Georgia Tech revealed its two-deep depth chart going into the preseason in its media guide with no great surprises.
A few observations:
1. Nathan Cottrell evidently made enough strides in the spring to earn a co-starting spot with Qua Searcy at one of the A-back spots alongside Clinton Lynch. Searcy has started 17 games in his three seasons at Tech, including all 11 games last season.
2. Jahaziel Lee and Kenny Cooper are splitting the top line at the center spot. Cooper was a productive starter last season, his first in the lineup, but suffered a foot injury near the end of spring practice. Lee, who had never previously played center, acquitted himself well in the spring game. Coach Paul Johnson could offer an update on Cooper’s condition at the ACC Kickoff on Wednesday.
3. Bailey Ivemeyer and Andrew Marshall share the top line at right tackle. Marshall missed the 2017 season with a foot injury.
4. There are four positions on defense where the starting job has been listed with two players, as new defensive coordinator Nate Woody prefers. In the spring, Woody said that the goal in spring practice was to develop a two-deep depth chart and let the competition ensue in the preseason.
The four positions where the first string is listed as one player or another – “Jack” outside linebacker (Victor Alexander and Jaquan Henderson), inside linebacker (David Curry and Bruce Jordan-Swilling) and both cornerback spots (Lamont Simmons and Jaytlin Askew at one spot and Ajani Kerr and Tre Swilling at the other).
5. Jalen Johnson, who has played safety in his first three seasons, is the starter at the “Stinger” outside linebacker position. Players cross-trained at that position and the safety spots in the spring.
6. Grad-transfer safety Malik Rivera (from Wofford) is behind Christian Campbell at free safety. Rivera arrived after his graduation from Wofford in the spring.
7. Two early-enrollee freshmen have made the defensive two-deep – Quez Jackson at inside linebacker behind Brant Mitchell and at the “Stinger” outside linebacker position, Charlie Thomas behind Johnson.
8. Class breakdown in starting 22 (including “or” players):
Seniors: 13 – Six on offense and seven on defense.
Juniors: 10 – Eight on offense and two on defense.
Sophomores: 5 – None on offense and five on defense.
Freshmen: 1 – None on offense and one on defense.
Class breakdown in two-deep:
Seniors: 15 – Six on offense and nine on defense. (Counting offensive lineman Will Bryan, listed twice, only once)
Juniors: 12 – Nine on offense and three on defense.
Sophomores: 12 – Five on offense and seven on defense.
Freshmen: 6 – Two on offense and four on defense.
9. The depth chart is obviously subject to change with injuries, position competitions and the addition of the freshmen in the preseason.