March 27, 2002
Trying to learn a new position as the Georgia Tech football team continues spring practice is junior Tony Hollings, who has moved to running back after playing safety his first two years.
Hollings saw most of his action on special teams the last two seasons but is an excellent athlete who played quarterback at Twiggs County High School in Jeffersonville, Ga.
“There’s a big learning curve that he’s experiencing right now,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey after Wednesday’s practice. “He’s got some talent, but we’ll just have to see how he takes that talent and uses it.
“He’s played offense before, so it’s not like he’s forgotten how to play on that side of the ball. The biggest adjustment is getting comfortable with the terminology.”
Hollings, who is working at both tailback and fullback, is competing for playing time in a backfield that also includes seniors Sidney Ford (Lindale, Ga.) and Gordon Clinkscale (Doraville, Ga.), sophomore Jimmy Dixon (Arlington, Texas) and junior Jermaine Hatch (Baton Rouge, La.), who is participating in non-contact drills while recovering from a 2001 knee injury.
Tech’s quarterback competition got thinner as redshirt freshman Dawan Landry (Ama, La.) moved to safety, leaving juniors Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.), A.J. Suggs (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Brian Camp (Dublin, Ga.) and redshirt freshman Damarius Bilbo (Moss Point, Miss.).
“Dawan’s a great athlete so we wanted to try get him on the field somewhere, and we’ve got a lack of depth at safety,” said Gailey.
Gailey said the Yellow Jackets’ first practice in pads was sloppy.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, especially on offense,” said Gailey. “You can tell we’ve got most of our experience on defense, but we’re too sloppy. The ball was on the ground way too much.”
Gailey and his staff have elected to allow the quarterbacks to be tackled in certain drills.
“When you have guys with no experience, the way they learn is to understand that they’re going to get the dog knocked out of them if something does happen correctly,” said Gailey. “We’re going to to hit them, but not every snap. We’re going to pick and choose the times.”