Georgia Tech quarterback James Graham talks with media following the Yellow Jackets' spring-practice workout on March 28, 2019.

For different reasons, two Tech quarterbacks glad to be back

At spring practice, two Georgia Tech quarterbacks are making reappearances of different sorts.

Junior Lucas Johnson is back on the field after a preseason foot injury in August kept him off the field for the entire 2018 season. Redshirt freshman James Graham is practicing after he was academically ineligible for the Yellow Jackets’ bowl game.

“I’m taking the classroom serious now, and my first semester I didn’t come in with the right mindset,” Graham said Thursday, following the Jackets’ second practice of the spring. “I was just coming in as a freshman, not really knowing what’s going on and just didn’t attack it right.”

Graham said that having football taken away “made me go harder.” He added that getting his academics right has been his priority this spring.

“Football’s going to come,” he said. “I can get the system. It’s just academics.”

Johnson suffered a Lisfranc injury in his right foot in a scrimmage, an injury that required surgery. Johnson was fully involved in practice Tuesday and said he is feeling 100 percent.

Johnson said he was rusty Tuesday, the team’s first practice, but “I threw a lot more in rhythm (Thursday). It feels good getting back out there and getting out with the guys, because last year was really tough.”

Both shared their excitement about the new spread offense, in no small part because of the increased opportunity to throw the ball.

“It’s a lot similar to what I ran in high school,” Johnson said. “So far, it’s really good, and it just gives you a chance to drop back and throw the ball and it feels good. It feels like my old days.”

Said Graham, “Triple option coming in freshman year, we really didn’t throw it like that, but I’m ready to throw it and show the world what I’ve got.”

Graham also was sporting a new jersey number – No. 14, after wearing No. 4 last fall. Asked for an explanation, Graham offered a cryptic explanation.

“We’ll see in the fall,” he said with a smile.

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