A few members of Georgia Tech’s freshman class are clearly going to be on the field this fall. A number more out of the 26-player class appear likely to join them.
“I think several of them are going to play,” coach Paul Johnson said following Wednesday’s preseason practice. “We’re excited. It’s a good group overall.”
Perhaps the two most obvious are B-back Marcus Marshall and wide receiver Brad Stewart, who have played their way onto the depth chart and may even start. Safety A.J. Gray and linebacker Victor Alexander have also impressed coaches and are likely to play special-teams roles. Defensive linemen Anree Saint-Amour, Brentavious Glanton and Kyle Cerge-Henderson, defensive back David Curry, linebacker Brant Mitchell, offensive tackle Will Bryan and wide receiver Christian Philpott are also being evaluated.
At A-back, TaQuon Marshall and Mikell Lands-Davis appear to have a shot. B-back Quaide Weimerskirch is an interesting case. An early enrollee who suffered a foot injury in the spring that required surgery, Weimerskirch has missed camp but could return to practice in the next two weeks. In some of the cases, it could be an either/or scenario where one player at a position plays and the other redshirts and plays on the scout team.
Depth is a factor – there is more opportunity, for instance, at wide receiver and A-back than cornerback.
“You’re trying to hit a number and you’ve got to have some balance among your varsity slots for depth situations, but so much of it, also, special-teams value is a huge consideration,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof said.
Coaches have already separated some players onto scout teams, and will continue the process as the Sept. 3 season opener against Alcorn State approaches. It’s conceivable some freshmen could practice with the “varsity” – the starters and backups expected to play – but with their playing status on an emergency or wait-and-see basis.
Tech played nine first-year freshmen last season. The most in Johnson’s tenure was the 10 freshmen who played in 2011.
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