Special to the Journal
Atlanta, Ga. — t’s been hot, they’ve worked a lot, they’re tired, sore, and Georgia Tech football players are moving this weekend from the hotel they’ve stayed in the past couple weeks into their respective dorms, apartments and such so . . . Saturday’s scrimmage was what you’d expect.
That’s a long way of saying what head coach Paul Johnson said in one word: “Ragged.”
The Yellow Jackets wrapped up the pre-school portion of summer camp as classes begin Monday, and although the scrum in Bobby Dodd Stadium was closed to nearly all who were not participating in some official form, it was easy to tell from reports that players were distracted and a bit lethargic.
Junior safety Isaiah Johnson wasn’t exactly despondent, but he wasn’t pleased.
“I don’t think it went very well for either offense or defense,” he said. “We were tired, but I feel like we’ve got to do better. The energy wasn’t there. Normally, we’ve got some guys getting rowdy, but today not really.”
There were highlights, apparently.
Broderick Snoddy broke a very long run. The speedy running back has been working more at B-back recently rather than A-back, and there has been room. Projected starter David Sims remains sidelined and so too has reserve Charles Perkins.
Vad Lee, one of the backup quarterbacks, was said to have been more impressive than in last week’s scrimmage, and despite the level of lethargy Saturday at least a couple players said that when looking at summer camp to date, there has been unmistakable progress.
Starting center Jay Finch said his job in practice has been made more difficult by the improvement of starting nose tackle T.J. Barnesand others.
“I definitely think T.J.’s come a long way. He’s finally learned to play with his size. When you’re 6-6, 360, you should be in the backfield every play,” he reported. “[Defensive end] Euclid Cumming has come a long way. I’d say the D-line as a unit has really progressed.”
Some starting positions may not yet be sorted out. Inside linebacker and wide receiver come to mind here. But it sounds like Robbie Godhigh has emerged, or held onto his status as, the leading candidate to start at the A-back spot opposite Orwin Smith.
There is still some sifting going on at offensive tackle as candidate Morgan Bailey has missed some time with a concussion, but quarterback Tevin Washington has overall been nonetheless impressed by the work of the starting offensive line. The fact that Finch and starting guards Will Jackson and Omoregie Uzzi are all back offers a fine starting point.
“That’s because of the continuity and the guys who have been here and played. They know where they fit,” Washington said. “Some of those guys know the checks that I’m going to need to make before I even get to the line of scrimmage. It makes it a lot easier on me.”
It’s a tough time, however. The season is still a ways off; the big ball game at Virginia Tech will be two weeks from Monday night.
At least practice this week will see a new twist. The Jackets will start some scout team work this week, looking at what the Hokies do. Hey, it’s something.
“We’ve been going against each other for about two weeks now, and we’re ready to go against somebody else in about two weeks,” Washington said. “We weren’t as sharp as we’ll need to be, but . . . we’re focusing on what we need to do not only for Virginia Tech but the season.”