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In Georgia Tech’s switch to Adidas, even practice gear is better

Georgia Tech wide receiver Brad Stewart looks for the ball as cornerback Lamont Simmons provides coverage in a practice on August 7, 2018. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)
Georgia Tech wide receiver Brad Stewart looks for the ball as cornerback Lamont Simmons provides coverage in a practice on August 7, 2018. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)

“Improved morale” might be an actual benefit that Georgia Tech receives from its switch from Russell Athletic to Adidas. Yellow Jackets players clearly have been excited about the transition, and the new uniforms that they’ll be wearing this season.

“They’re sweet,” quarterback TaQuon Marshall said. “I was just telling somebody the other day, I said, ‘I can’t wait till fan day. We get to put the jerseys on.’ So I’m excited about it.”

Still, as a benefit, it’s a little nebulous. However, a week of preseason practice has revealed a more tangible advantage of playing and practicing in Adidas gear. The practice jerseys and pants are an improvement not just in style, but in quality.

“We love the practice ones,” safety Christian Campbell said. “They’re snug, they breathe more. Just a better uniform.”

Practice gear that wicks sweat more effectively is no small matter as the Jackets labor in 90-degree heat during August. Better fit is a help, too.

“I’m able to actually move my legs a little bit, move my arms and stretch out,” offensive lineman Jahaziel Lee said. “But, yeah, I love the gear. Adidas has done a wonderful job.”

Linebacker Brant Mitchell has heard the same.

“A lot of the linemen were saying they could move around more freely and stuff,” he said.

Players who are more comfortable and are less restricted by their gear in practice figure to train better. Better practices should lead to better play in games.

Can better practice gear win games for the Jackets? On its face, it seems an unlikely notion. That said, Tech also lost three games last season where one more play in the Jackets’ favor could have meant the difference. At the least, it can’t hurt.

“It looks better,” Mitchell said. “And it feels better, too.”

Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall rushed for 1,146 yards and passed for 927 in 2017, accounting for 27 touchdowns. Tech B-back KirVonte Benson rushed for 1,053 yards in 2017, averaging 5.2 yards per rush. Tech A-back Qua Searcy had 40 touches on offense in 2017, gaining 347 yards (8.7 yards per play). Tech A-back Clinton Lynch had 31 touches on offense in 2017, gaining 252 yards (8.1 yards per play). Tech A-back Nathan Cottrell averaged 8.2 yards per rush in 2017, gaining 271 yards. Tech B-back Jer

Georgia Tech linebacker Victor Alexander led the Yellow Jackets in tackles in 2017, with 60, and had two sacks. Tech linebacker Brant Mitchell recorded 51 total tackles in 2017, the second most among players returning for 2018. Tech linebacker Bruce Jordan-Swilling recorded 34 tackles as a freshman in 2017. Tech defensive end Anree Saint-Amour ranked second in sacks (2.5) and tackles for loss (5.5) in 2017. Tech defensive lineman Desmond Branch produced 3.5 tackles for loss in 2017, the third most on the