After a right-leg injury sustained in Georgia Tech’s win at Pittsburgh on Saturday night, safety Jaylon King likely is out for the season, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Asked about the matter Tuesday, interim coach Brent Key said that King had surgery and will miss the Yellow Jackets’ home game against Duke on Saturday (4 p.m., Bally Sports South).
“But our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family moving forward,” Key said. “We have ample people at that position that we know are ready to step up and make plays, as they did on Saturday.”
A junior, King had been a steady presence in the Jackets secondary in his first season as a starter. In five games, he had 32 tackles (most among defensive backs), one interception and a forced fumble. He held an important role in making pre-snap reads and communicating adjustments to the rest of the secondary.
In the depth chart released Tuesday, freshman Clayton Powell-Lee was listed as the starter at free safety, backed up by Khari Gee. Powell-Lee, the son of former Tech receiver Gary Lee, has been among the team’s more impressive freshmen thus far, drawing coaches’ attention with his ability to quickly learn the defense.
“As much as you hate losing Jaylon – the leadership that he has, the poise that he has, the experience that he has – that’s not a position that we’re worried about finding someone to step in there and play at a high level,” Key said.