Just two weeks remain until Georgia Tech convenes for the start of preseason camp, and about six weeks until the season opener against Tennessee in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. In the meantime, here are seven stories worth a read from this past week.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — KeShun Freeman doesn’t want to go through 2015 again, certainly not as a senior. In 2015, the Georgia Tech defensive end was a sophomore, his team enjoying a preseason Top 25 ranking and dreams of a College Football Playoff berth after its 11-win season that was capped with an Orange Bowl win.
For various reasons, however, the Yellow Jackets flopped, finishing 3-9.
That was why Freeman stood in front of his team earlier this summer, giving teammates a PowerPoint presentation on Tech’s history of often faltering after successful seasons.
“This is (coach Paul Johnson’s) 10th year and in this time, we won here, we lost after that, we won here, pieced these two winning seasons together, lost there,” Freeman said, summarizing his speech. “We’ve got to break this cycle.”
Georgia Tech freshman punter Pressley Harvin met Sam Foltz a year ago. The impression may remain with him always. The influence certainly will be evident every time Harvin takes the field for the Yellow Jackets.
Harvin requested, and has been assigned, jersey No. 27, the number worn by the Nebraska punter who was killed in a car crash last July. Foltz’s death devastated the Nebraska football team, Cornhuskers fans and those who knew him. That included Harvin, who met Foltz at a kicking camp in South Carolina last year and then trained under him at the Kohl’s Kicking Camp in Wisconsin last July.
There is nothing (Paul) Johnson likes better than to prove the fallibility of a media corps that consistently undervalues his recruiting and his option offense. He has acquired quite a taste for that flavor of vinegar because almost every year the Yellow Jackets have out-performed the annual poll of media working the ACC Kickoff.
As a member of Georgia Tech’s student-athlete advisory board, defensive end KeShun Freeman had received early word that the athletic department would be switching apparel providers after its contract with Russell Athletic ends in June 2018.
“And for them to say finally say, ‘Yeah, this is going to happen,’ I was like, that’s really cool,” Freeman said. “I just wish they would have thought about this three years ago when I was a freshman.”
Whatever Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s problems are, his boss does not rate as one of them. Given the opportunity last week to evaluate the work of athletic director Todd Stansbury, Johnson gave him a thumbs up.
“I think he’s been nothing but supportive since he got here,” Johnson said at the ACC Kickoff. “I think he and I have a good relationship. And I know that he loves Georgia Tech and wants Georgia Tech to be successful. His vision, you would have to ask him, but I’ve seen nothing but him being supportive since he got here.”
Georgia Tech freshman safety Kaleb Oliver had a decision to make this past winter — Tech or Ole Miss?
The decision to become a Yellow Jacket looked considerably wiser Thursday evening following the resignation of Rebels coach Hugh Freeze after findings of personal misconduct, reportedly including a call to an escort service.
“Amid the highs and lows of upset victories and bitter losses to Tech’s archrival, (Reggie) Ball’s life was forever changed, but not as much as it was transformed by a young boy who saw Ball through the eyes of hero worship.”
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