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He's Just Getting Warmed Up

Aug. 31, 2010

By Matt Winkeljohn
Sting Daily

Much as I have enjoyed Paul Johnson’s Tuesday media gatherings during the past two seasons, where he’s a mix of Bobby Bowden-style homespun raconteur, pigskin philosopher and multi-purpose raconteur, the season’s debut edition was a little light on meat. Mostly vegetables.

That was just fine, though, because the season has not yet begun and there is not yet much upon which to chew. It was to be expected.

But there were glimpses that he’s on the verge of form.

You have to earn your spurs in Johnson’s world, and so when the topic of Isaiah Johnson starting Saturday as a true freshman against South Carolina State, the Big Buzz torpedoed the concept of depth charts, from which this suggestion has grown.

“I’ve seen it written everywhere,” Johnson said. “I’m not sure he will [start].”

No sense making much of that. Four safeties – Johnson, Cooper Taylor, Mario Edwards and Jerrard Tarrant – figure to play plenty. Johnson suggested that tryouts continue, really, at that and several positions and that after a couple games it will make more sense to fuss about who wears the label of starter.

Perhaps you like me might fight it surprising to know – as was noted on the pre-game notes – that Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs will be Tech’s first against an HBCU squad. That’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities.

Don’t be fooled into thinking S.C. State has nothing. “They have some players who could play at Georgia Tech,” Johnson said, and he’s correct. Check the linebackers, a couple of the offensive linemen.

Speaking of big boys, as suspected Johnson confirmed what was first reported an evening earlier when he said that Logan Walls will start at nose tackle. He was not even on the depth chart that Tech released Saturday, in large measure and perhaps entirely because he did not participate in Friday’s scrimmage because of an illness.

Damn those depth charts and the media cretins who keep whining for `em!

Anyway, that means T.J. Barnes will be the backup, and others (like Ben Anderson) will swing back and forth between the end and nose tackle positions. T

hat’s more meat that I meant to bite into here.

There was a fuss to be made Tuesday and the end of affairs when Tech’s sports information staff rolled out a preview of their campaign touting Joshua Nesbitt for the Heisman Trophy. There’s a website ( and it’s well, well worth visiting. The goal is to make it a viral entity, and it’s plenty catchy enough to spread much like the virus in my neighbor’s leg.

He just got back from trying to hike the length of the Appalachian Trail. He and one of his sons left Georgia’s Springer Mountain in the spring, and they made it to Connecticut. He ended up in a hospital a few weeks ago after some sort of bite developed into a horrible infection by his right ankle. My neighbor, not Nesbitt.

I just saw it. Gross. Nearly lost his lower leg. The Burks are going to go back next year and finish the final 600 or so miles.

We have many miles to go before this season wraps up, and even before we start biting into its main course. But once the Yellow Jackets put on the packs and start hiking Saturday, the pace will pick up quickly. You can bet on that. Stay tuned.

Again, I remind you – yes, YOU, not the dude/dudette you’re going to the game with — to send thoughts to, and that I will go looking Saturday morning for notable tailgaters. Send me your locations, and perhaps I’ll photograph and chronicle your site for the historical record in what promises to be an epic Saturday p.m. special edition of Sting Daily.


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