Georgia Tech’s 2019 season gets a step closer this week in Charlotte, N.C., with the annual ACC Kickoff media event. The two-day session runs Wednesday and Thursday, with more than 500 credentialed media members (slightly more than last year) registered.
Tech coach Geoff Collins, wide receiver Jalen Camp and linebacker David Curry will be on the premises Thursday, taking part in a variety of interviews with media of all forms. What topics will they likely be asked to illuminate? Here are five:
1. Who’s going to play quarterback?
Whenever there isn’t a returning starter at the most visible position on the team, it’s invariably a topic of conversation. Yellow Jackets quarterbacks Lucas Johnson, Tobias Oliver and James Graham all competed in the spring, with Johnson appearing to take the lead. Freshman quarterbacks Demetrius Knight and Jordan Yates arrived in June to add to the mix.
In the spring, Oliver practiced some at defensive back. Knight also is a candidate to switch positions. Graham will need to regain his academic eligibility by the end of the summer term to be able to play.
2. How are things different with Collins in charge?
A surefire line of questioning for any team that has gone through a change in leadership. Tech players spoke plenty about it during spring practice, noting an uptick in energy level and the culture of competition that Collins has sought to create. How Collins has changed practice, strength and conditioning, recruiting, the staff – all bound to be asked.
Similar questions will be peppered at players from Louisville, Miami and North Carolina, all teams that are led by new head coaches this season.
3. What about the season opener against Clemson?
The Clemson media contingent is not a small one, and most likely they’ll have questions for Collins, Camp and Curry about the Aug. 29 meeting of the defending national champions and a team that may well be picked to finish sixth or seventh in the Coastal Division.
Betting lines favor Clemson by 33-1/2 or 34 points. For the sake of context, that’s wider than the spread for the season opener between Ohio State and Florida Atlantic and a hair narrower than the spread that separates Texas A&M and Texas State, a Sun Belt team that finished 3-9 last season and has a new coach.
4. What about the offense?
Former coach Paul Johnson’s unorthodox offense was Tech’s identity for the 11 years he led the Jackets. The same questions that have attended Tech since Collins’ hire in December – if the personnel can adapt, if the new scheme can be learned in time, where will all the A-backs go – will be asked anew as many media get their first opportunity to query Collins and Tech players.
As Camp is a wide receiver who played in 12 games last season and caught 11 passes as the No. 2 receiver, he may be fielding some questions about changes in the passing game.
5. What’s the deal with the Waffle House cup?
Chances are quite good that Collins will make his rounds with his ubiquitous Waffle House to-go cup in tow, which likely will spur curiosity about his favorite eatery. Given that football-related questions can grow a little tedious in this affair, any chance to bring some levity or personality into the interviews are generally welcomed by all.
Collins will have work to do to challenge perhaps the most celebrated off-topic subject in ACC Kickoff history – then-Miami coach Mark Richt’s explanation of the 10-bite sandwich in 2017.