Georgia Tech’s Brent Key details team’s first scrimmage of the spring Saturday

As a Georgia Tech alumnus who joked Saturday that he once had aspirations to go into the construction business, coach Brent Key couldn’t help but draw parallels between his 2024 football team and the program’s new Fanning Center, which is soon to be constructed in the northeast corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Key and the Yellow Jackets scrimmaged Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in the shadow of the Edge Center, a building which will be demolished in the coming weeks. The Fanning Center will be erected in its place over the next two years. Key said he’s constructing his 2024 squad, and to a larger extent his program, much akin to Tech’s shiny, new athletic building.

“We’re building a foundation. There’s things that go well. Then, sometimes, you have to go tear a few things down and rebuild them again in order to get them right,” Key said. “It might look OK, someone might not be able to see it, but all of sudden the building gets finished, you’re ready to put the final pieces together and something doesn’t fit, something doesn’t work, something doesn’t go together. So you’ve wasted a lot of time.”

Part of Tech’s blueprint for 2024 is still being drawn and included Saturday’s scrimmage, the team’s seventh workout of the spring leading to the program’s annual spring game April 13. Here are some other notables from Saturday’s closed practice, according to Key:

  • Key said the scrimmage included 155 plays.
  • Former Tech standouts Daryl Smith and Keyaron Fox were present for the scrimmage.
  • Saturday’s practice included 26 referees also honing their skills.
  • The scrimmage included eight series that began from the 20-yard line coming out. Key said the Jackets scored seven touchdowns and made a field goal in those eight possessions.
  • In eight situational series that started with a second-and-10 play, Key said he was impressed with the play of the defense and highlighted defensive linemen Zeek Biggers and Horace Lockett.
  • Key noted the play of his running backs during short-yardage possessions, including freshman Anthony Carrie, redshirt freshman Evan Dickens and sophomore Chad Alexander.
  • The end of the day for the Jackets included series that started on the 35 or 30 going in, but those possessions were, “sloppy,” Key said.
  • Key was impressed with the play of junior cornerback Ahmari Harvey, who blocked one field-goal attempt and nearly blocked a second.
  • Freshman offensive lineman Jameson Riggs (6-6, 305) got reps at left tackle with the first-team offense Key said. Tight end Jackson Hawes, offensive linemen Tana Alo-Tupuola and Harrison Moore, cornerbacks Warren Burrell and Syeed Gibbs and defensive lineman Jordan Boyd were standouts also mentioned by Key.
  • Tech’s top four linebackers, Trenilyas Tatum, Kyle Efford, Jackson Hamilton and Tah’j Butler, all impressed as well. “All four of those guys have a chance to really help us and play a lot of really good football for us,” Key said.

The Jackets are off Sunday before resuming practice Monday. They also are scheduled to work out Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of next week.