Georgia Tech A-back Nate Cottrell has suffered what coach Paul Johnson termed a serious injury.
“He didn’t play (Saturday),” Johnson said, referring to the team’s Saturday morning scrimmage. “It’s serious. I doubt he’ll play next Saturday, either.”
Johnson declined to specify the nature of the injury, saying he had yet to speak with team doctors about it. Cottrell, an incoming freshman, was wearing a heavy knee brace at the team’s fan day Saturday afternoon at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Cottrell, out of Knoxville, Tenn., ran for a school-record 3,974 yards in his high-school career. He caught the attention of recruiters last summer by running the 40-yard dash in under 4.4 seconds.
His absence thins a position group that will lean heavily on inexperienced players. Broderick Snoddy is the only returning player with significant game experience.
Others competing for time include Isiah Willis, redshirt freshmen Clinton Lynch and Qua Searcy and incoming freshmen Omahri Jarrett, TaQuon Marshall and, to this point, Cottrell. The team moved third-string quarterback Matthew Jordan to A-back to add depth and give him a chance to play as a redshirt freshman.
“He understands the offense, he’s a tough, physical guy, he’s a good runner, so we’ll throw him out there and see if he can adjust and let him learn the position,” Johnson said of Jordan. “He can still compete to be the third quarterback, but that’s what he’s going to be.”
Johnson said he may also move a B-back out to A-back for added depth. With Jordan and without Cottrell, the group now has six scholarship players along with Willis, a walk-on, and other walk-ons. Last season, Tech relied on six scholarship A-backs on their way to the Orange Bowl championship.
Johnson said that “we’re still looking for some guys out there.”