Scaglione is one of several transfers who have made an impact for the Yellow Jackets this season.
Initially the backup right guard to Jordan Williams, Scaglione has moved into the starting role after Williams transitioned to playing right tackle. He looked to Williams during his transition to Tech, saying Williams showed him the hard work that was necessary to excel in the ACC.
They aren’t the only new powerful duo that’s emerged in the wake of transfers and roster shuffling. Running back Trey Cooley, a transfer from Louisville, has paired well with fellow running back Jamal Haynes. They lead Tech with a combined 439 rushing yards on 71 attempts.
Cooley said playing with Haynes has provided a “one-two punch” for the Jackets.
“(We’re) both very, very explosive,” Cooley said. “Jamal does a good job at (the) open field, and I feel like I do a good job of just taking it home.”
Cooley’s previous ACC experience may prove helpful this weekend as the Jackets take on Wake Forest. Cooley played the Demon Deacons twice while at Louisville, including a 2021 performance in which he gained 61 yards on 11 carries.
Wake Forest’s players are smart and understand the game well, Cooley said.
“They have a very solid defense,” Cooley said. “They hustle to the ball every single play and do a good job with the turnover margin. They have seven turnovers this year, so that’s the thing we have to key on.”
Scaglione, however, is still adjusting to playing in big games after spending four seasons at FCS Princeton. He said he’d never played in a game like Saturday’s contest against Ole Miss in Oxford.
It was loud and there were lots of distractions, Scaglione said. But he felt the Jackets had a good mindset and handled the environment well.
“There were a lot of nerves,” Scaglione said. “Once I got situated after the first drive, I looked at the guys on the bench and was like, ‘We’re ready to play.’”
Transfers also are trying to lead the way on improvement this season.
Scaglione said it’s necessary for the offense to continue pushing each other to play physically. He’s continued to be impressed at the efforts his teammates make “every single rep, every single period.”
Defensive lineman Eddie Kelly is among those prioritizing making negative plays and notching sacks in practice this week. A transfer from South Florida, Kelly is among Tech’s top defensemen with 11 tackles on the season.
Kelly said the coaching staff has been pushing them to improve each day in practice.
“We try to get to the quarterback every day we do drills in practice,” Kelly said. “We, as a D-line, know we need more sacks, more (tackles for loss). … Every day we’re working.”