Physical blocking earning Lands-Davis playing time

Georgia Tech wide receiver Mikell Lands-Davis said his position group was implored to play with a physical edge against Vanderbilt, to respond in kind to a tough group of Vanderbilt cornerbacks.

“My whole mindset was just try to be as physical as I can,” Lands-Davis said. “It really helped.”

Lands-Davis made one of the most eye-catching blocks in the game, a crackback block on Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham that freed up space for B-back Dedrick Mills to run the ball in on a toss play for a 15-yard touchdown.

On the play, Lands-Davis was lined up just inside the numbers on the right side of the field. As quarterback Justin Thomas tossed to Mills and the play moved towards Lands-Davis, the wide receiver peeled back and zeroed in on Cunningham. Lands-Davis put his left shoulder into Cunningham’s chest, knocking the linebacker backwards to the turf, out of the play.

“It felt really good,” Lands-Davis said. “We were practicing that play and we kind of knew we were going to crack the linebacker. Coach put me in, I knew (Cunningham) wasn’t even going to see me coming, so I just tried to go and get there as fast as I could and lay a lick on him, and I was successful doing that.”

Lands-Davis has earned increasing playing time behind starters Ricky Jeune and Brad Stewart, moving into the No. 3 spot, in no small part because of his willingness and ability to block. It wasn’t at wide receiver, but he made a textbook cut block on the fake punt against Mercer that freed Chase Alford for his 21-yard run.

He seems to have found a place to contribute. Lands-Davis came to Tech as a B-back and then moved to A-back before the preseason was over to provide depth. He played there as a first-year freshman and then jumped to wide receiver in the spring, again to bring another body to a light position. It speaks to his versatility and attitude that he has found the field quickly at his third position in less than two seasons.

He has one catch this season, an 11-yard reception against Mercer.

“You don’t get too many chances, so when you do get a chance, you’ve got to take advantage of it,” he said. “That’s what I’m trying to do.”

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