March 2, 2007
ATLANTA–It was postponed one day by rain but worth the wait as the Georgia Tech football team enjoyed a good first day of spring practice Friday afternoon at Rose Bowl Field.
“The first day of spring practice is always exciting,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey, who enters his sixth season as the Yellow Jacket head coach. “We’ve got a lot of guys back, and you want to see what they’ve retained and how they’ve improved, and we’ve got a lot of younger players who now have a chance to step in and show us what they can do.”
All eyes are on the quarterback position as junior Taylor Bennett looks to build on his outstanding performance in the Toyota Gator Bowl and solidify his position as the starter. The lefthander from St. Louis, Mo., passed for 326 yards and three touchdowns in the bowl game, but he’s not resting on that performance.
“This is still competition, and we still have to our perform our best every day,” said Bennett. “Yeah, it was a good Gator Bowl, but now it’s back to square one.”
Bennett admitted that taking over the starting job after three years as a backup is a different role for him.
“Coming out here running with the ones, you have to be confident,” he said. “Your teammates can’t see you scared or nervous. I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous, but at the same, I was confident and excited to be out here in the one spot. It’s awesome. And I think we had a good day.”
Working behind Bennett is freshman Steven Threet, a 2007 signee who is enrolled this semester.
“It was good to get out here on the field,” said Threet, a 6-5, 230-pounder from Adrian, Mich. “It’s a lot faster than high school, obviously. But I had a good time, and hopefully I can get back out tomorrow and get a little bit better each day.”
Another new face on offense is coordinator John Bond, who joined the Tech staff after three seasons at Northern Illinois.
“I think we’ve certainly got enough talent to be as good as we want to be offensively,” said Bond. “We want to be aggressive. We want to be up-tempo, and we want to get after it offensively. We tried to start that today.”
Spring drills continue Saturday at 11 a.m. at Rose Bowl Field.