last Saturday with walk-on kicker Wesley Wells.

He was encouraged by Wells, who won the placekicking job in a three-way competition last week, and then seized his opportunity by going 9-for-9 on point-after tries.

“Now we can see, Wes has got this,” Branch said. “He’s knocking these PAT’s in. That’s a reassuring feeling.”

Coach Paul Johnson said that the placekicking job now belongs to Wells, a freshman. While he did not attempt a field goal against Bowling Green on Saturday, his PAT performance was an improvement. The Yellow Jackets had made 14 of 16 going into the game.

Branch also praised the work of walk-on kicker Shawn Davis, who has recorded touchbacks on 44 percent of his kickoffs in the past three weeks (8-for-18).

“Now that Shawn’s been able to put the ball in the back of the end zone, that’s a great feeling,” Branch said. “Just knowing, like, hey it’s on us (as a defense) now. They don’t have a short field to play with. It’s on the defense now to stop them. The kicking game is definitely something we notice, and it’s definitely something that’s greatly improved.”

Wesley Wells wins Georgia Tech’s placekicking job

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