Tech notes: Drummond pushing the pace

Inside linebacker Daniel Drummond, who will start alongside Julian Burnett, is “coming along nicely,” inside linebackers coach Joe Speed said. Drummond moved to the position from B-back at the start of spring practice. Drummond has been an eager student with Speed and defensive coordinator Al Groh, which has sped up his adjustment.

“He’s got the physical tools,” Speed said. “As long as he knows where to go and what his assignment is, he’s going to be just fine.”

Fellow inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy has continued his progress from spring practice, which he concluded by playing a starring role in the T-Day game. Nealy, a redshirt freshman, backs up Burnett. Speed said his comprehension of the scheme is increasing. Nealy’s speed should enable him to play a valuable role on special teams.

Sims rubbing off

Coach Paul Johnson has noted more than once the improvement that B-back David Sims has made this preseason. Johnson paid him another compliment Wednesday, saying Sims’ practice habits have “lit a fire under those other guys,” referring to B-backs Preston Lyons, Charles Perkins and Richard Watson. Competition is tight for the starting B-back job among Lyons, Sims and Perkins.

“I think [Perkins] is just playing harder, running harder, hustling around, doing those things to match David’s effort,” Johnson said. “Charles is a talented kid if he wants to go hard.”

Practice report

Tech practiced Thursday afternoon in full pads. Watson, who had been sitting out after sustaining a concussion, returned to practice. Friday afternoon’s practice is scheduled to be heavy on special-teams work.

The Yellow Jackets will close camp with their second and final scrimmage at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The scrimmage will be open to the public, although it will be closed in the event of inclement weather. Fans can check for notification. Fans should be advised that Tech students will be moving into the dormitories Saturday in advance of the start of classes Monday, which will cause parking shortages and traffic.

Luncheon next week

Former center Sean Bedford will be the keynote speaker at Tech’s kickoff luncheon Aug. 26 at Cobb Galleria. The luncheon also will feature Johnson, athletic director Dan Radakovich and Jackets players, as well as the band and cheerleaders. Tickets are $40. More information is available at Bedford, who went from walk-on to two-time All-ACC honors, has enrolled at Florida’s law school.

Johnson on Miami

Johnson feels sympathy for Miami coach Al Golden, a first-year coach whose team almost certainly faces heavy NCAA penalties for what a Yahoo report said was “thousands of impermissible benefits” from 2002 through 2010.

“It’s disappointing,” Johnson said. “I’m sure he had no idea.”


A tweet Thursday from freshman quarterback Vad Lee: “I am trying to figure out every little thing about this offense so [expletive] bad!!!! But learned that I can overload and move too fast…” ... On Thursday, several Tech athletes helped with a donation of televisions from the Bobby Dodd Stadium press-box suites to Habitat for Humanity.