Which backups might play? Georgia Tech’s Brent Key would prefer not to answer

Since becoming Georgia Tech’s interim coach, Brent Key has released depth charts, a change from former coach Geoff Collins. But from a game-plan perspective, it doesn’t appear that he’s eager to share much more than that.

Asked two questions about possible lineup changes at his weekly news conference Tuesday, Key answered with responses that indicated as much.

Asked if linebacker Trenilyas Tatum might see increased playing time, perhaps alongside starting linebackers Ayinde Eley and Charlie Thomas (the Yellow Jackets normally play with two linebackers on the field), Key answered, “Do you want me to just give out all the scheme that we’re going to do on Saturday? We can give you the playbook and the game plans and everything, too, if you want. Yeah, we’re probably going to play him at nose guard to be able to get his athletic ability on the field. We’ve also looked at him at corner and possibly playing a left guard spot. He’s a very versatile player that we think a lot of.”

For the uninitiated, Key’s suggestions about where Tatum could play were clearly tongue in cheek, as Tatum doesn’t have the body type or athletic traits to play the other positions. His tone might have been described as sarcastic, but not cutting. His reluctance to share such a detail is hardly unusual.

The next question was about whether coaches might try to replace starting safety Jaylon King, who likely is out for the season with a leg injury, by possibly getting backup strong safety Derrik Allen onto the field instead of King’s backup Clayton Powell-Lee, a freshman.

“I’ll make sure to give you the final depth chart, as well, so Duke can know exactly who’s playing at what spots and all that,” Key said. “Y’all have mentioned a lot of guys in that position. We have ample talent there. 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.”

In the depth chart released Tuesday, which unlike Collins’ “Above the Line” chart indicates starters and backups at each position, Powell-Lee was named the starter at free safety. Tatum remains a backup linebacker – and only a backup linebacker – behind Eley.

Daily Jackets: The AJC presents a daily look at one news item about Georgia Tech athletics to start your morning.