Aug. 11, 2008
ATLANTA – After its first day off since preseason drills began in late July, Georgia Tech got back to work Monday with a pair of practices at Rose Bowl Field. The Yellow Jackets wore full pads at the morning practice and shells in the afternoon.
Tech’s season opener Aug. 28 vs. Jacksonville State (7:30 p.m.) is quickly approaching. The Yellow Jackets, who begin classes one week from today, spent a few periods Monday working specifically on the Gamecocks.
Like most teams midway through preseason drills, Georgia Tech has several players nursing nagging injuries. Redshirt freshman A-back Roddy Jones, however, was one of the Yellow Jackets who ditched the red jersey and returned to practice on Monday.
“I play the guys who practice,” head coach Paul Johnson said. “If you are not out there practicing, then you are not going to play. That’s not an indictment against the kids that are hurt.”
After the morning practice, Johnson was asked if he was angered by some of the modest projections for Tech in the media. SI.com, for example, ranks the Jackets 80th out of 119 teams, based mostly on the fact that the Jackets return just eight starters from a year ago.
“That doesn’t bother me,” Johnson said. “That’s their opinion. It’s up to us to go out and prove them wrong. We have so many young guys out here I’d be tempted to ranks us pretty low myself.”
Georgia Tech will practice once on Tuesday (3 p.m.) at Rose Bowl Field.
TRIVIA QUESTION (Answer below) When Georgia Tech opens the 2008 season Aug. 28 vs. Jacksonville State, it will mark the first-ever meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Gamecocks. What team has the Yellow Jackets opened a season against the most often? Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Kentucky, Mercer, South Carolina or Vanderbilt?
I WANNA BE LIKE MIKE – OR MAYBE DEION When asked what sports figure they idolized as kids, the Yellow Jackets had a wide variety of answers – from Brett Favre to Eric Lindros to Tiger Woods. Michael Jordan, however, was the clear favorite among these Yellow Jackets.
Interestingly, several Tech players grew up idolizing Atlanta Braves, including Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, David Justice and Javy Lopez. All answers are listed below:
Question: As a kid, who was your sports idol?Shaun Rogers Clyde YandellPenny Hardaway Mohamed YahiaouiDeion Sanders Jahi Word-DanielsDeion Sanders Willie WhiteLarry Bird Bret WhiteJulius Peppers Logan WallsSteve Young Levi WallsSteve Young Lance WallsMichael Jordan Vance WalkerSteve Young Alex WalkerMichael Jordan and Penny Hardaway Osahon TongoMy stepfather Demaryius ThomasReggie White Michael St. DenisMichael Jordan Luke SniderJerry Rice and my father Andrew SmithDerrick Brooks A.J. SmithMichael Jordan Brad SellersReggie White Darryl RichardBrett Favre Paul ReeseMichael Jordan Dominique ReeseMark Price and Joe Hamilton Michael RayBrett Favre Steven PowersKobe Bryant Michael PetersonJevon Kearse Jason PetersNomar Garciaparra Alex PaquetteMichael Jordan Derrick MorganMichael Jordan Tyler MeltonJerry Rice Jonathan MaloneDeion Sanders James LiipfertEric Lindros Jeff LentzMichael Jordan Quincy KellyDonovan McNabb Matt KampMuhammad Ali Roddy JonesRay Lewis Brad JeffersonShaquille O'Neal DeRon JasperDavid Justice Chase HudsonBo Jackson Cord HowardJoe Hamilton Jim HenryDeion Sanders Robert HallMichael Jordan Sedric GriffinJake Long Joseph GilbertGreg Maddux Andrew GardnerJerry Rice and Michael Jordan Martin FriersonReggie White Andrew FolknerJavy Lopez Zach FisherEmmitt Smith Tyler EvansMichael Jordan Anthony EgbuniweDeion Sanders Correy EarlsJohn Elway Bryce DykesWalter Payton Jonathan DwyerMy dad Tyler DavisMichael Jordan Jason DavisDerek Jeter Kevin CrosbyBarry Sanders Lucas CoxJohn Elway Doc CoppageMichael Jordan Kevin ConeTiger Woods R.B. ClyburnBarry Sanders Nick ClaytorMichael Jordan Tony ClarkRay Lewis Travis ChambersDeion Sanders Mario ButlerMy brother Morgan BurnettMichael Jordan David BrownMichael Jordan Drew BrannonDennis Rodman Matt BramanChipper Jones Shane BowenDeion Sanders Calvin BookerMichael Jordan Scott BlairDan Marino Jake BlackwoodJevon Kearse Sean BedfordMichael Jordan Austin BarrickMichael Jordan Tyler BarrettMichael Jordan Anthony BarnesMichael Jordan Elris AnyaibeJohn Elway Chandler AndersonJohn Elway Ben Anderson
ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION Tech has played South Carolina more often (nine times) in a season opener than any other team. The Yellow Jackets are 4-5 all-time against the team from Columbia. In second place with seven season-opening meetings is Clemson.