ATLANTA (April 9) – “I thought we had a good spring,” said Georgia Tech head football coach George O’Leary after his Yellow Jackets finished their 15th and final session of spring practice April 9 at Rose Bowl Field.
“I think we’re more athletic and have more depth,” continued O’Leary, whose squad has earned four straight bowl berths, including last year’s 9-3 campaign. “But you can’t get ahead looking in the rear view mirror; you have to keep getting better. We have three months now to get ourselves better physically before we come back July 31–that’s when the freshmen come in.”
Tech opens the 2001 season against Syracuse in the Kickoff Classic, scheduled for Aug. 26 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
One of Tech’s key issues this spring was the quarterback battle between sophomore Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.) and redshirt freshman Mark Logan (Greenwood, S.C.), who competed for the backup job behind starter George Godsey (Tampa, Fla.). A second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree last fall, Godsey sat out spring practice but will return to action in June after recovering from off-season knee surgery.
O’Leary indicated that Hall, who saw action in six games last fall, had the edge this spring. The 6-2, 190-pounder completed four of 16 passes for 37 yards and rushed 15 times for 37 yards and one touchdown in relief of Godsey last fall.
“The quarterbacks all got better this spring,” said O’Leary. “I thought Andy showed the most poise and maturity, which he should because of the reps he got last year. I would say he’s the second quarterback heading into the preseason–actually he’s one right now until Godsey comes back.”
O’Leary was positive about the strides his squad has made this spring, including one area that is a work in progress.
“You’re still uncertain about the chemistry of your football team,” said O’Leary. “I think that’s very important, so I put a lot of emphasis on making sure we have good chemistry. I think football is about 60 percent mental and 40 percent physical.
“I like the chemistry that we have shown so far. We have 14 seniors, which is three more than we had last year, so hopefully they can collectively take over this football team and get the job done.”