ATLANTA — As Georgia Tech’s freshmen football players practiced for the first time Wednesday, head coach George O’Leary saw the typical rookie mistakes but was impressed with the athletic ability apparent in the class.
“I saw a lot of great effort, but sometimes it was going in the wrong direction,” O’Leary joked after practice as he begins his sixth season on the Flats. “It’s obvious that we’ve got more athletes on the field than we’ve had in the past. They’re still freshmen and they’re going to make a lot of mistakes. But you can see that athleticism as far as running and catching the football and doing things that you look for on the first day.”
|Aug. 2-3||Freshmen Practice|
|Aug. 4||Varsity Report|
|Aug. 5||MEDIA DAY (4 p.m.)|
|Aug. 7||First full squad practice|
|Aug. 27|| Season Opener|
at Virginia Tech
The freshmen are scheduled for workouts Thursday at 9:15 a.m. and 4 p.m. and then will go through academic orientation Friday, the day the varsity arrives. The first full squad practice is slated for Monday, Aug. 7.
“I’m looking at movement, athleticism, ball skills, ability to change direction–all the things that come with being a good football player,” said O’Leary, whose Yellow Jackets open the season Aug. 27 at Virginia Tech.
“I do think there are some out there who can push some of the second teamers we have on the varsity. That’s a good sign because you should try to recruit better than you have,” he said.
“Freshmen are going to make mistakes. It’s when you have to count on freshmen to start that you have problems. We’re not in that boat, fortunately. We have stability now, which wasn’t the case when we first took over. Back then we were looking at freshmen to really help us right away, and that’s scary. Now I think if some of these freshmen can keep progressing the way they should, they’re going to create some good competition in the two deep, which is what you want.”
The class of scholarship freshmen, Tech’s most highly regarded in recent memory, includes two quarterbacks, three receivers, one tailback, one fullback, two tight ends, two offensive linemen, three linebackers, three defensive backs and three defensive linemen.