With the starting offensive line basically set, Georgia Tech offensive line coach Mike Sewak is auditioning candidates for dependable backups to play in a rotation. His problem is evidently not a multitude of options.
“We had a couple practices where one guy would do well and they would come right back and slide back down,” Sewak said Monday after the Yellow Jackets’ practice. “I think the intensity from a couple guys needs to pick up because this is Division I football and I don’t think they realize that you’ve got to bring it every single day.”
The Jackets return four starters – left tackle Bryan Chamberlain, left guard Trey Braun, center Freddie Burden and right tackle Errin Joe – on a line that powered the Jackets to 11 wins and school records in total rushing yards and rushing yards per game and per carry. At right guard, Shamire Devine appears to have won the job. Sewak hasn’t been particularly swept away by that group, either.
“I don’t know if they can set the tone and maintain the tone that we need to play the game at,” he said. “I think that they can probably show you a snap or two, but I don’t know if they can maintain the intensity that we need to have throughout.”
Trey Klock, a redshirt freshman, is Sewak’s top choice as the primary backup guard. Andrew Marshall is a possibility as the No. 3 tackle, although he is also a backup center. Other possibilities to make the rotation include Gary Brown, Eason Fromayan, Will Bryan and Jake Stickler. Bryan, who enrolled in January, is a candidate to play as a first-year freshman. Only two freshmen have done that in coach Paul Johnson’s seven-year tenure.
Sewak acknowledged that the length of camp – the Jackets have now gone through 22 practices and are still more than a week away from the season opener against Alcorn State Sept. 3 – may have taxed the line. It did not satisfy him, however.
“You have to practice better to perform better,” Sewak said. “And it’s hard to (replicate) that intensity that really happens in a game. You can stress it and stress it and stress it all you want, and you’ve just got to demand it.”
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