After Georgia Tech’s first practice of the preseason Friday, coach Paul Johnson answered questions from media. Information gleaned from the session:
1. Johnson’s comments on the first day: “It was good to get back out there. It seemed like it’s been awhile since the spring. It wasn’t real hot, but we had a good, warm day to get started to kind of get back in the flow. Overall, it was like you’d think the first day. The returnees kind of got an idea of the pace and where to go, and a lot of big eyes (on the part of the freshmen). I don’t think a lot of those guys have gone at that pace and at that speed before. They’ll learn, but all in all, I think that they approached it in the right attitude and tried to get through it and worked pretty hard.”
2. The four quarterbacks – Matthew Jordan, TaQuon Marshall, Lucas Johnson and Jay Jones – were split up to run the two offenses that take turns running plays in practice. Freshman Tobias Oliver was given some reps with the No. 2 offense.
3. Johnson on the weight-loss efforts of defensive tackle Brandon Adams (listed at 329 pounds) and guard Shamire Devine (380): “They’re still big. They both lost maybe a little bit of weight. Brandon maybe a little more percentage than Shamire, but they’re both still big.”
4. The team spent about 30 minutes of practice time on punts and punt returns, giving freshman Pressley Harvin a chance to show coaches what he can do. Harvin was one of the highest-rated punters in his class coming out of high school.
Said Johnson, “Nobody’s rushing. He’s killing it.”
5. As is typically the case, Johnson said the team will devote the first two weeks of the preseason to teaching and developing its own offensive and defensive schemes before starting to get ready for its first opponent the final two weeks with scout-team work. The magnitude of Tech’s opponent – Tennessee – will not alter Johnson’s approach. The Yellow Jackets play the Volunteers on Sept. 4 in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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