Smelter doubtful for title game

Georgia Tech will likely have to attempt to win the ACC championship against Florida State without one of its top playmakers. Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, the team’s leading receiver, is doubtful for Saturday’s game after injuring his knee in the Yellow Jackets’ win over Georgia Saturday, coach Paul Johnson said Sunday.

“I think it would probably be a reach,” Johnson said on a teleconference.

Johnson said information on Smelter’s status will be updated Monday when more test results come back. It is a considerable break against Tech. Smelter has been quarterback Justin Thomas’ go-to receiver. His 35 receptions represent 60 percent of all catches made by Tech wide receivers this year. Going into the weekend’s games, his 21.0 yards-per-catch average ranked second in the ACC.

With exceptional ball skills, athletic ability and attention to his craft, Smelter has become a dangerous threat on both short and long routes. Moreover, Smelter has developed into a fierce perimeter blocker, helping clear alleys in the running game.

Micheal Summers would be the likely starter in place of Smelter, along with Darren Waller.

“If he doesn’t play, he’s a guy that we’ll really miss, but our deal has kind of been, Hey, it’s got to be the next guy up,” Johnson said. “We’ve played a lot of guys at that position.”