Georgia Tech began its second week of spring practice Monday with its fifth of 15 practices. Coach Paul Johnson, B-back KirVonte Benson, left guard Parker Braun and A-back Clinton Lynch spoke at the media availability about position competitions, younger players and one benefit for the offense facing a 3-4 defense in practice.
1. Johnson said that a handful of players capable of playing safety and outside linebacker – such as Kaleb Oliver, Tariq Carpenter, Gentry Bonds and Avery Showell – are still working at both positions. Also, some players working at inside linebacker are also getting a look at the outside linebacker position, such as Tyler Cooksey.
“So there’s some guys rolling around,” he said.
The outside linebacker position is known as “Stinger.”
2. Johnson on the wide receiver group: “I don’t know about (players separating themselves by their performance), but Brad (Stewart) has had a good camp. Jalen Camp’s done some good things blocking. Steve Dolphus has done some good things.”
3. In Saturday’s scrimmage, defensive lineman Kyle Cerge-Henderson played well at nose tackle, Johnson said, and Chris Martin “did some good things.” Martin played little as a redshirt freshman last season.
Brentavious Glanton and Brandon Adams also have played at nose tackle.
4. Safety Christian Campbell is getting plenty of practice time at safety with both A.J. Gray and Jalen Johnson out as they recover from injuries. Campbell, a junior, played some safety last season – you’ll remember he began his career at quarterback – but contributed mostly on special teams. This could be a valuable time for Campbell to gain experience and familiarity in the new scheme going into the summer.
5. B-back KirVonte Benson said that backup B-back Jerry Howard has vastly improved since his freshman season last year.
Redshirt freshman B-back Jordan Ponchez-Mason has distinguished himself with his ability to also play A-back. Coaches are interested in having him play there also because he has bigger size (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) than most at that position.
“He’s fast enough to play A-back and he’s also strong enough to play B-back,” Benson said. “He’s a great player. He’s just as fast, just as physical as all of us.”
6. A-back Clinton Lynch, who expressed his relief Monday over being healthy again after a nagging hamstring injury last season, likes what he has seen from junior Omahri Jarrett, who will try to break into the A-back rotation behind Qua Searcy, Nathan Cottrell and Lynch.
“He’s looked really good,” Lynch said. “He made some great blocks. He can really do anything. Routes are good, hands are good and blocking’s pretty good, so I think he’ll definitely get some playing time.”
7. Left guard Parker Braun had an interesting comment on facing a 3-4 defense in practice (as opposed to a 4-2-5 or a 4-3, as was the Jackets’ alignment with former defensive coordinator Ted Roof.
Braun said he thought it could be beneficial because “we’ll probably see more 50’s next year.”
“50” is another term for a 3-4 defense. Miami, Virginia, Clemson and Georgia all use variations of the 3-4.
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