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Bilbo Moves to Running Back

Aug. 8, 2003

Georgia Tech sophomore Damarius Bilbo has moved from quarterback to running back, where he practiced for the first time Friday.

“It just didn’t work out for Damarius at quarterback, and we’re trying to find him a spot,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey following practice. “If it doesn’t work out at running back, we’re going to try to find him a place to help our football team because we know what kind of person he is and we know what kind of athlete he is and we know what kind of competitor he is. So we want to try to find him a spot.

“He’s hurting,” continued Gailey of the 6-3, 225-pound native of Moss Point, Miss. “Nobody likes to feel like they’re being moved. Dawan Landry didn’t like it two springs ago when we moved him, and now he’s our starting safety. That’s part of life. He’s hurt, but I know what kind of person he is. Together we’re going to find a way for him to help our football team.

“Every indication to me is that he wants to help this football team win. We talked about running back, we talked about wide receiver, we talked about linebacker, we talked about safety, we talked about tight end/h-back. There’s a lot of things that this young man can do. He just needs to find a place where he is comfortable and can contribute and learn. And he needs some reps. That’s why we went ahead and made the move.

“We felt like if we were going to do right by Damarius and do right by our football team, now was the time to make the decision.”

Bilbo played in eight games off the bench in 2002. He completed 29 of 67 passes for 487 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed 43 times for 118 yards and two scores. At running back, he will compete with sophomores P.J. Daniels and Ajenavi Eziemefe and transfer Chris Woods for playing time.

With Bilbo moving, the quarterback job now has three competitors in senior A.J. Suggs, who started all 13 games last year, and true freshmen Reggie Ball and Patrick Carter.

“The quarterback job is still open,” said Gailey. “The job is not anybody’s right now; it’s still open.

“Reggie took the majority of the snaps with the first team today, and we’ll see how he responds. It’s different taking the snaps with [the first team] than with the other guys and it’s different going against the first defense than the second.”

Of Ball, a 5-11, 192-pounder from Stone Mountain and Stephenson High, Gailey said, “He shows confidence, in the huddle and after the ball is snapped.”

Tech continues preseason drills with a pair of workouts Saturday at Rose Bowl Field at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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