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Gailey Likes Skill Level at Receiver, Defensive Back

Aug. 3, 2002

After watching his freshman class practice for the first time, Georgia Tech head football coach Chan Gailey said he likes the skill level displayed by his wide receivers and defensive backs.

The Tech freshmen, including 15 scholarship student-athletes and seven walk-ons, held their first practice with a 90-minute workout in shorts Saturday evening at Rose Bowl Field. The group will not practice Sunday but will work out Monday at 9:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. before the Tech varsity reports Tuesday. The first full-squad practices are scheduled for Thursday.

“I thought I saw some skill level at the receiver and defensive back positions that was impressive,” said Gailey. “Just from the drills we did, you see that the linemen have some punch. Those things jumped at me right off the bat.”

Tech’s two receivers, LeKeldrick Bridges and Xavier McGuire, both from Dallas, Texas, showed positive signs. At 6-3 and 205 pounds, McGuire is bigger than any of Tech’s returning receivers.

“LeKeldrick Bridges has got a little burst to him,” said Gailey. “Xavier McGuire is a big target that moves better than I thought he would. He got down the field on one deep ball really well.

In the secondary, Tech signed four players, including cornerbacks I-Perfection Harris (Staten Island, N.Y.) and Venice Gilliam (Tallahassee, Fla.) and safeties Chris Reis (Roswell, Ga.) and Kingi McNair (Pelahatchie, Miss.), who is a cousin of Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair.

“I-Perfection showed some quickness and some ability to recover that was very good,” said Gailey. “He’s a smooth athlete. You can tell that he’s got some fluidness about him.”

“We’re probably going to look at Kingi McNair at a linebacker position, just to see which position he looks best at. We looked at him at strong safety today, and we’ll look at him at linebacker Monday and then make a decision about what he might do best.”

Gailey did note, however, that he was disappointed in the conditioning level of the freshmen.

“I was disappointed in our overall conditioning, but I was impressed with some individual talent on the field,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how this group learns in the next couple of days and then incorporates themselves into the overall system.”

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