Aug. 18, 2001
ATLANTA– – With Georgia Tech’s season opener just a week away, head coach George O’Leary says he is beginning to the see the offensive line come together.
The 10th-ranked Yellow Jackets open the season Aug. 26 against Syracuse in the Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J.
“The offensive line is always the last position to jell,” said O’Leary after a Saturday morning practice. “Right now, I see some good things, and I see some areas where the timing is not there yet. The two things that take the longest are the passing game and the offensive line consistency, but I think they’re coming along well.
“But I think we have the manpower to get it done, and I know we have the coach to get it done,” added O’Leary, referring to veteran offensive line coach Mac McWhorter, who is also Tech’s assistant head coach.
Tech’s top returnee on the offensive line is senior center David Schmidgall (Clearwater, Fla.). Sophomore tackle John Bennett (Woodstock, Ga.) earned Freshman All-America honors last fall, while junior guard Raymond Roberts-Blake (Walthourville, Ga.) started every game.
The two new starters on the line are senior left tackle Jason Kemble (Canfield, Ohio) and sophomore right guard Hugh Reilly (Roswell, Ga.), who replace four-year starters Chris Brown and Brent Key, respectively.
True freshmen Nat Dorsey (New Orleans, La.) and Kyle Wallace (Lawrenceville, Ga.) could see action as backup tackles.
“We’re doing a lot of things right now, but I feel comfortable with where we are,” said O’Leary.
Several thousand fans turned out for Tech’s annual Fan Photo Day Saturday afternoon at Griffin Track as the Yellow Jacket players signed autographs for more than two hours.