Roddy Jones on track to return

A-back Roddy Jones said his recovery is still on track after dislocating his right wrist while weightlifting in mid-June. Jones said his cast will be taken off in a couple of weeks. Jones has said he hopes to be able to play in the season opener Sept. 5 against Jacksonville State.

“It hardly hurts at all anymore,” Jones said. “It’s definitely getting better.”

In the meantime, Jones said he will work out with strength and conditioning coach Eric Ciano and take “mental reps” during practice. Jones, a redshirt sophomore, said it was “weird” to be considered one of the older players on the team. The Jackets’ roster includes only six scholarship seniors.

Said Jones, “I feel like it was just yesterday I was coming here not really knowing what to expect as a freshman.”

Injured Jackets return

Georgia Tech offensive linemen Dan Voss and Nick Claytor are ready to test the wonders of modern medicine.

After missing all of spring practice with surgeries, Voss and Claytor, starters for the Jackets in 2008, will take the practice field Monday afternoon for Tech’s first fall camp session of the year. Voss, a center, had the labrum in his left shoulder repaired. Claytor, an offensive tackle, had a bulging disc repaired. Both say they are free of pain from the injuries.

“If no one told me I had shoulder surgery six months ago, seven months ago, I wouldn’t know it,” said Voss. “It really doesn’t feel any different [than prior to the injury]. I’m a little bit amazed.”

Both Voss and Claytor were cleared to practice a few weeks ago, they said.

“We’ll see how it goes with the conditioning test [Sunday night] and go from there,” Claytor said. “I’m going full go with everything and we’ll see how it goes.”

Part of Claytor’s rehabilitation was developing his core strength, which has given him strong stomach muscles.

“For a fat boy, it’s actually pretty [impressive],” said Claytor, who weighs 285 pounds. “I feel pretty good about it.”

Having missed all of spring practice, Claytor and Voss will be in position battles with the players who replaced them, Brad Sellers and Sean Bedford, respectively.

“This is my last camp, and there’s a lot of competition for a lot of different spots this year, so it’s going to be a lot different, something I’ve never been through since I’ve been at Tech,” Voss said.

Taylor an Iron Jacket

Linebacker/safety Cooper Taylor was named the team’s Iron Jacket award winner for his performance in the weight room over the summer. The other award winners were center Sean Bedford, linebacker Brad Jefferson and quarterback Josh Nesbitt, who were the lifters of the year, and offensive tackle Austin Barrick and safety Morgan Burnett, who were named most improved lifters of the year.

Nesbitt said he broke his own team record for quarterbacks for the power clean, hoisting 350 pounds to break the old record by 5 pounds. That was also his maximum on the bench press.

Nesbitt said being named lifter of the year “is a great accomplishment, but I’m just ready for the season to start and go from there.”

Check-in time

Players checked in Sunday afternoon, though many had been living on campus over the summer. As they signed in, they had to surrender their car keys for the duration of fall camp.

They were to have a team dinner Sunday night, then a meeting and a conditioning test consisting of two 300-yard shuttle runs.

Only one player did not check in on time. The team declined to identify him, but said that he missed his flight to Atlanta and is expected to arrive Monday. It is not certain if he will be disciplined.

Less wear and tear

Of Tech’s 30 preseason practices, the Jackets will practice twice a day only twice, Aug. 10 and Aug. 12. Tech is one of the earliest teams to begin practice. Only one Division I-A team, Troy, began practice before the Jackets.

“It’s good for the team,” B-back Jonathan Dwyer said. “It keeps everybody from getting hurt. That’s what this camp is about in Coach [Paul] Johnson’s mind, just keeping everybody healthy so everybody can be able to survive the whole season.”

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