Georgia Tech guard Parker Braun (GT Athletics/Danny Karnik)

Parker Braun, Georgia Tech’s cut-blocking champion

He didn’t even play in the first game of the season and didn’t start until the sixth. But Georgia Tech guard Parker Braun still blocked more defenders to the ground than any other Yellow Jackets offensive lineman this season.

Going into Saturday’s TaxSlayer Bowl, Braun had been credited with 84 defenders to the ground, offensive line Mike Sewak said.

“There’s a reason why he got to start,” Sewak said. “Because when he was in there, he was very productive in getting people on the ground.”

The total is “not bad for a freshman,” Sewak said. Center Freddie Burden ranked second behind Braun. Sewak didn’t have the number, but said Burden was close.

Braun’s seven starts this season eclipses Will Bryan’s six last season for the most as a freshman offensive lineman in coach Paul Johnson’s tenure. For his contributions to Tech’s 8-4 season, Braun was named to ESPN.com’s true freshman All-American team. Braun, the younger brother of former Tech lineman Trey Braun, also was named ACC offensive lineman of the week for his play in the Jackets’ 30-20 win over Virginia Tech, when he blocked 10 defenders to the ground.

“Really, for us as a whole, I would like to see more, but I think that he’ll do a better job as his technique develops a little bit better, too,” Sewak said. “Very athletic, very smooth in transition and change of direction.”

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