March 28, 2016 Atlanta: Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson during the first day of Spring football practice Monday March 28, 2016. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM
Photo: Brant Sanderlin/Brant Sanderling/AJC
Photo: Brant Sanderlin/Brant Sanderling/AJC

5 things to know from Georgia Tech’s fourth practice

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson met with media following Monday afternoon’s practice, the fourth of the preseason out of 26 before the opener against Tennessee on Sept. 4 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Among the pieces of information shared:

1. His opening comments: “It was OK. We’re glad to be in pads (Tuesday). I think we got some stuff done. It was kind of humid out there this afternoon after it rained a little bit.”

2. Johnson was very much looking forward to practicing in full pads, which will start with Tuesday’s practice. Tech began in helmets and shorts, moved to helmets and shoulder pads (shells) and will now graduate to full pads.

“With what we do, it’s hard to play in shells,” Johnson said.

3. Johnson gave a brief update on freshman linebacker Jaquan Henderson, who he said last month might be the fastest player on the team.

“He’s athletic, he runs around, we’ll see if he can help us,” Johnson said. “Certainly you think that he can help us on special teams, but we’ll see.”

4. Tech is at 80 scholarships. The limit is 85. Johnson said the slight shortage doesn’t impact practice. The team is at 105 players for the preseason (the NCAA limit) and will get up to around 115 once the semester begins.

“That’s about what you’d have anyway,” he said.

5. In assessing the depth chart at A-back, Johnson grouped A-back Nathan Cottrell in with J.J. Green, Clinton Lynch and Qua Searcy. The Green/Lynch/Searcy trio played most of the snaps last season. It was Cottrell’s redshirt freshman season after tearing his ACL early in the 2015 preseason. Behind those four, he said, are Omahri Jarrett and, should he not emerge the winner of the quarterback competition, possibly TaQuon Marshall.

“I think he’s back, physically,” Johnson said of Cottrell. “He was a little behind because he’d missed (the 2015 season), but I think now he’s to the point now where he understands and he can play full speed, and he’s got full speed. He can run.”

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