Johnson said he was also hopeful for the rest of the staff that “everyone will get a little bump.”
Pro day: Tech will hold its pro day March 13. Guard Shaquille Mason, wide receiver Darren Waller and linebacker Quayshawn Nealy are among the former Yellow Jackets expected to perform for NFL scouts, coaches and executives.
Who won’t be there is interesting. Several seniors off the 2014 team made the somewhat unusual choice to forego an attempt at the NFL in order to start their careers. A-backs Charles Perkins, Deon Hill and Tony Zenon and nose tackle Shawn Green, all of whom started games and made important contributions to Tech’s 11-3 season, are among those who are now working.
“I think some of those guys were very realistic,” Johnson said. “They understand that you can be a really good college football player and you’re not going to the NFL, just like you can be a really good high school football player and you’re not going to play in a power-five conference. Why wait? Those guys had their degrees and they had internships and job offers and they were smart enough to grab one of them.”
Minor violation: Special-teams coordinator Ray Rychleski was reprimanded for a Level III recruiting violation committed in November. Rychleski sent a handwritten note that included the intent to offer a scholarship to a junior, a violation of NCAA rules. It was deemed an official offer, which can't be made until Aug. 1 of a prospect's senior year. Johnson called it "just a brain (cramp), really." A Level III violation is considered a "breach of conduct" that is isolated or limited in nature and provides no more than a minimal advantage.
After the violation was filed in December, the school prohibited Rychleski from initiating phone calls or writing prospects for one month and did not allow him to recruit off campus through signing day. Further, Tech chose to end its recruitment of that prospect. The NCAA accepted the school’s self-imposed penalties.
Said Johnson, “I doubt there’s very few schools that don’t have some of that.”
Spring practice coming: Tech will begin spring practice March 23. It will run four weeks, concluding with the spring game April 17. Offensive tackle Chris Griffin, center Andrew Marshall and defensive lineman Tyler Stargel will be held out, having had unspecified surgeries after the season, Johnson said.
A-back Broderick Snoddy, who suffered a break of the tibia and fibula in his left leg in the Clemson game Nov. 15, is rehabilitating the injury.
“I don’t know how much we’ll get out of him (in spring practice), but he’s doing well,” Johnson said.