While recognizing the challenges of the plan, Georgia Tech offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude said Tuesday that he would like to try to find playing time for freshman quarterback Jordan Yates before the end of the season.
Yates has played one game this season, against Duke. He subbed for starter James Graham for one play, a failed two-point conversion try, when Graham was shaken up on the previous play, a touchdown run by Tobias Oliver. Yates can play up to four games and retain his redshirt. The Yellow Jackets have four games remaining, starting with a game at Virginia on Saturday.
Patenaude said that “you would like to try to get him in there in a game situation and see if he can get his feet wet a little bit, without disturbing the whole flow of the game.”
Patenaude called it a “strange dynamic,” given that getting as much playing time as possible for Graham, a redshirt freshman, is a priority, to say nothing of winning. And, when quarterback Lucas Johnson has been healthy, Yates has been the No. 3 quarterback. However, Johnson suffered an apparent upper-body injury in Tech’s loss to Pitt on Saturday, and his status is uncertain.
When Johnson has been sidelined, Yates has been running the No. 2 offense in practice. Patenaude said that Yates has been “getting a ton of reps” and has impressed him.
“Jordan has done a really good job, and he’s going to be a really special player,” Patenaude said. “He’s got tremendous instincts. We’re trying to find that spot.”